Cloud County shot the ball well, rebounded it well and came up with 16 steals, but had a tough time shaking free from a pesky York College junior varsity team.
The T-Birds hit 34 of 63 field goal attempts for 54 percent and outrebounded York 42-31, and yet led the Panthers just 39-33 1:34 into the second half.
A 17-2 run over the next 6:47 allowed Cloud County to pull away to an 88-64 win over the Panthers Saturday afternoon in Bryant Gymnasium.
Reserves Marvin Smith, James Williams and Rodrick Robinson combined for 10 points during that decisive Cloud County spurt.
The T-Birds, now 9-4, got 42 points off the bench in the game.
York hung around in the first half by knocking down three-point shots.
The Panthers were 5 of 10 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes, and finished 11 of 27 for 41 percent.
“They shot the ball well from the three-point line, and I thought we allowed them to dictate the pace for about half of the game,” Cloud County coach Chad Eshbaugh said.
Abram Veasey hit a pair of threes in getting York out to an 8-6 lead in the game.
A jumper by Marcus Fillyaw, a basket by Connor McDaniel and a steal and a layup by Ed Dyson put Cloud County up 12-8.
The T-Birds would not trail again in the game.
York would score four points in 15 seconds to tie it at 12-12.
Williams hit a three to make it 15-12.
The Panthers continued to battle the T-Birds, and trailed just 26-24 when Dwayne Johnson made three with 4:38 to play in the first half.
Four straight points by Smith and a bucket by Robinson put Cloud County up 32-24.
Smith was four of six from the field and two of two from the line in scoring 10 points. He also had five rebounds.
Cloud County had an eight-point, 37-29, lead at halftime.
The two teams traded baskets in the first 56 seconds of the second half.
A 10-foot jumper by Johnson got York within six points, 39-33.
Two free throws by Dyson, consecutive baskets by Alioune Mboup and another free throw by Dyson pushed Cloud County’s lead to 46-33.
Derek Poole scored for York.
The Cloud County reserves then teamed up to score 10 straight points, and it was a 56-35 game.
York would go better than eight minutes without a field goal.
“Part of it was they missed some shots and turned it over, and that allowed us to get into transition,” Eshbaugh said.
Cloud County would lead by as many as 35 points, 86-51.
The Panthers made four threes in the final three minutes.
“Our energy level was better in the second half. I thought Derek Henry gave us a spark in the second half,” Eshbaugh said.
Henry came off the bench and knocked down a pair of three-point shots and handed out five assists.
Cloud County had 12 players score in the game led by Dyson with 17 points. He was six of eight from the floor and five of seven from the line and had four steals.
McDaniel hit five of eight field goal attempts in scoring 10 points. He also had four steals.
Fillyaw finished with nine points, four assists and three steals.
Cooksey scored 22 points for York.
Johnson added 11 points for the Panthers.
Cloud County will play its final game prior to the semester break when it hosts an unbeaten and seventh-ranked Iowa Western at 7:00 Tuesday night.
“We have a very good team coming in here Tuesday night,” Eshbaugh said, “Hopefully, we can go out and compete and represent Cloud County well against a ranked opponent.”