CONCORDIA, Kansas — The 'bigs' won the battle for the Cloud County Community College women's basketball team Wednesday night in its conference showdown with Neosho County Community College inside Arley Bryant Gymnasium.
Cloud County (8-1 overall, 5-1 KJCCC) finished with 42 points in the paint, and received big efforts from a trio of forwards in Scout Frame, Kennedy Gay and Courtney Hammel, en route to a 74-55 win over the visiting Panthers (4-6 overall, 1-5 KJCCC).
Frame finished a rebound shy of a double-double with 19 points and nine rebounds in just 16 minutes due to foul trouble. Hammel filled in nicely off the bench with 12 points and three rebounds, while Gay filled the stat sheet with seven points, 10 rebounds, four steals and a pair of blocks.
"They (Panthers) were giving us a lot of stuff inside. I thought if we could get the ball in the post we could have some success with the way they were trying to guard us," said Cloud County head coach, Brett Erkenbrack. "We did have good production from Scout, even though she was in foul trouble all night. Kennedy did a good job on the boards and Courtney Hammel came in and gave us good production."
The trio helped put a band-aid on what was an usual night for the T-Birds as they struggled to sustain an offensive rhythm much of the evening due to 24 turnovers. Cloud County was also out-rebounded for the first time this season, 46-42, and were a pedestrian 18-of-30 at the free-throw line.
"We just weren't crisp," Erkenbrack said. "I think it was uncharacteristic of us to turn it over 24 times the way that we did. And I believe this is the first game all year that we've been out-rebounded, and we gave up 21 offensive rebounds, so that was disappointing because we've done such a tremendous job of rebounding all season long."
The T-Birds struggled intermediately against full-court pressure applied by the Panthers, but overcame an early 6-0 deficit to take a 16-15 lead after the first quarter.
Cloud County ballooned that advantage to 37-23 at the half with a big second quarter from freshmen Camille Awa Baud and Mikaela Meyers. Baud scored all seven of her points, and Meyers tallied six of her seven points on the evening, during the quarter.
"Once we started to attack the press and attack the basket in the half court, then we kind of got the pace of the game going the way that we wanted," Erkenbrack said.
Frame and sophomore guard Kelsi Mueller helped close the game out in the second half as Mueller scored nine of her 14 points over the final 20 minutes. Frame poured in 14 of her 19 points during that span, including 10 fourth-quarter points to seal the 74-55 win.
Cloud County will be back on the road this Saturday as it heads to Colby Community College. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.