LIBERAL, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College women's basketball team suffered its first conference loss of the season Saturday, falling 80-57 on the road against Seward County Community College.
Cloud County (8-3 overall, 1-1 KJCCC) dug itself an early hole, falling down 13-2 and 26-10 at one point in the first quarter. The T-Bird would close the quarter on a 9-0 burst to get back within seven at 26-19, but were unable to carry that momentum over and were left fighting uphill the rest of the way.
Seward County (7-2 overall, 1-1 KJCCC) led 41-28 at the half, and maintained the 13-point advantage at 59-46 after the third quarter before expanding its lead late in the fourth.
"It was not a good start and we inflicted a lot of damage on ourselves with missed layups and turnovers," said Cloud County head coach, Brett Erkenbrack. "We did a poor job of getting back in transition, so we were missing easy shots and giving up easy shots."
Missed shots were a common theme for the T-Birds on Saturday. Cloud County was coming off a 97-66 rout of Garden City on Wednesday where it shot 60 percent (33-of-55) from the field, but were limited to 27 percent (18-of-67) against the Saints with 16 turnovers.
"We missed an unbelievable amount of layups and 2-3 footers," Erkenbrack said. "We looked slow all night and tired. I think a lot of (the misses) were mental. Just mental concentration and preparation to play the game. We turned scoring opportunities into ourselves into scoring opportunities for Seward County and those are really demoralizing plays."
Collins also had a big game defensively for the T-Birds as she racked up a career-high six steals.
Cloud County will look to shake off Saturday's loss when it heads back out on the road for a 6 p.m. game Wednesday against Colby Community College.
"Colby has a new coach and it's a whole different deal out there than it has been the last 4-5 years. I think they will be much improved," Erkenbrack said. "We'llha have to have a good effort out there. The conference season comes at you quickly and there is not a lot of practice and preparation time. But we'll need to have a few good days of practice and put forth our best effort out there in Colby because every one of them is a big game."