Cloud County Women Blow Past Northwest Tech in KJCCC Opener

Cloud County Women Blow Past Northwest Tech in KJCCC Opener

Career nights from sophomore Kay Hauata Phillips and freshman Carolynn Washington would lead the Cloud County Community College women's basketball team to an 80-55 road win over Northwest Kansas Technical College inside of Max L. Jones Fieldhouse in Goodland, Kansas on Wednesday, November 17th.

The win is the third-straight victory for Cloud County to improve to 4-2 overall on the year and 1-0 in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference while the Mavericks fall to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the KJCCC under first-year head coach Annie Kassongo.

Scoring would be hard to come by for both squads in the opening possessions of the game as a layup from Olivia Collier-Tuipulotu would be the only points of the game for the first 2:18 of the contest. Northwest Tech would get on the board with a three to take their one and only lead of the game as CCCC would respond with eight straight points over the next 2:18 of action to go up 10-3 on the Mavericks mid-way through the first quarter. Hauata Phillips would push the Cloud County lead to double-digits with 3:21 left in the period by scoring her sixth point of the quarter on her third made field goal in four attempts as Cloud County would take a 20-10 lead to end the first.

Northwest Kansas Tech would do all that they could in the second quarter to try and stay within single digits, scoring five of the first seven points to get back within seven with 8:54 left in the first half, but the T-Birds would respond by going on a 9-0 run to go up 16 at 31-15 just 1:40 later. The CCCC lead would not drop back below 12 the rest of the first half as Cloud County would continue to push their lead out to as many as 18 on a Hauata Phillips jumper with 2:00 left before half as the T-Birds would take a 39-23 lead into the break.

The Cloud County lead would manage to hold throughout the opening five minutes of the second half as CCCC would be unable to add to their lead until an 11-0 run would turn a 45-30 lead into a 56-30 lead for the T-Birds. Things would continue to be all CCCC throughout the remaining three-plus minutes of the third quarter as the T-Birds would go up by as many as 31 and lead 65-35 heading into the fourth quarter.

Playing with a massive lead and just 10 minutes remaining in the contest, Cloud County would be able to keep things at a 30-point margin for the first three minutes of the final quarter of play until an 8-2 NW Tech run would cut the lead down to 70-45. Six straight points from the T-Birds as a response would push things back out to the largest margin of the game at 76-45 with 2:58 remaining as the Mavericks would manage to outscore CCCC 10-4 in the final moments of the contest.

Limiting the Mavericks to just three second-chance points on the evening, Cloud County would outscore NWKT 21-8 in points off turnovers and 20-12 in points in the paint. 36 of CCCC's 80 points would come from bench players while Northwest Tech would see all 55 of their points come from their starting five.

Hauata Phillips led the T-Birds with a team-best 22 points and would also grab a team-best eight rebounds while Te Araroa Sopoaga would score 19 points and add seven rebounds to go along with five assists. Washington's night would see the Cedar Hill, Texas native finish a point shy of her career-high with seven points while notching a new career-high in assists (five) and tying a career-high with two steals. Northwest Kansas Tech would get a game-high 25 points from sophomore Chloe Andrew to go along with 11 rebounds.

What's Next?
Cloud County will begin a three-game homestand which will take place over an eight-day stretch beginning on Saturday, November 20th when number 17-nationally ranked Hutchinson Community College comes to Arley Bryant Gymnasium for the first time since December 12th, 2018. The Blue Dragons fell for the first time in 2021 with an 87-65 road defeat to Independence Community College in Independence on Wednesday evening.