LIBERAL, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College men's basketball team had a lot go right on Saturday in its KJCCC road clash against Seward County Community College.
The T-Birds shot 50 percent from 3-point distance and received a career-high 27 points from redshirt sophomore Alvin Thompson, but fell just shy of getting the road win, falling 81-74 to the Saints.
"It was a step in the right direction," said Cloud County head coach Jordan Altman. "I felt like Wednesday night (76-63 loss to Garden City) wasn't our best effort. A lot of things went wrong, but I also didn't think we played very hard. (Saturday) we played very hard. We still made too many mistakes, but we did really compete."
Cloud County (6-5 overall, 0-2 KJCCC) stayed toe-for-toe with the Saints (6-2 overall, 1-1 KJCCC), trailing 41-38 at the half and eventually grinding out a late 63-61 lead with 8 minutes remaining.
Offensively, Cloud County shot 27-of-65 (42 percent) from the field Saturday and 9-of-18 (50 percent) from deep while compiling 17 offensive rebounds.
Unfortunately, it was on-ball defense that hurt the T-Birds Saturday and allowed Seward County to retake and hold the lead over the final seven minutes and change.
"Seward County beat us a lot one-on-one," Altman said. "We couldn't get stops down the stretch. We got our offense going and followed the game plan, but we couldn't get the stops we needed."
Leading the charge Saturday was Thompson, who poured in his 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting including a 4-of-5 mark from 3-point range. He'd also add a pair of steals and three rebounds on the evening.
"Alvin's biggest focus over the summer was improving his perimeter shooting," Altman said. "It was great for him to step up and hit those. I think that confidence from the 3-point line made him more aggressive going to the rim too. He had everything going and it might have been his best all around game this year."
Joining Thompson in double-figures was sophomore guard Jerome Kidd Jr. with 11 points, while freshman forward Edoardo Del Cadia, redshirt freshman Nysir Scott and sophomore Jacob Shields all added eight points.
Del Cadia was active in his 14 minutes as he also tallied eight rebounds and the second half of the "Bash Brother" combo, freshman Iyen Enaruna, powered through a tough night shooting the ball to finish with five points and a team-high 12 rebounds.
Cloud County will now turn its attention toward another road matchup at 8 p.m. Wednesday against Colby Community College.