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Cloud County topples Lady Cougars, 62-55
Jayhawk West
spt kp BCC w Bruner
Ashton Bruner of the Lady Cougars passes the ball as Cloud Countys Pearlrae Thomas defends. - photo by Kevin Price Great Bend Tribune

When the Barton Community College Lady Cougars closed the gap on Cloud County, a few turnovers would allow the Lady Thunderbirds regain a lead on Wednesday night.
Cloud County held on for a 62-55 Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Western Division victory at Kirkman Activity Center on the LT & Sheila Fleske Court.
“There were stretches where we had lapses in intensity and lapses in effort on defense that gave them some easy baskets,” Barton head coach Carter Kruger said. “It was almost like when we got close, we were unsure of what to do to get over the hump. We would kind of kill ourselves.
“That’s kind of been a theme for us is that we hurt ourselves a lot. We’ve got to improve in those areas and improve quickly.”
Cloud County improves to 16-6 overall, 6-2 in the West, while Barton drops to 12-9, 2-6.
Barton’s Ashton Bruner sparked a 7-1 run, making 1 of 2 free throws. Erin Copeland, who scored a career-high 20 points, banked a shot in before Cloud’s Jordyn Alexander went to the line and made the back end of a pair of free throws.
Kailai Brantner made back-to-back layups, the second a reverse layup off the glass to close it to 40-39 with 9:02 remaining in the game.
After a 3-pointer from Cloud County’s Jayna Smith, Taschell Phillips made a pair of baskets for the Lady Cougars to knot the game at 43.
The Lady Thunderbirds dropped in 11 of the next 13 points, interrupted by a Bruner layup, to make it 54-45 with 3:42 left.
Barton went 10-for-19 (52.6 percent) from the free-throw line, while the Lady T-Birds finished 15 of 21 and made 6 of 8 in the final minute to salt the game.
“You can’t win games when you’re shooting 50 percent from the foul line,” Kruger said. “You can’t. We’ve got some kids who are working to improve, and we get in the game and the work goes out the window. We’ve got to get better.”
Neither team broke out in the first half.
Cloud County had a 7-0 run, but Barton countered with a 9-2 run consisting of a Bruner layup, followed by a pair of baskets from Phillips, who finished with 11 points.
Kamika Mason hit a pair of free throws on the other end for the Lady T-Birds before Blair Bloomfield made the back end of two free throws and Copeland knocked down a pullup jumper just inside the arc.
Cloud County had six offensive rebounds, helping them stay just ahead of Barton.
“They’re an offensive rebounding team,” Kruger said of the Lady Thunderbirds. “They’re a team that’s got big kids who are good against man defense, so we thought we needed to zone them. We did a decent job with a couple different zones, and then we’d have mental breakdowns.”
The Lady Cougars stayed close utilizing seven steals in the first period.
The Lady Thunderbirds went on a 9-2 run to close out the first half ahead 28-20.

Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference
Western Division



At Great Bend
Kirkman Activity Center
LT & Sheila Fleske Court

Cloud County Community College 62,
Barton 55
CLOUD COUNTY (16-6, 6-2)
    Aleesha Coulter 4-13 4-5 15, Jayna Smith 6-10 0-0 14, Pearlrae Thomas 4-10 2-2 10, Jordyn Alexander 2-6 4-6 8, Kamika Mason 1-2 4-6 6, Paige Champlin 3-7 0-0 6, Ajai Ford 1-7 1-2 3, Raneisha Duncan 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-56 15-21 62.
BARTON (12-9, 2-6)
    Erin Copeland 7-12 4-7 20, Taschell Phillips 5-15 1-2 11, Ashton Bruner 2-8 2-4 6, Blair Bloomfield 2-8 1-2 6, Taylor Mayes 2-3 2-2 6, Kailai Brantner 2-3 0-0 4, Ta’Kerra Williams 1-7 0-2 2, Jackie Bueno 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 21-59 10-19 55.
    Halftime — Cloud County 28, Barton 20. Three-point goals — Cloud County 5-17 (Coulter 3-10, Smith 2-4, Ford 0-2, Duncan 0-1); Barton 3-10 (Copeland 2-4, Bloomfield 1-4, Mayes 0-1, Phillips 0-1). Rebounds — Cloud County 42 (Thomas 12); Barton 36 (Williams 12). Assists — Cloud County 17 (Coulter 4, Smith 4); Barton 5 (Copeland 4). Steals — Barton 13 (Copeland 5); Cloud County 7 (Coulter 3). Turnovers — Cloud County 18, Barton 13. Total fouls — Barton 17, Cloud County 14. Fouled out — None.