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Lady Cougars struggle to keep up with Cloud County
KJCCC West
spt kp BCC w Bruner
Barton Community Colleges Ashton Bruner, center, battles for a rebound against a pair of Cloud County defenders on Saturday night at Kirkman Activity Center. - photo by Kevin Price Great Bend Tribune

Even though the Cloud County Community College women’s basketball team kept a strong hold on the game on Saturday night at Kirkman Activity Center, Barton was never very far behind.
The Lady Cougars couldn’t quite cut into the Lady Thunderbirds’ lead enough down the stretch, as Cloud County won 78-72
“We didn’t come out ready to play,” Barton head coach Carter Kruger said. “As a coach, that’s hard to sit with because it is my job to get us ready to play. It’s unfortunate. It was a great opportunity and we squandered it.”
Barton drops to 17-8 overall, 5-4 in Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference play. Cloud County improved to 14-9, 5-3.
Cloud County controlled most of the game.
While the Lady T-Birds held an 11-point lead with 8:56 remaining in the first half, Barton was able to close the gap.
With a sizeable run, the Lady Cougars led 31-30 with 2:18 left before intermission.
However, Cloud County got things back under control, finishing the half with six unanswered points for a 36-31 lead.
“We make a couple plays, and then we’d give up a layup,” Kruger said. “We’d make a couple plays, and they’d hit a 3. They came in here wanting to win it more than we wanted to win it. It really was just an energy failure and an effort failure in terms of being ready to go.”
Things didn’t get brighter for Barton in the second half as the Lady Thunderbirds opened things up further, 40-31 in the opening minute.
Cloud County was able to hold a 13-point lead throughout most of the second half.
With five minutes remaining, Barton started to find some success in transition with Ashton Bruner scoring on coast-to-coast drives.
Bruner was 5-for-9 from the field. She finished with a double-double, scoring a team-leading 19 points and 10 rebounds.
“She’s been playing really well,” Kruger said. “She came out and has been working really hard. Now she has to get better. She’s got to do a lot of things to help the teams. She was ready to go tonight.”
The sophomore, along with some cold shooting from Cloud County, helped Barton close the gap to eight on a three-point play from Cheyenne Hedrington, who added 17 points and five rebounds.
A pair of Kailai Brantner free throws cut the lead to seven points, and a 3-pointer from Brandy Winbush made it 72-68 with 33.8 seconds remaining in the game.
That would be as close os the Lady Cougars got, as Cloud County knocked down its free throws in the final seconds.
Mariana Lambert scored 12 points for Barton.

JUNIOR COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference
Western Division

WOMEN

Saturday

At Great Bend
Kirkman Activity Center

Cloud County 78, Barton 72
CLOUD COUNTY (14-9, 5-3)
     Raneisha Duncan 7-16 2-4 21, Tai Nittler 5-11 7-8 18, Jayna Smith 3-6 6-8 12, Linda Pagrode 4-10 0-0 8, Kimi Lindshield 2-6 3-4 7, Jordyn Alexander 3-9 0-0 6, Kiara McCall 1-2 3-4 5, Alyssa Steppe 0-3 1-2 1, Agnese Aramina 0-0 0-0 0, Raelyn Lorson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-63 22-30 78.
BARTON (17-8, 5-4)
     Ashton Bruner 5-9 9-11 19, Cheyenne Hedrington 6-11 5-7 17, Mariana Lambert 4-11 2-2 12, Taylor Mayes 2-7 4-8 8, Kailai Brantner 1-3 5-6 7, Brandy Winbush 2-6 0-0 5, KK Anthony 2-4 0-2 4, Ciera Lampe 0-0 0-0 0, Tori Davis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-51 25-36 72.
     Halftime — Cloud County 36, Barton 31. Three-point goals — Cloud County 6-16 (Duncan 5-8, Nittler 1-3, Pagrode 0-2, Alexander 0-1, Steppe 0-2); Barton 3-14 (Lambert 2-7, Winbush 1-5, Mayes 0-1, Hedrington 0-1). Fouled out — Cloud County (Alexander, Pagrode, Nittler); Barton (Bruner). Rebounds — Cloud County 36 (Lindshield, Alexander, Duncan 6), Barton 39 (Bruner 10). Assists — Cloud County 9 (Pagrode 3); Barton 16 (Brantner 8). Total fouls — Cloud County 27; Barton 23. Turnovers — Cloud County 20; Barton 13.