DODGE CITY, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College women's basketball team began the second trip through the KJCCC schedule the same way it started the conference season as it posted a 20-point victory, 75-55, over Dodge City Community College.
After owning a slim 32-29 lead at the half, the T-Birds (12-5 overall, 9-5 KJCCC) ratcheted up the intensity and the pace in the third quarter. Cloud County would outscore the Conquistadors (5-12 overall, 2-12 KJCCC) by 17 in the quarter, 29-12.
"We got our offense and defense matched up in that third quarter," said Cloud County head coach, Brett Erkenbrack. "We got settled defensively and that allowed us to be a little more controlled offensively. I really enjoyed and appreciated the way we played the second half."
Cloud County shot 41 percent from the floor in the second half (14-of-34) and received a balanced attack from its guards and forwards.
Freshman forward Scout Frame led all T-Birds with her seventh double-double of the season, finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Fellow freshman Courtney Hammel again impressed as she went for 14 points, five rebounds and four steals in her 33 minutes off the bench.
On the perimeter, freshman guard Camille Awa Baud produced 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting despite being limited to 19 minutes due to foul trouble.
In Baud's absence, freshman guard Courtney Keech played her best game as a T-Bird. The fall semester transfer scored eight points, grabbed three rebounds and dished out three assists in her 26 minutes.
"She's playing with more confidence each and every night she gets out there and we need her," said Erkenbrack, referring to Keech. "She's valuable depth for us at the guard position and (Wednesday) she looked like she belonged out there a lot more. She wasn't second-guessing herself as much as she was in the first few ballgames that she had played."
Cloud County would lead by as many as 22 points at the 9:51 mark of the fourth quarter on a mid-range jumper from sophomore guard Kelsi Mueller, but had to withstand one final gasp by the Conquistadors.
Dodge City cut the deficit down to 15 with 5:23 remaining, but the T-Birds answered with an 8-2 blitz to halt the momentum.
The T-Birds will look to build off of Wednesday's second-half performance when they continue their four-game road trip against No. 17 ranked Hutchinson at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. Cloud County defeated the Blue Dragons, 70-63, back on November 15.
"All these ball games are big. (Saturday's) game was big because it was our first opportunity to sweep the season series from somebody, and an opportunity to get another win on the road," Erkenbrack said. "We needed to play well and we did. I thought the second half was really good basketball. Maybe it'll gives us a little confidence starting the second half of the conference season."