T-Birds tumble to Grizzlies
The Cloud County Thunderbirds made their runs, but were unable to overtake the 18th-ranked Butler County Community College Grizzlies.
Cloud County fell behind 8-0 to start the game and was playing catchup the entire night.
Butler, winners of nine straight games, answered each run made by the T-Birds on its way to a 70-60 Jayhawk Conference win Thursday night in Bryant Gymnasium.
The Grizzlies completed the regular season sweep of Cloud County after winning the first matchup 72-56 back on January 14.
“It thought we battled harder than some other times here recently, and I thought we did a lot better job of meeting the physical challenge of Butler,” Cloud Count coach Brett Erkenbrack said, “We played in spurts, but competed better than the last time we played them. There were some positives, and there certainly were some reasons why we lost.”
Knocking down a pair of three-point shots, Butler jumped out to the quick 8-0 lead.
With freshman Chase Siedlik leading the way, the T-Birds battled back to within two points, 12-10.
Siedlik scored 16 of her game-high 18 points in the first half.
Butler, 22-2 overall and 13-2 in conference play, pushed the lead back to eight points, 23-15.
A three-point basket by freshman Emmiley Hendrixson left Cloud County trailing 23-18 heading into the second quarter.
An 8-3 spurt gave Butler a 31-21 advantage.
Sophomore Scout Frame scored six straight points to ignite a Cloud County run.
A three by Siedlik pulled the T-Birds within one point, 33-32, with 2:21 to play in the first half.
The Grizzles scored the final five points of the half, and led 38-32.
Cloud County, 14-10 overall and 7-8 in the Jayhawk East, fell behind 46-33 in the first three minutes of the third quarter.
The T-Birds cut the deficit to six points, 48-42, when Hendrixson hit a three.
Hendrixson finished with 15 points.
Scoring seven straight points, the Grizzlies went up 55-42.
“We dug ourselves a couple of big holes and got back to six there in the third quarter and missed five straight free throws,” Erkenbrack said, “They are demoralizing for us, and then they end up being the same as a turnover. We have a good offensive possession, have something good happen for us and can't convert on two free throw opportunities.”
Kamryn Collins made the second of two free throws to make it a 55-43 going into the final 10 minutes of play.
The Grizzles scored five points in a row, and led 60-43 2:32 into the fourth quarter.
Cloud County mounted one final charge.
With Hendrixson connecting on three three-point shots, the T-Birds outscored Butler 14-3 over a span of 2:04 to pull within six points, 63-57, with 4:26 to play.
The Grizzlies limited the T-Birds to three points the rest of the way in capturing the win.
Frame scored 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the T-Birds.
Cassidy Haufler finished with eight points and nine rebounds.
The T-Birds hit 19 of 62 field goal attempts for 31 percent. They were 9 of 33 from three-point range for 27 percent and 13 of 22 from the free throw line for 59 percent.
Criste'On Waters led Butler with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Jalise Smallwood scored 12 points for the Grizzlies and Camille Downs added 10 points.
Cloud County plays at Coffeyville on Saturday afternoon and at Cowley College on Monday.