IOLA, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College men's basketball team has proved it can play with the best in the conference, evident with its win over No. 8 Hutchinson in November and last Saturday's victory over KJCCC power Cowley College on its resume.
Unfortunately, consistency has been the Achilles' heel for the T-Birds and was again Wednesday in its 80-64 road loss to Allen County Community College.
"We came out flat, let Allen County build an early lead, and just assumed that the same team that finished against Cowley would start against Allen. Even with all of our warnings, that did not happen," said Cloud County head coach, Jordan Altman. "It was 100 percent energy and simple mistakes that we had talked about scouting report wise. Allen County wanted it more than us. It popped us in the mouth early and we didn't have an answer."
Allen County (6-10 overall, 4-8 KJCCC) started fast, jumping out to a 15-5 lead through the first 5:18 of the game and methodically built its lead to 47-25 at the break.
The Red Devils outshot the T-Birds (5-10 overall, 3-9 KJCCC) with a 47 percent (15-of-32) to 28 percent (7-of-25) advantage through the first 20 minutes, and capitalized on a 22-8 edge in second-chance points off of 15 offensive rebounds.
"It was little things (offensively) that contributed to that 28 percent," Altman said. "We missed some layups and Allen County was leaving some of our shooters so far open that we were taking 3-pointers that were out of rhythm. That's something we've talked about since Day One. You either have rhythm and take the shot right away or you don't take it."
Cloud County, which outscored Allen County, 39-33 in the second half, would cut the deficit down to 15 with 13:27 remaining following a put-back by freshman forward, Adetomi Ayilara. Unfortunately, the early hole would be too much to overcome as the Red Devils were able to keep the T-Birds at an arms' length the rest of the way.
Obi Patrick added eight points off the bench.
The T-Birds will look to bounce back when they return home to host Independence Community College at 8 p.m. on Saturday.