COFFEYVILLE, Kansas — The importance of Saturday's 75-55 road win for the Cloud County Community College women's basketball team over Coffeyville Community College went beyond the box score.
Marred in a three-game losing slump, the T-Birds needed a complete performance like the one they delivered Saturday to start rebuilding their confidence with the Region VI playoffs less than three weeks away.
"I thought that was a great win for us. Coffeyville is better than its record would indicate, and this was a big game for us in a lot of different ways," said Cloud County head coach, Brett Erkenbrack. "We played well from beginning to end and I think that was key. We needed a win, but we certainly needed to do it playing well here down the stretch of the conference season."
Cloud County (15-10 overall, 8-8 KJCCC) received several standout performances in the victory over Coffeyville (5-20 overall, 4-12 KJCCC), which lost just 60-59 when the teams played in Concordia on Jan. 16.
The T-Birds' offense was firing on all cylinders from the opening time as they shot 56 percent (14-of-25) in the first half, building a 38-24 lead, then backed it up by shooting at a 52 percent clip (14-of-27) in the second half.
Leading the way was the T-Birds' forward tandem of sophomore Scout Frame and redshirt freshman Cassidy Haufler as Frame led all T-Birds with a game-high 22 points and nine rebounds, while Haufler followed with 19 points on an economical 7-of-8 shooting.
"We got really good production out of those two girls," Erkenbrack said of Frame and Haufler. "Cassidy was a lot more active and aggressive going to the basket than she had been recently, and Scout made a number of really nice shots and I thought she was pretty good, defensively, too."
Freshman guard Emmiley Hendrixson had an efficient day running point for Cloud County, as well, posting 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting while adding six rebounds and four assists.
However, it was sophomore forward Mikaela Meyers who served as the T-Birds' main facilitator on Saturday as she carved up the Red Ravens defense with a career-high 12 assists against Coffeyville's 1-2-2 pressure and half-court zone defenses.
"Mikaela was outstanding and played one of her best games here," Erkenbrack said. "She played some in the high post and some on the wing. She found herself open a lot of the time and made really good decisions with the basketball."
Freshman guard Lydia Ostenson also impressed Saturday in her first collegiate start, finishing with seven points, five rebounds and two assists in her 23 minutes.
"I thought Lydia played well in her first start. She gave us some energy and quick, athletic ability," Erkenbrack said. "She got some big offensive rebounds, kept the ball alive with her hustle, especially in the first half, that were big plays for us."
Defensively, the T-Birds helped force 35 turnovers and limited Coffeyville to a pedestrian 36 percent shooting from the field.
"We still had a little bit of difficulty of allowing dribble penetration, but we were more active to the ball," Erkenbrack said. "We played with more energy and enthusiasm and I appreciated seeing that from beginning to end."
Erkenbrack added he hopes the way in which the T-Birds won Saturday works as a springboard as the team approaches the final four-game stretch run to conclude the regular season, starting with a 5:30 p.m. matchup on the road Monday against Cowley College.
"For us to be able to control the game over the last three quarters; I was very happy about that. It's the best game we've played in a while," Erkenbrack said. "This is something we can really build on. We don't get to celebrate this win for long since we turn around and go to Cowley on Monday, but this should be a shot in the arm for us mentally and emotionally."