Cloud County holds off Saints for 65-55 win

Kamika Mason got the Cloud County Thunderbirds started, and Jordynn Alexander made sure they finished.
Mason, a 6-1 freshman, came off the bench to score 12 points in just over five minutes as Cloud County got out to an 18-10 lead on Seward County.
When the Saints had closed the gap to six points late in the game, Alexander, a 5-11 freshman, tossed in eight points in under two minutes to help secure a 65-55 Jayhawk Conference Western Division win Saturday night in Bryant Gymnasium.
Mason hit seven of nine field goal attempts and three of five free throws in scoring 17 points. She also had six rebounds and four blocked shots.
“Kamika Mason continues to improve, and definitely had her best half of the year,” Cloud County coach Brett Erkenbrack said.
Alexander was 6 of 15 from the floor and seven of eight from the line in leading the T-Birds with 19 points. She had eight rebounds.
“She is active, and she is reliable,” Erkenbrack said.
The seventh straight win by the T-Birds kept them unbeaten, 3-0, and tied for first place in the Jayhawk West. They are 13-4 overall.
It was the first Conference loss for the Saints, who are now 3-1 and 12-5 overall.
Cloud County trailed just once in the game at 6-5 before Mason provided a spark.
Mason scored 10 points during a 13-4 run that put the T-Birds on top to stay, 18-10.
Cloud County led the rest of the way, but were unable to put Seward County away until the final minutes.
“That has been our m.o. for most of the season. We have struggled putting the hammer down on people, and so much of that is decision making. We did a lot of nice things to kind of give ourselves an opportunity, a chance to get a comfortable win. We took some ill- advised shots, missed a couple of layups and had a couple of turnovers that led directly to baskets for them,” Erkenbrack said.
Seward County got as close as three points, 20-17.
Aleesha Coulter buried a three for Cloud County.
After Fabiana Monte hit a jumper for the Saints, the T-Birds got two free throws by Alexander, a basket by Pearlrae Thomas and a three by Ajai Ford to push the lead to 30-19.
The T-Birds went up by as many as 13 points, 36-23.
Seward County scored the final  six points of the half, and trailed 36-29.
A three by Coulter early in the second half started an 11-3 spurt that put Cloud County up 47-32.
Seward County answered with a 13-4 run of its own to get within six points, 51-45.
It was 53-47 when Alexander took over. She scored the next eight points for the T-Birds as they pushed the lead to 61-50.
The Saints would get as close as seven points, 62-55, on a follow by Shanise Brooks with 42 seconds to play.
Cloud County hit three of four free throws down the stretch.
“It was a good win,  and we had a lot of good production from a lot of people,” Erkenbrack said.
Cloud County got eight points and eight rebounds from Thomas.
Ford scored eight points and handed out five assists.
Coulter also scored eight points.
The T-Birds shot just 37 percent (23 of 63) from the field, and made 16 of 26 free throws for 62 percent.
Monte led three Seward County players in double figures with 15 points.
Madison McLain scored 14 and Brooks added 10.
Cloud County plays a Conference game at Dodge City on Wednesday night.

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