Thunderbirds fend off feisty Warriors, 115-96
Six players scored in double figures to help the Cloud County Community College Thunderbirds fend off a feisty Sterling College junior varsity 115-96 Tuesday night in Bryant Gymnasium.
Sophomore guard DJ Sims led the scoring barrage for the T-Birds with 25 points. He hit 9 of 16 field goal attempts and four of five free throws.
Jay Lewis tossed in 19 points. He also had seven rebounds and eight assists.
Chad Vincent-Simon finished with 14 points.
Denzel Ndongosi, who was six of eight from the field, scored 12 points.
Iyen Enaruna and Sami Sanad added 10 points each.
Despite the scoring barrage, the T-Birds, now 2-0, had a tough time shaking the fearless Sterling squad.
Cloud County had poured in 27 points in the first 9:30 of the game, but trailed the Warriors, 31-27.
Consecutive baskets by Ndongosi pulled Cloud County even at 31-31.
Lucas Briar buried Sterling's seventh three-point basket of the game to make it 34-31.
“We need to lock down with our discipline as a lot of our mistakes tonight were simple discipline errors,” Cloud County coach Jordan Altman said, “If we want to be a great team you needed to be focused in all aspects of the game and we weren't very disciplined tonight. A lot of the runs that Sterling was able to make tonight was due to us losing focus of what we need to do, so hopefully moving forward we can cut out the mistakes that we made without them forcing us into them.”
Cloud County was trailing 36-33 when Vincent-Simon scored consecutive baskets to make it 37-36.
Briar, who led Sterling with 28 points, went one of two from the free throw line to tie the game at 37-37 with 7:46 to play in the first half.
The T-Birds then started to take control.
Seven different players scored as Cloud County put together a 22-9 run over the final 7:35 of the half to go up 59-45.
The two teams would spend the first three minutes of the second half exchanging baskets and technical fouls.
Cloud County led by as many as 16 points during that stretch.
A baseline jumper by Briar made it a 67-53 game.
Dyelan Reed, a freshman from Clyde, hit a three-point shot to start a quick 7-0 spurt to extended the T-Birds' lead to 74-53.
Cloud County was on top 80-59 when Sterling made one more push to get back into the game.
The Warriors scored nine straight points, and trailed just 80-68 when Briar went one of two from the line with 11:50 to play.
Back to back layups by Akene Agee gave Cloud County an 84-68 cushion.
Sean Nordberg completed a three-point play, and Sterling was down 84-71.
The Warriors were unable to trim the deficit to single digits over the final 10 minutes of the game.
Cloud County shot 48 percent (45 of 93) from the field and 65 percent (17 of 26) from the free throw line.
The T-Birds hit 8 of 25 from three-point range for 32 percent and had a 53-38 rebounding advantage in the game.
Nordberg scored 21 points for Sterling, and Aaron Rodriguez added 13 points.
The Warriors were 30 of 69 from the floor for 44 percent and 27 of 36 from the line for 75 percent. They made 9 of 17 threes for 53 percent.
Cloud County will host Central (Neb.) Community College at 6 p.m. Monday.