CHANUTE, Kansas — It was only a matter of time before the Cloud County Community College women's basketball team loaded with shooters found its touch from behind the arc. The metaphorical seal on the basket broke Wednesday night and in a big way as the T-Birds splashed down a school record 15 3-pointers in their 85-52 road victory over Neosho County Community College.
"I thought we were really good in the half court, offensively, recognizing shooters and getting the ball in the right people's hands," said Cloud County head coach, Brett Erkenbrack. "I liked our aggressiveness against the zone in the second half. We got great dribble penetration and then shot the ball tremendously well."
Cloud County (7-2 overall, 4-2 KJCCC) shot 15-of-33 (45.5 percent) from deep Wednesday night, topping the previous record of 14 made 3-pointers versus Northeastern Junior College in 2003-04.
The T-Birds, after shooting under 33 percent from deep through their first six games, has posted shooting percentages of 38.9 percent, 41.2 percent and 45.4 percent from the 3-point line the last three games.
Sophomore shooting guard Kaley Broeckelman led the way with a game-high 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting, including 6-for-13 from 3-point distance.
Fellow sophomore Chelcie Kizart followed with 15 points, six assists and a 3-for-6 mark from behind the arc, while freshman Kelsi Mueller added 12 points — all coming in the first half — on 4-of-6 shooting behind the 3-point line.
The 12 points were a career high for Mueller, who usually operates more as a facilitator at the top of the T-Birds' zone offense. Her hot shooting helped propel Cloud County to a 36-26 lead at the half.
"She does a good job distributing the ball against a zone and then when she had opportunities to hit shots (Wednesday), she did," said Erkenbrack, referring to Mueller.
Sophomore forward Simone Walker was the fourth T-Bird in double-figures with 11 points, doing her damage in the painted area.
Cloud County's defensive effort aided in its offense's efficiency as it forced 32 turnovers by the Panthers, converting those into 35 points.
"It was a really good all-around effort. That was a nice win for us in a lot of ways," Erkenbrack said "Being more aggressive offensively has been key for us. When we haven't played well and shot the ball well, it's been because we were inefficient offensively. We kind of stood around and waited for someone to make a shot rather than creating scoring opportunities for others. That's where we were so much better (Wednesday)."
The T-Birds, who have now won three straight games, will look to keep the momentum rolling when they return home on Saturday to host Colby Community College. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.