CONCORDIA, Kansas — Fans may not yet recognize all the new faces on the Cloud County Community College women's basketball roster. But following Thursday's 83-41 rout of Bethany College JV to open the 2017-18 season, the 40 minutes put together by the T-Birds was a welcomed, familiar sight to head coach Brett Erkenbrack.
"I think what I'm most pleased about (Thursday) was that we looked like a Cloud County team," Erkenbrack said. "I do appreciated that."
Sophomore guard Kelsi Mueller certainly helped in the transition as she poured in a game-high 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range. The native of Moscow, Kansas added five assist and two rebounds on the night, as well, in her 32 minutes.
"Kelsi Mueller was fantastic, especially to start the ballgame," Erkenbrack said. "Just exactly what you'd expect and want from a returning sophomore. She took a lot of the anxiety out of the ballgame."
Mueller's blistering start helped the T-Birds out to a 24-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Cloud County (1-0 overall) followed that up with a 23-11 effort in the second quarter that saw the T-Birds shoot 75 percent from the floor (9-of-12) to go into the half up 47-18.
Cloud County shot at a 51 percent clip and had 21 assists — led by six from freshman forward Mikaela Meyers — on 32 made field goals.
"We executed well for the most part. We got some easy baskets in the open floor and we did a pretty good job in transition at times, especially there late," Erkenbrack said. "The ball movement was good and outside of the shots we missed the first part of the third quarter (6-for-20 in the quarter), our field goal percentage was fantastic."
Nine different T-Birds scored on the evening. Freshman guard Carrie Davis joined Mueller in double-figures with 13 points, five steals, five rebounds and four assists, while sophomore forwards Kennedy Gay and Keisha Hamilton added nine points and eight points, respectively.
"Really happy we got everyone involved and everyone contributed, certainly," Erkenbrack said. "I was really pleased with the play of Kennedy Gay. I thought she gave us good minutes. Savanna Christensen (four points, three rebounds) came in there in the fourth quarter, gave us good minutes and production. And really up and down the lineup we got real positive things from everybody."
Cloud County will look to duplicate Thursday's performance when it continues its seven-game home stand to begin the season at 6 p.m. Monday against Sterling College JV.