CONCORDIA, Kansas — Led by a pair of sophomores, the Cloud County Community College men's basketball team put together its most complete performance of its three non-conference games to begin the season in a 106-67 drubbing of Bethany College JV on Wednesday.
Cloud County (2-1 overall) scored an eye-popping 74 points in the paint (74-12) and shot 58 percent from the floor. Sophomore forward Ramion Burt Jr., and sophomore guard Shawn Lee led the charge as they combined for 37 points on 17-of-21 shooting.
"Really, I felt like we were just aggressive. We attacked the rim so much that we ended up with 74 of our 106 points in the paint," said Cloud County head coach, Jordan Altman. "While our post players and forwards did an excellent job around the rim, a lot of that came from our guards really starting to attack the rim. We had settled for a lot of jump shots in previous games."
Burt Jr. dropped a career-high 22 points and added 10 rebounds to record his first double-double of the young season.
"I think Ray playing last year with a lot of other talented forwards, some even bigger than him, he focused his game on face-ups and attacking the rim," "What I've told him is he's just as effective as a back-to-basket, post-up scorer."
Lee showed off his athleticism and dynamic playmaking ability as he finished with 15 points, two steals, two assists and five rebounds.
"Shawn has done an awful lot for us in our previous two games and in our last scrimmage, but in those three games he really struggled to score," Altman said. "We talked a lot this week that his points, a lot of the time, will come from hustle plays."
The T-Birds led 49-33 at the half, with 11 made free throws and 12 fouls on Cloud County allowing the visiting Swedes to hang around.
Cloud quickly put the game away to start the second half, though, as it opened the final 20 minutes on a 12-2 run that ballooned the lead up to 61-35 with 17:13 remaining.
A total of 12 different T-Birds scored on the night and the team posted a season-best 29 assists on 45 made field goals, led by nine assists from point guard Solomon Finley.
Redshirt freshman Alvin Thompson was the third T-Bird in double-figures with 14 points. Freshmen guards JaVary Christmas and Brayden Day added nine points and eight points, respectively, off the bench.
Cloud County will now turn its attention toward Saturday's KJCCC opener against Dodge City Community College. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. inside Arley Bryant Gymnasium.
"It could be a barnburner," Altman said. "It could be a 110-109 game. The way (Wednesday's game) went, that's exactly how Dodge plays. If we continue our mindset, and play the same way we did tonight, Dodge will play at that speed with us. They are a little bit undersized, but they really make up for that with effort. We're going to have to really play harder than them to give ourselves a chance in that one."