CCCC opens conference play with win

DODGE CITY — Sophomores Jordyn Alexander and Jayna Smith  combined for 48 points and 26 rebounds to lead the Cloud County Thunderbirds to an 80-71 victory over Dodge City in the Jayhawk Conference Western Division opener Saturday night at United Wireless Arena.
Alexander, a 5-11 post player, scored 28 points and pulled down 15 rebounds. She was 11 of 17 from the field and six of seven from the free throw line.
Smith, a 5-10 guard, finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists as the T-Birds opened the conference season with a road win. She hit 6 of 17 field goal attempts and seven of nine free throws.
“We got tremendous production from Jordyn Alexander and Jayna Smith,” Cloud County coach Brett Ereknbrack said.
Cloud County, now 10-6 overall, plays its first two conference games on the road, and got off to a good start by turning back a Dodge City team that is 13-4.
“It was really a good win, no doubt. This is the best Dodge City team in a long time. They were 13-3 and hadn’t lost at home. A really good win,” Erkenback said.
Cloud County got out to an 18-10 lead in the game.
Three-point baskets by Kelli Tollar and Azaria Nave left the Conquistadors trailing by just  two points, 18-16.
Tollar went into the game averaging better than 23 points, but was 4 of 12 from the field and one of two from the free throw line in scoring 12 points.
“Jayna (Smith) guarded her most of the game. We held her to 12 points, which is really critical. We did a pretty good job on her,” Erkenbrack said.
Cloud County put together a 10-0 run late in the first half to open up a 42-37 lead.
Alexander scored 20 of her points in that first 20 minutes.
After Dodge City scored the first two points of the second half, the T-Birds reeled off 11 straight points.
Cloud County would extend the lead to 68-49 with about eight minutes remaining.
Getting to the free throw line, the Conquistadors would trim the deficit to seven points.
“They started putting their head down and driving,” Erkenbrack said.
Dodge City finished 21 of 30 from the line.
Cloud County was able to fend off the late challenge by the Conquistadors, and pick up the road win.
“I thought we played a real nice all-around game. I am not going to let the last couple of minutes distract from that,” Erkenbrack said, “We did a really nice job on the boards. We did a couple of things I thought we needed to do going in.”
Cloud County got 12 points from sophomore guard Raneisha Duncan.
Nave, who was 10 of 11 from the free throw line, led Dodge City with 20 points.
Cloud County plays at Pratt on Wednesday night before hosting Barton County in its first home conference game on Saturday night.

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