CONCORDIA, Kansas — There was no hiding Brett Erkenbrack's smile following the Cloud County Community College women's basketball team's convincing 78-55 victory Monday over Independence Community College to conclude the regular season.
His group of T-Birds (21-8 overall, 18-8 KJCCC), winners of seven of their past eight games —five of which via blowouts of 20 points or more— are peaking at the right time and figure to be dangerous in the Region VI Tournament, which gets underway at 6 p.m. on Thursday at home against Pratt Community College.
"It feels really good to end the regular season on a high note. The last two weeks we've played our best basketball of the year and that's the way it should be," Erkenbrack said. "I don't know if we're as good as we can get, but we're as good as we've been all year."
Leading the charge Monday was sophomore guard Kaley Broeckelman, who scored a career-high 28 points on a blistering 11-of-17 shooting in her final regular season game inside Arley Bryant Gymnasium. The sharpshooter out of Beloit also connect on 6-of-12 3-point attempts, putting her just seven treys behind Amy Chapman's school record for the most made 3-pointers in a career.
"Kaley was fantastic (Monday). Not just shooting the ball, but I thought she was really active defensively for us, as well," Erkenbrack said. "She's playing with a lot of confidence now and she feels better after being sick for a couple of weeks."
Owens tallied 10 points, five assists and four blocks in her 26 minutes. Alexander went for 13 points seven rebounds and five blocks, and Kizart flirted with a triple-double as she finished with 13 points, nine assists and tied her career high with seven steals.
Cloud jumped out to a 22-11 lead after the first quarter and led by nine at the half. The T-Birds then put the game away in the second half, shooting at a 17-for-29 (59 percent) clip.
Cloud County will get the next two days off before opening the Region VI Tournament on its home floor at 6 p.m. Thursday against Pratt, which has lost both its meetings against the T-Birds this season.
"I think this is our time. Here at Cloud County, our women's basketball program has enjoyed the postseason," Erkenbrack said. "We've had some really good success in the postseason so that's our expectations. We'll see what Thursday night brings."