Published in the Iola Register on Feb. 12, 2013.

T-Birds struggle to score in 68-39 loss

LIBERAL — The Cloud County Thunderbirds have struggled to put points on the board against the Seward County Saints.
After losing 66-53 to Seward County in a home game earlier in the season, the T-Birds tumbled 68-39 to the Saints on Monday night.
Cloud County made just 14 of 46 field goal attempts and turned the ball over 22 times in the loss.
“We struggled in all facets,” Cloud County coach Chad Eshbaugh said, “They are a very good defensive team. They are very long at the rim. They are probably the best defensive team in the League.”
The loss drops Cloud County to 13-12 overall and 4-7 in the Jayhawk Conference Western Division.
Seward County, 19-7 overall, improved to 10-2 in the West, just a half a game behind first-place Hutchinson (10-1).
Cloud County did not score the first 6:20 of the first game.
The T-Birds, with just seven field goals and 11 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, trailed 36-18 at halftime.
“I thought they dominated the game in all phases,” Eshbaugh said.
Cloud County went nearly five minutes in the second half without scoring, and Seward County led by as many as 32 points.
Gerrae Williams hit 3 of 11 field goal attempts, and three of four free throws to lead Cloud County with 11 points.
Marvin Smith scored eight points for the T-Birds.
Kaheem Ransom paced Seward County with 16 points, all in the first half.
Malcolm Hill-Bey chipped in 10 points for the Saints.
The game was the first of three in six days for Cloud County.
The T-Birds host Dodge City on Wednesday night and play at Garden City on Saturday night.
“This is a tough week for us. All weeks are tough, but this week is especially tough,” Eshbaugh said, “Everybody has tough weeks. You have got to persevere and fight through them.”