CONCORDIA – Hitting the century mark for the first time since the season opener, the Cloud County Community College men's basketball team would see 110 points prove not to be enough against a high-flying and fast paced number six nationally ranked Cowley College team as part of a 143-110 home loss inside of Arley Bryant Gymnasium on Monday.
Cloud County is now 8-18 overall and 2-15 in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference while the Tigers improved to 24-3 overall and 16-1 in conference while clinching at least a share of the KJCCC East Division regular-season title.
It would be a game where one could blink and miss a handful of points as the score would be 5-4 after two minutes of action and 7-5 in favor of Cloud County following a Dyelan Reed three with 17:37 left in the first half. The T-Birds would then get a Chad Vincent-Simon layup to go up four, but quickly see the Tigers connect on back-to-back field goals to claim a 10-9 lead as part of a 16-0 run that would put the score at 21-9 with just over 14 minutes remaining in the half. The pace would continue to be pushed into overdrive by both teams as the first-half media timeout would come with 9:32 left in the first half with a score of 34-19 in favor of Cowley.
Cloud County would continue to pick and choose their spots to try and run out in space for easy layups, but the Tigers would jump out and push the pace every chance they got while also starting to find their range from beyond the arc to go up by 15 at 37-23. The T-Birds would get the score back within 11 at 46-35 with just under five minutes left in the first half as the pace would continue to feature 34 points down the stretch to allow Cowley to go up 65-50 at the half.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Cloud County would manage to keep the deficit where it started the half before seeing Cowley begin to impose their will both offensively and defensively which would allow the Tigers to extend their lead. The century mark would be hit by Cowley with 12:09 remaining as the T-Birds would be unable to find an answer on the defensive side of the ball with numerous possessions for the Tigers starting past half-court due to the full-court pressure defense being deployed. As the half continued, Cowley would continue to press the issue on both sides of the ball, finishing things off by scoring 78 points in the second half while allowing Cloud County to score 60 and put the final point total at 253 between the two teams.
A combined 88 free throws would be shot (50 by Cloud County) as both the T-Birds would shoot 48.6 percent (35-of-72) from the field and 72 percent (36-for-50) from the free throw line. Cowley would use a long-range attack by hitting 20-of-51 (39.2 percent) from beyond the arc and also add 42 points off of T-Bird turnovers. Both teams would score 28 fast break points as Cloud County would hold a 53-39 rebounding advantage.
11 players for the T-Birds found their way into the scoring column as Cloud County would be led by 28 points from Jay Lewis. Iyen Enaruna would add 19 points and Akene Agee had 21 points off the bench. Cowley would get a game-high 38 points from Martaveon Jones and see four of their five starters reach double-figures.
KJCCC East Division play continues for the T-Birds with a road trip to Allen Community College for an 8 p.m. game in Iola on Wednesday. The last time Cloud County and Allen met up, it would come down the final minute as the Red Devils would squeak out a 73-70 win over the T-Birds.