T-Birds win fourth straight with 73-66 road victory over Northwest Kansas Technical College

Cloud County sophomore Brayden Day scored a team-high 15 points in Saturday's 73-66 win over Northwest Kansas Technical College
Cloud County sophomore Brayden Day scored a team-high 15 points in Saturday's 73-66 win over Northwest Kansas Technical College

GOODLAND, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College men's basketball team continued its winning ways on Saturday, shaking off early rust to earn a 73-66 road win over Northwest Kansas Technical College.

Saturday's win marked the fourth straight for the T-Birds and first of 2019 following the three-week Christmas break.

"We warned the guys that it wasn't going to be like riding a bike. We weren't going to just step on the floor (Saturday) and instantly play like we did against Hutchinson (on Dec. 12)," said Cloud County head coach, Jordan Altman. "We really focused on trying to keep things as simple as possible and stick with the things we've been successful with. Once we settled down a bit, I thought the guys really did that."

Extended time off showed for both teams in the first half as the two offenses shot below 30 perfect and went into the halftime locker rooms with Northwest Kansas Technical College (9-6 overall, 1-4 KJCCC) holding a slim 26-20 lead over the T-Birds (10-5 overall, 4-2 KJCCC).

The seal was lifted in the second half as Cloud County produced 53 second-half points and finished the game at a respectable 43 percent (25-of-58) from the floor.

Cloud County have five players finish in double-figures, led by sophomore guard Brayden Day as he produced 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting.

Redshirt sophomore guard Alvin Thompson followed with 11 points, while the trio of sophomore Adetomi Ayilara, redshirt freshman Nysir Scott and sophomore Jerome Kidd Jr. all added 10 points apiece.

Scott would also add six assists and seven rebounds. It marked the third time the 5'10 point guard has recorded seven rebounds in a game this season.

"We talked a lot at halftime about the speed of play. Northwest Tech is not a fast-break team at all and it wants to slow the tempo down, walk the ball up the court," Altman said. "We stressed speeding things up in the second half and that was the difference. Jerome and Brayden really gave us a secondary-scoring lift that helped us build a cushion and Nysir was the one who helped us pick the speed up."

Freshman forward Edoardo Del Cadia, the reigning KJCCC Division I Men's Player of the Week, rounded out Cloud County's top scorers with nine points.

The T-Birds would push its lead to as many as 10 points at 65-55 with 1:50 left, and survived one final gasp from the Mavericks in the closing seconds, to hold on for the 73-66 final.

Cloud County will now turn its attention toward a talented Barton Community College team that will come to Concordia at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. The Cougars received votes in the latest NJCAA national poll and are currently 11-2 overall, 2-2 KJCCC on the season.