T-Birds rebound from first loss with big win
Coming off their first loss of the season, the Cloud County Thunderbirds took out their frustrations on an overmatched Bethany College junior varsity.
Cloud County, which lost 76-63 to Southeast (Neb.) Community College on Saturday, scored the first 19 points of the game and led by as many as 51 points on its way to a 95-51 victory over the Swedes Wednesday night in Bryant Gymnasium.
Four T-Birds scored in double figures and eight players scored eight or more points as they improved to 4-1 on the season.
“I was pleased with our team. I think a neat statistic for us was we scored 95 points and our leading scorer had 13,” Cloud County coach Chad Eshbaugh said.
Gerrae Williams came off the bench to score 13 points. He also had five assists and two steals.
Rodrick Robinson hit six of eight field goal attempts in scoring 12 points for Cloud County. He grabbed eight rebounds.
James Williams chipped in 11 points, and Marvin Smith finished with 10 points.
Alioune Mboup had nine points, eight rebounds and seven blocked shots in the game.
Isaiah Anaekwe also scored nine points.
Marcus Fillyaw finished with eight points and eight assists.
Cloud County held Bethany scoreless for better than nine minutes to start the game, and got out to a 19-0 lead with seven different players scoring.
“I thought we did a good job of sitting down and guarding. We took them late into the shot clock several times, which shows we are disciplined,” Eshbaugh said.
Bethany finally got on the board when Erick Giacomozzi hit from eight feet with 10:50 remaining in the first half.
A three-point shot by Williams and five straight points by James Williams put Cloud County up 27-2.
The Swedes would cut it to 28-7 before Gerrae Williams hit another three to start a 10-0 Cloud County spurt that made it 38-7.
The T-Birds continued to build on the lead, and had a 56-17 advantage when Fillyaw hit from 18 feet as time ran out in the half.
Bethany scored the first two points of the second half, but Cloud County scored the next seven, and led 63-19.
The T-Birds pushed the lead to 51 points, 77-26.
Bethany did manage to score 34 points in the second half.
Cloud County used 14 players in the game, and 13 of them scored.
“As our team develops it is important that we have good depth. I think we can be a deep team,” Eshbaugh said, “Any experience is good experience.”
Cloud County hit 36 of 66 field goal attempts for 55 percent and 17 of 24 free throws for 71 percent.
The T-Birds had a 52-33 rebounding advantage, but did commit 21 turnovers.
“I thought we got loose with the ball a little bit in the second half and turned it over, and that’s a concern,” Eshbaugh said.
Adam Heald scored 14 points for Bethany.
Ferrell Marshall tossed in 13 points for the Swedes.
Bethany shot 32 percent (18 of 56) from the floor and just 39 percent (9 of 23) from the line.
Cloud County will have an opportunity to avenge its loss to Southeast when it hosts the Storm at 7:00 Friday night.
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