Cloud County breaks century mark in home-opening win

Cloud County Athletics
Matt Kinney, Sports Information Director

CONCORDIA – Opening things up offensively all night long, the Cloud County men’s basketball team would soar past the century mark as part of a 115-96 home victory over the Sterling College JV team in Arley Bryant Gymnasium on Tuesday.

The win moves the T-Birds to 2-0 on the year and CCCC will play their next three games at home.

“We’re a team that is going to be a lot more successful in the open court and looking for transition shots” said head coach Jordan Altman in a post-game interview. “That starts on the defensive end and we caused 24 turnovers tonight while also holding Sterling JV to just a 33 percent shooting output in the second half after letting them shoot 62 percent in the first half.

“We need to lock down with our discipline as a lot of our mistakes tonight were simple discipline errors. If you want to be a great team you need to be focused in all aspects of the game and we weren’t very disciplined tonight.

“A lot of the runs that Sterling was able to make tonight was due to us losing focus of what we need to do, so hopefully moving forward we can cut out the mistakes that we made without them forcing us into them.”

A quick start would see Cloud County open the game with six points in the first two minutes of action to take a 6-2 lead as an Iyen Enaruna free throw and Jay Lewis triple would allow CCCC to double up the Warriors 10-5 four minutes into the game. Sterling College would respond with a pair of triples as the Warriors would manage to hang with the T-Birds throughout the opening 10 minutes of the first half and eventually manage to grab the lead at 25-24. Things would then become back and forth as the two teams would trade buckets before seeing the Warriors break a 31-31 tie with one of their seven first-half three’s to go up 34-31. Cloud County would reclaim the lead on a thunderous Chad Vincent-Simon dunk as a 13-3 run by CCCC would allow the T-Birds to 48-39. The rest of the half would play out as Sterling would get no closer than nine with Cloud County getting a Lewis jumper right before halftime to take a 59-45 lead.

In the second half, the T-Birds would match the Warriors point for point throughout the first three minutes of action before getting a Dyelan Reed triple and Vincent-Simon tip-in to put things on the verge of a blowout with a 73-52 lead with 16:56 to play. Sterling would not go quietly however, closing a 20-plus point gap to just 12 at 80-68 before seeing CCCC once again go on a run by scoring eight of the next 11 points to push the lead back to 17 at 88-71. One final push by the Warriors would close the deficit down to 10 at 95-85, but Cloud County would put their foot on the pedal one last time to go on a 14-4 run and put the game away while going on to win by 19.

Shooting at nearly a 50 percent rate, the T-Birds would finish 45-of-93 (48.4 percent) from the field and connect on eight of their 25 (32 percent) three-point attempts. A big 53-38 advantage on the glass led to a 23-16 advantage in second chance points as Cloud County would also outscore the Warriors 43-19 in bench points.

Four of the five starters for CCCC would finish in double-figures led by a team-high 24 points from DJ Sims as the sophomore would also add three assists and one steal in 26 minutes of work. Lewis (19 points), Vincent-Simon (14 points), and Enaruna (10 points) would also reach double-digits as starters while Denzel Ndongosi (12 points) and Sami Sanad (10 points) hit the mark off the bench.

Cloud County will get six days to prepare for their next opponent in Central Community College out of Nebraska. The T-Birds and Raiders will tip things off at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11 as CCC will play two more times prior to their matchup with Cloud County.

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