Hawks use surge in second half to down T-Birds
Despite the mounting turnovers and fouls, the Cloud County Community College women's basketball team trailed Northeast (Neb.) Community College just 51-48 when Jacy Dalinghaus hit a jumper with 9:12 to play in the game.
Taking advantage of those turnovers and fouls, Northeast then put together a 21-10 run to open up a 72-58 lead on Cloud County.
The Thunderbirds would get no closer than eight points over the final three minutes in suffering a 77-68 home loss to the Hawks Tuesday night in Bryant Gymnasium.
“We got completely out of position, lost defensively,” Cloud County coach Brett Erkenbrack said of the critical stretch in the fourth quarter, “Transition defense is something we have struggled with from day one, and that has to get better. We weren't even in the area a couple of times there. A couple of turnovers that led directly to layups for them and that was kind of it.”
Cloud County is now 1-1 after the loss, and will play a pair of games in the Northeast Community College Classic this weekend.
The T-Birds take on Iowa Central Community College on Friday and Iowa Lakes Community College on Saturday.
Lydia Ostenson and LaKya Leslie combined for nine points as Cloud County jumped out to an 11-2 lead on the Hawks in the first three minutes of the game.
Northeast answered with an 8-2 spurt to close the gap to 13-10, but the T-Birds would not surrender the lead in the first half.
Cloud County limited the Hawks to just three points over the final 4:19 of the first quarter, and led 20-13.
Northeast chipped away at that deficit, and made it a 31-29 game on a three-point basket by Julia Carbonnell with 2:46 to play in the second period.
The two teams traded baskets, and Kelsie Kelly knocked down a baseline jumper to put Cloud County up 35-31.
Macey Kulhanek scored for the Hawks to make it 35-33 at halftime.
A three-point basket by Beth Matas 20 seconds into the second half gave Northeast its first lead, 36-35.
Cloud County used a 9-4 run to go back on top, 44-40.
Outscoring the T-Birds 9-2 over the final 3:38 of the third quarter, the Hawks took a 49-46 lead.
“We had a number of empty possessions in a row, and then it seemed like we got a little rattled,” Erkenbrack said.
Cloud County was down just 51-48 early in the fourth quarter when the turnovers and fouls aided the crucial run for the Hawks.
Cloud County turned the ball over 24 times.
“Twenty-four turnovers is too many any time,” Erkenbrack said.
There were 50 fouls called and 55 free throws shot in the game.
Cloud County had three players, Ostensen, Kelly and Alyssa Castilleja foul out of the game.
“It was a closely officiated game. I think it was consistent throughout the game. We have got to do a better job defending without fouling and understanding situations better,” Erkenbrack said.
Ostensen scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds before fouling outscoring.
Dalinghaus added 15 points, six rebounds and six assists for the T-Birds.
Leslie scored 13 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
The T-Birds shot just 38 percent (22 of 60) from the field. They made 4 of 18 three-point attempts for 22 percent and 18 of 29 free throws for 62 percent.
Kyle Moore, who went 10 of 13 from the free throw line, paced Northeast with 22 points.
Matas tossed in 21 points for the Hawks.
Kulhanek scored 11 points and Emina Hadzihusejnovic added 10.