Published in the Iola Register on Nov. 5, 2012.

Lady T-Birds pick up two wins over weekend

GREAT BEND — Overcoming some early adversity, the Cloud County Community College women’s basketball team defeated 20th-ranked Midland College 54-45 in the second round of the Highland Hotel & Pizza Hut Classic hosted by Barton County.
Cloud County had starting point guard Ajai Ford suffer a sprained ankle. Jayna Smith picked up two quick fouls, and Raneisha Duncan left the game with an injury.
“We overcame some adversity early in the game,” Cloud County coach Brett Erkenbrack said.
Cloud County, with a 73-61 victory over Coffeyville on Friday, opened its season with two wins.
The Thunderbirds got down 17-6 to start the game against Midland.
“We weren’t getting back defensively. We made some silly turnovers and got into a hole,” Erkenbrack said.
Cloud County was able to battle back to within three points, 25-22, late in the first half.
Duncan, who was able to return to the game, hit a three-point shot as time expired it the half to pull the T-Birds even with Midland at 25-25.
“That was probably a pretty big play in the game. For the things that happened to us in the first half, to be tied, it felt pretty good,” Erkenbrack said.
Cloud County grabbed the lead early in the second half and steadily built on it.
The T-Birds got up by as many as 12 points, and went on to defeat Midland in a low scoring game.
“I think there was a little bit of fatigue on the part of both teams,” Erkenbrack said.
It was a second game in two days for Cloud County and a third game in three days for Midland.
Jordyn Alexander, a 5-11 freshman, led three Cloud County players in double figures with 11 points.  She also had six rebounds.
Pearlrae Thomas, a 5-11 sophomore, scored 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
“For the second day in a row we got good production out of Pearlrae Thomas and Jordyn Alexander,” Erkenbrack said.
Sophomore Aleesha Coulter also scored 10 points.
Duncan, a freshman, chipped in eight points.
“Overall, our freshmen played pretty well,” Erkenbrack said.
Achiri Ade paced Midland with 13 points.
“I wish we would have played better in the first half of both of these ball games. I think it was beneficial to have to play the full 40 minutes. We had to make some plays down the stretch in both games,” Erkenbrack said.
Barton County defeated Coffeyville 78-67 in the other game played Saturday.