CONCORDIA, Kansas — Following its emotional upset of No. 1 ranked Hutchinson Community College on Wednesday, the Cloud County Community College men's basketball team fell victim to the dreaded "hangover effect" Saturday in a 56-39 loss to Seward County Community College.
"I knew Thursday that our minds were still on the big win. We spent more time shooting Thursday and Friday, and stayed away from the live action stuff, just to focus in on that," said Cloud County head coach, Jordan Altman. "We knew we had back-to-back games (Seward and Pratt on Tuesday) where we're going to have to score the ball and hit shots. Those were our two emphasis: don't have a hangover, don't come out flat, and hit shots. Those two points of emphasis; we certainly failed to meet them (Saturday)."
Cloud County (3-3 overall, 1-2 KJCCC) shot 23 percent from the floor (12-of-53), and were limited to 13 points in the first half, in a game muddled by 41 combined fouls.
"There was absolutely no flow to the game. It was play for 20 seconds a whistle was blown. I don't think we had a minute of consecutive play during the entire game," Altman said. "We've struggled to score points all year, but that was by far the low point."
The T-Birds offense desperately tried to gain traction, not settling for jumpers (11 3-point attempts), but were unable to cash in on their opportunities at the rim or at the free-throw line (14-of-24).
"We got into the paint, we got into the rim, but we just couldn't get any of them to fall," Altman said. "Too many missed bunnies."
Cloud County's defensive effort kept it in the game as Seward County (5-2 overall, 1-2 KJCCC) was held to 36 percent shooting for the game, keeping the T-Birds' within striking distance at 24-13 at the half.
The Saints' starters were collectively held to just 23 points on the evening.
"The 14 offensive rebounds as well below their (Saints) average and 17 3-point attempts is still about five under their average," Altman said. "We did a lot, defensively, toward our game plan."
Unfortunately for the T-Birds, the Saints were able to build on that separation in the early minutes of the second half as they went on a 16-7 run over the first 8:33 to push the lead to 20 at 40-20.
Cloud got back within 14 points following a put-back by Alvin Thompson with 5:57 remaining, but were unable to inch any closer the rest of the way.
Thompson led all Cloud players with nine points, while redshirt sophomore Ramion Burt Jr. went for seven points and nine rebounds in his limited 26 minutes and freshman forward Bre Jackson chipped in six points and nine rebounds.
The T-Birds will look to shake off Saturday's loss when they host Pratt Community College at 8 p.m. on Tuesday in the final game before Thanksgiving break.