NORFOLK, Nebraska — The Cloud County Community College women's basketball team put together arguably its most complete game of the season on Saturday, cruising to an 85-44 road win over Northeast Community College.
After a close first half that saw Cloud County (6-1 overall) own a 38-30 lead over Northeast (4-3 overall) at the break, the T-Birds bulldozed the Hawks in the second half, outscoring them 47-14 during the final 20 minutes.
"It was a great road win for us and I'm real proud of what we were able to do on both sides of the ball from beginning to end," said Cloud County head coach, Brett Erkenbrack. "To hold them to 14 points in the second half is great. I think took a big step forward as a team (Saturday) and we needed to. It had been a long, tough week for us going back to last Saturday's loss to Western Nebraska. We hadn't played particularly well so we needed a game like this against a quality opponent."
The rout began in the third quarter as Cloud County started the quarter on a 16-6 run, capped by a 3-pointer by freshman guard Chase Siedlik that forced Northeast to take a timeout down 54-36.
Cloud County kept its foot on the pedal, bumping the lead to 63-37 at the end of the third quarter.
Siedlik scored a career-high 13 points in her first start of the season and De Virgilio flirted with a triple-double to lead the backcourt, finishing with nine points, eight rebounds eight assists and three steals.
Collins (10 points, three rebounds), and the forward combo of Pittman (six points, five rebounds) and Meyers (six points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals), all provided impactful minutes off the bench.
"I thought Chase had a really nice game beginning to end. Mikaela gave us really good production off the bench, as well as Destiny and Kamryn," Erkenbrack said. "Then I thought Chiara probably played her best all-around game. We were solid with that group and today, probably more than any game this season, we got a true lift off the bench."
Freshman guard Emmiley Hendrixson continued her strong start to the season with a team-high 14 points to go with five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Defensively, the T-Birds limited Northeast to 19 percent shooting (5-of-26) in the second half — compared to 72 percent (18-of-25) for the T-Birds — and forced the Hawks into 23 turnovers.
"We did a lot better job, especially in the second half, of cutting off driving lanes," Erkenbrack said. "We kept Northeast's offense out in front of us and didn't allow the dribble penetration that has plagued us all year long. We got that solved and we pretty much dominated the defensive boards. That's the way we'd like to be able to play."
Cloud County will now head back home to prepare for a Monday matchup against Bethany College JV. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. inside Arley Bryant Gymnasium.