CONCORDIA, Kansas — By the time the popcorn machine on the northeast end of Arley Bryant Gymnasium finish its first batch of kernels, the Cloud County Community College women's basketball team had already removed any potential drama during Wednesday night's 106-52 thrashing of the York College JV Lady Panthers.
The T-Birds, playing in their third and final non-conference game, exploded for 38 points in the first quarter alone — they scored 34 points the entire first half against Doane College JV on Nov. 3 — on 16-for-24 shooting (67 percent) en route to a 38-13 first-quarter lead.
The rout was on from there as the visiting Lady Panthers never inched closer than 20 points the rest of the evening. In the meantime, the Cloud County starting lineup was able to get healthy on the offensie end of the floor prior to Saturday's Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference opener on the road against Dodge City.
"I wanted us to get into a better rhythm, offensively, than we had our previous two games and I think we did that," said Cloud County head coach, Brett Erkenbrack. "Part of that was us shooting the ball better. But I also think we shot the ball better because we moved it well and took better shots."
All five T-Birds' starters finished in double-figures, led by sophomore Simone Walker, who scored a game-high 20 points on 10-of-14 shooting and finished one rebound shy of a double-double. Her frontcourt mate, sophomore Erin Alexander, did tally a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Freshman guard Rebecca LaBerge scored a season-high 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting in just 12 minutes off the bench, as well.
Cloud County punished York College JV for its turnovers, converting the 26 giveaways into 29 points and heavily aiding the T-Birds' 68-16 advantage in points in the paint.
The T-Birds' will look to keep their strong start to the 2016-17 season rolling at 1 p.m. on Saturday when they open up KJCCC action against a new look Dodge City Community College team.
"Dodge City has a new coach and a lot of new players from last season, so we don't know a whole lot about Dodge or what to expect," Erkenbrack said. "But we'll spend the next couple days trying to learn something about them. I think our players are looking forward to it."