CONCORDIA, Kansas — The Cloud County Community College men's basketball took another positive step Friday evening, earning its second consecutive KJCCC win with a 90-81 victory over Dodge City Community College inside Arley Bryant Gymnasium.
Friday's win marked the first time Cloud County (8-5 overall, 2-2 KJCCCC) had won back-to-back games since its 4-0 start to the season, and it came against a Conquistadors team (6-6 overall, 1-3 KJCCC) the T-Birds had been eyeing since falling 71-70 to Dodge City at home last November.
"We built some momentum. We hadn't won two in a row since the start of the year and we were just looking for some stability and get two in a row," said Cloud County head coach Jordan Altman. "I know our returners had kind of circled Dodge City on the calendar and were disappointed about the one we let go at home last year. It was good for them to come out and swing away right from the beginning."
Swing away they did as the T-Birds took advantage of a Conquistadors squad that came into the evening allowing the most opponent points per game in the KJCCC at 91.8.
Cloud County shot 43 percent (28-of-65) for the game and an even 50 percent (14-of-28) in the second half, led by the guard tandem of redshirt sophomore Alvin Thompson and redshirt freshman Nysir Scott.
Thompson led all scores with 24 points on 7-of-13 shooting and made 3-of-5 3-pointers, giving him 24 or more points in three straight games and 14 made 3-pointers on the season after only attempting 17 a year ago.
"Alvin has, for the lack of a better term, figured it out," Altman said. "He's taken himself from a secondary player to the man, our primary option."
Scout followed with a career-high 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists in his 34 minutes, and freshman forward Edoardo Del Cadia had a bounce-back performance with 13 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.
"Nysir has been heading in the right direction for some time, we just need to get him the minutes and the numbers," Altman said. "Edoardo had struggled lately, but you have that (with an international freshman). He's played in Italy, England and all over the place. We certainly have a unique style of calling the game here in Kansas. He's been learning how to stay out of foul trouble and get into a rhythm in the game."
The T-Birds never held a lead greater than 12 points at the 18:36 mark of the second half, but thanks to their efficiency they were able to keep Dodge City at an arm's length down the stretch, with the Conquistadors never inching closer than five points over the final 20 minutes.
Cloud County will now turn its attention toward a showdown with No. 7 ranked Hutchinson Community College at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Concordia.
The last time the T-Birds saw the Blue Dragons on their home floor Cloud County upset the then No. 1 ranked team in the country with an 82-79 overtime thriller.
Wednesday's clash marks another special opportunity Altman said his team will be ready for.
"This is why we play the game. We recruit kids and tell them that this is one of the few leagues in the country where you'll get the chance to play against multiple nationally top-25 teams," Altman said. "We tell kids right away that they should want they. You should want to play the best teams. We're going into Christmas break and just need to swing away."