The Colby Community College men's basketball team held a late first-half lead Wednesday night at the Community Building but eventually fell to the seventh-ranked Coffeyville Red Ravens, 88-70.
"We played well in the first half, but in the second half we weren't able to match their physical play and toughness," said Trojans Head Coach Rusty Grafel. "They have a good basketball team and against good teams, you have to be able to limit what they are good at, win all the tough plays, and execute."
The Red Ravens held a 21-13 lead with 9:08 in the first half but the Trojans went on an 8-0 run sparked by an offensive rebound by Bryce Hatten that he converted into a three-point play. Colby went up by five before Coffeyville closed on a 16-5 run of their own to lead 41-35 at the break.
In the second half, the Trojans were down by as many as 20 but were able to cut the deficit to 67-56 at the 10:59 mark. That was the closest they would be, as the Ravens maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
Coffeyville held a distinct shooting advantage, going 44.9 percent from the floor compared to 33.8 percent by Colby, who drops to 8-7 overall and 3-3 in the Jayhawk Conference. The Ravens also won the rebounding battle with a 51-37 edge.
Colby's Craig Beaudion had a game-high 24 points, and Eddie Davis contributed 15 points and eight rebounds. Coffeyville had five players score in double figures. Keon Queen and Manny Crump each grabbed 10 rebounds and had 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Despite the loss, Grafel was optimistic.
"I felt good about this game because of the way we competed at Cowley and found a way to win, but we have to be better defensively and execute our offense in the half court," he said. "We need to have a short term memory on this game, learn from this loss, and prepare for Independence on Saturday."
Tip for Saturday's matchup with the Pirates is 5 p.m. at the Community Building.