CONCORDIA, Kansas — Despite a career-high 22 points from freshman Chase Siedlik, the Cloud County Community College women's basketball team suffered a 93-75 loss Saturday to Cowley College inside Arley Bryant Gymnasium.
"Cowley is a good ballclub, high-scoring bunch and we knew what they were going to do. We talked about it and went over it in practice, but Cowley out-performed us and out-hustled us," Erkenbrack said. "That's about four games in a row that the opposition has outworked us, and that's really disappointing and somewhat alarming. Chase Siedlik had a very nice ballgame, and Maeson Dewey came out the bench and played great. Other than that, I don't know that we had a lot of great things happen."
Cloud County (13-7 overall, 6-5 KJCCC) trailed 51-38 at the half despite shooting 58 percent (14-of-24) from the field, with turnovers being the main culprit as the T-Birds committed 23 on the night, 14 of which came in the first half against Cowley's full-court pressure.
Cowley College (16-4 overall, 7-3 KJCCC), which held an 11-2 advantage in second-chance points in the first half, would take advantage of its 20 extra shot attempts in the first half (21-of-44, 48 percent) to build its 13-point lead.
"So many of those turnovers are just mental mistakes. Travels out in the middle of the floor or having a pass go through our hands," Erkenbrack said. "We're not a good enough defensive team to overcome those mistakes we make. It makes it very difficult, especially against a team that shoots as well as Cowley."
Siedlik, one of three Cloud County players in double-figures Saturday, helped the T-Birds remain in contact with the visiting Tigers as she went 7-of-10 from the 3-point line on the night en route to posting her career-high 22 points. Her previous high of 21 points came on Nov. 19 against Bethany College JV.
The freshman out of Independence, Missouri also added four assists and two steals while committing just one turnover.
"She's calmed down and I think she understands her role a little better. I've talked to her a lot about letting the game come to her and be more of a catch-and-shoot player rather than looking to create from the perimeter," Erkenbrack said. "I think that has taken a little bit of pressure off of her and made her a better player."
Cloud County would battle back to within 13 points with 7:17 remaining on a three-point play cashed in by sophomore forward Scout Frame, who along with redshirt freshman Kamryn Collins joined Siedlik in double-figures with 11 points and 10 points, respectively.
Unfortunately for the T-Birds, the Tigers answered back with a 14-0 run to push their lead to 88-61, effectively ending Cloud County's comeback attempt.
"That 14-0 run back was a lot of turnovers by us and a couple of missed layups," Erkenbrack said. "To get ourselves back to a 13-point game, with a lot time left, it's still a ballgame at that point. What we did to get ourselves in the game was we just got 3-4 stops in a row, Chase hit a couple of baskets, and Scout had that 3-point play. We were right there, but then we had some really critical turnovers, Cowley scores off them and that was the ballgame."
While the loss was disappointing, Erkenbrack said he was pleased to see the emergence of freshman Maeson Dewey on Saturday as the freshman scored seven points in her seven minutes while adding two rebounds and two assists.
"I was very encouraged by Maeson Dewey and told her after the game that I was so happy with the way that she played and happy she was rewarded for the way she's been practicing," Erkenbrack said. "Maeson has probably been our most solid, consistent practice player certainly since Christmas and maybe the whole season. She played the way she has been practicing and I'm so happy she got rewarded for that. She didn't go out there and try to do some crazy stuff. She played hard and hit the shots that were available to her."
Redshirt freshman Cassidy Haufler added five points and a team-high nine rebounds, while sophomore forward Destiny Pittman came off the bench to provide four points and four rebounds on Saturday, as well.
The T-Birds will now turn their attention toward a Wednesday road matchup against Allen County Community College (3-16 overall, 1-8 KJCCCC). Tip-off time is set for 6 p.m.
"Allen County is another one of those teams, kind of like Coffeyville, that is probably a little bit underachieving but has better talent than their record would indicate," Erkenbrack said. "They have some good weapons. They came in here last year with what I thought was pretty good weapons and they have a lot of those people back. We'll have to play well and we need to get some things corrected on our end, for sure."