NORFOLK, Neb. – A three from sophomore Lydia Ostenson with just three seconds remaining would give the Cloud County Community College women’s basketball team a 72-69 victory over Iowa Lakes Community College to close out the Northeast Community College Classic in Norfolk, Nebraska on Saturday.
The victory allows Cloud County to move to 2-2 overall on the year and finish the weekend with a split of two games against NJCAA schools from Iowa while the Lakers fall to 1-2 overall on the year after going winless on the weekend.
Falling behind early on, the T-Birds would be doubled up by the Lakers 8-4 two minutes into the contest as Iowa Lakes would hold the lead for most of the first quarter. With Cloud County trailing 12-8 with just over four minutes remaining in the opening period, Alyssa Castilleja would connect on a triple to cut the deficit to one as Ostenson would give CCCC their first lead of the game just a minute later with a pair of free throws. The points would be part of an 8-0 T-Bird run that would Cloud County up 16-12 as ILCC would score just two points in the final 4:57 of the first quarter which allowed CCCC to grab an 18-14 lead after 10 minutes of play.
A 6-0 run by Iowa Lakes to start the second quarter would allow the Lakers to reclaim the lead at 20-18 before freshman Jacy Dalinghaus would tie things at 20-20 on a layup with 8:03 remaining in the first half. Five more lead changes would be seen throughout the rest of the first half as neither team would be able to take a lead of more than four as Iowa Lakes would score five of the final six points to grab a 33-32 halftime lead.
Iowa Lakes would grow their lead to five at 37-32 out of halftime before a Marlissa Morris made triple would pull Cloud County back within two as the game would remain close throughout the third quarter. Morris would tie things at 39-39 just over a minute later, but Cloud County would be unable to grab the lead until the 3:55 mark in the quarter. With Cloud County holding a 47-46 lead, Iowa Lakes would use a free throw to tie things yet again before reclaiming the lead at 50-49 before seeing the T-Birds close out the third on a 9-1 run to take a seven-point lead at 58-51.
The Cloud County lead would grow to double-digits at 63-53 following a Castilleja trey with 8:19 left in the game before seeing ILCC respond with a 7-2 run to close the gap to 65-60 with 4:31 left in the contest. Both teams would trade baskets on their next offensive possession as the five-point lead would be pushed back out to six on an Ostenson layup with just over two minutes remaining. The Iowa Lakes comeback would then commence as a free throw and layup would pull the Lakers within three. ILCC would then tie the game on a layup and foul as Breanna Wendland would hit the ensuing free throw to knot things at 69-69 with just over a minute remaining. Following turnovers by both teams on their next possession, Cloud County would reclaim possession with 27 seconds remaining and call a timeout to set up what they hoped would be a chance at a final shot. The timeout would indeed lead to a final shot opportunity as Ostenson would connect on a game-winning triple as Iowa Lakes would never get an opportunity for a game-tying buzzer beater.
It would be a better shooting day for the T-Birds as Cloud County would connect on 38.6 percent (22-57) of their shots while hitting four of 12 three-point attempts (33.3 percent). The free throw line would be a boon for Cloud County as the T-Birds would go 24-for-33 (72.7 percent) from the charity stripe while outscoring Iowa Lakes by eight at the line.
Ostenson’s three would be part of a six-point second half as the Tecumseh, Kansas native would finish with eight total points in the game to go along with two steals. Morris would score a team-high 17 points and grab 10 rebounds to record her first double-double of the year while Dalinghaus would score 12 points in just 16 minutes of action.
Cloud County is back at home on Tuesday to play host to Southeast Community College at 6 p.m. in non-conference action. The Storm will play one more game against the Midland University JV team on Saturday afternoon after splitting their first two games of the year.