By Mike Pilosof
Garden City, KS-Saturday night's 31-point loss to Hutchinson was the third 30-point defeat of the Nick Salazar era.
Three days later, unimaginably, it got even worse; if that was even possible.
Erin Alexander poured in a career-high 28 points on 13-of-19 shooting to lead four Thunderbirds in double figures as Cloud County used a 33-point fourth quarter to bury Garden City 92-56 Wednesday night at the Perryman Athletic Complex.
"We weren't efficient at all," Broncbuster Coach Nick Salazar said. "You don't have to be a stat nerd to figure that one out."
Garden City (5-6, 3-5) posted their second worst shooting performance of the season, going 19-of-61 (31 percent). They were just 10-of-33 in the first half before finishing 9-of-28 over the final 20 minutes. The Broncbusters missed eight of their first 10 shots to begin the third quarter.
"We missed a lot of makeable shots tonight," Salazar. "When we go back and look at the film, it's not like these girls are missing shots they can't hit."
Cloud County (9-2, 6-2) led for all but 3:30. Alexander sparked the offense early, hitting her first seven shots and scoring 15 points in the first quarter to stake the Thunderbirds to a 22-13 advantage. That lead swelled to as many as 14 four different times in the second period.
"Cloud County is a very good team," Salazar said. "And they hit shots tonight."
That, compounded with the fact that the Broncbusters had three stretches where they went three or more minutes without scoring any points, and it's easy to see why the final result was as lopsided as it was.
But the nail in the coffin was the final period, where Cloud County drilled six 3-pointers and connected on 12-of-19 (63 percent) from the floor. Brockelman canned four treys over that final stretch.
"We are very talented," Salazar said. "But it takes more than that. Everybody has to be on the same page, and until that happens, these results will continue to happen."
Chelcie Kizart scored 11 of her 17 points in the second half for Cloud County, who beat the Broncbusters for the third straight time. Simone Walker added 11.
Notes: Cloud County has won their last three games vs. Garden City by an average of 27 points…Cloud County won their fifth straight game…Despite the loss, Garden City turned the ball over only 14 times; their second lowest amount this season (11 vs. Indy was lowest)
Next up: Garden City at Pratt-Saturday, December 10-1:45 p.m. pregame; 2 p.m. tip on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com/kwkr and mobile app: KWKR