WICHITA — Hampered by cold shooting and fouls, the Cloud County Thunderbirds were outscored 48-38 in the second half of a 92-82 loss to Sunrise Christian Academy Prep on Friday.
Cloud County hit just 11 of 40 field goal attempts for 28 percent over the final 20 minutes.
The T-Birds sent the Buffaloes to the free throw line 32 times, and they knocked down 27 of them.
“We really struggled to knock down good shots in the second half,” Cloud County coach Chad Eshbaugh said.
It was the second straight loss for the T-Birds, who are now 4-2.
Cloud County got out to an early lead, but the Buffaloes battled back to tie the game at 44-44 at halftime.
Sunrise Christian, which put up just 22 field goal attempts in the second half, used free throw shooting to build a lead in the second half.
“Defensively we have got to keep people off the line, and we have to rebound the ball,” Eshbaugh said.
Cloud County was unable to keep pace as the Buffaloes pulled away and won by 10 points.
“We really were never able to make a good run late. I thought we panicked a little and got sped up offensively,” Eshbaugh said.
Sophomore guard Shaun Stewart led Cloud County with 25 points and seven rebounds. He hit 8 of 23 field goal attempts and six of nine free throws.
Lorenzo Dillard, a freshman guard, was 7 of 22 from the floor and three of four from the line in scoring 19 points. He grabbed six rebounds.
Freshman forward Creighton Brinker hit all three of his field goal attempts and five of seven free throws to finish with 12 points for the T-Birds.
Assane Diop and Emeka Okoronkwo added eight points each.
Cloud County finished 26 of 75 from the field for 35 percent and 24 of 33 from the line for 73 percent.
Marvin Clark, a 6-7 forward , scored 32 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Sunrise Christian. He was 10 of 17 from the floor and 10 of 12 from the line.
Alex Gorski finished with 18 points for the Buffaloes. He made all 10 of his free throws.
Rauno Nurger, a 6-10 center who signed with the University of Mississippi, had nine points for Sunrise Christian.
The Buffaloes were 27 of 60 from the field for 45 percent and 30 of 37 from the line for 81 percent.
Cloud County hosts Southeast (Neb.) Community College at 7:00 Tuesday night.