Big Second Half Carries Cloud County To 10-Point Road Win

DJ Sims
DJ Sims scored a team-high 17 points and had three steals in a 79-69 win at Dodge City on Saturday.

DODGE CITY, Kan. - After being held to just 25 points in the first half, the Cloud County men's basketball team would use a big 54-point second half to come away with a 79-69 road win over Dodge City Community College at the Student Activities Center in Dodge City, Kansas on Saturday, December 7th.

Snapping a three-game skid, Cloud County is now 6-5 overall and 1-3 in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference after picking up their first conference win of the year while he Conquistadors fall to 7-4 overall and 0-4 in the KJCCC. 

"Today was a huge team effort as we really needed everyone on our bench to pull out this win today" said head coach Jordan Altman in a post-game interview. "In the first half, we weren't seeing shots fall for us that we normally hit, and we allowed to many second chance points." "We locked in on things that we do well in the second half and really got the ball moving which led to some open shots for us to take advantage of and that was big to turn things around." "Getting a win is always great but being able see some of our bench players really step up in a big way today with Ty Duin having a career-high and Akene Agee and David Acosta both making some plays for us really went a long way in helping us pick up a tough road win."

DJ Sims along with Duin would stake Cloud County to the first seven points of the game as Dodge City would be forced to use a timeout with 17:51 left in the first half while trailing 7-0. Following a Conquistador bucket, Sims would respond with a layup to push the lead back to seven before seeing DC3 go on a 9-0 run while holding the T-Birds scoreless until a pair of Acosta free throws to tie the game at 11-11 with 11:20 left in the first half. 

The two teams would then go back and forth hitting shots as Dodge City would find some long range to take a 19-15 lead with just under six minutes remaining. Three-point shooting would continue to be a boon for the Conquistadors as the lead for DC3 would grow to 10 at 27-17 with 2:33 remaining before an 8-0 run by Cloud County would get the score back to a single-possession at 27-25 with 13 seconds remaining. Dodge City would cap off the half with a triple from the top of the key to beat the halftime buzzer and grab a 30-25 lead at the half as 15 of the 30 first-half points would come from beyond the arc. 

Using a 10-3 run to begin the second-half, Cloud County would take their first lead since the opening minutes at 35-33 as the Conquistadors would be forced to call a timeout after seeing the T-Bird lead grow to 37-33. Cloud County would extend their lead to five at 41-35 and manage to maintain a two-possession lead for the next three minutes of play while pushing their lead to double-digits at 50-40 on a Sims triple with 12:47 remaining in the game. 

CCCC would take their largest lead of the game just a few minutes later as Chad Vincent-Simon would hit a triple to go up 59-46 with 9:22 to go as things would remain a double-digit lead for the T-Birds until there were just over five minutes remaining. Dodge City would cut the once 13-point lead down to four on a Miles Ray layup as CCCC would go over two minutes without a point. Michael Ozomah would break the drought for the T-Birds as the lead would never fall below six in the final four minutes of the game to allow Cloud County to earn the road victory. 

A 21-12 advantage in points off turnovers to go along with a slim 48-46 advantage in rebounds would help CCCC overcome a 24-10 deficit in second chance points as the Conquistadors would also outscore Cloud County 30-26 in bench points. For the game, Cloud County would shoot 45.3 percent (24-for-53) from the field and go to the free throw line 39 times, sinking 27 attempts (69.2 percent). 

Sims led the T-Birds with a team-best 17 points and had three steals while Duin would score 16 points, grab five rebounds, and add six assists. Dyelan Reed would join the duo in double-figures with 10 points while Ozomah had nine off the bench. Dodge City would be led by a game-high 21 points from starter Quindarius Thomas to be the only Conquistador in double-figures. 

What's Next?

Cloud County will travel to Hutchinson, Kansas to take on a number two nationally-ranked Blue Dragon squad that has won their first 10 games of the year heading into a Saturday night game at Butler Community College. The T-Birds upset Hutchinson last year in Concordia and have split the previous four games with HCC during head coach Jordan Altman's tenure.