Dilla, Messerole hit career scoring highs
Senior point guard Kylie Dilla, a four-year varsity regular, tallied a career-high 23 points to lead the Cherokee Washington High girls to a decisive 67-42 victory over visiting Sergeant Bluff-Luton in Cherokee Saturday night.
Dilla netted 6-8 field goals, and 3-6 three-pointers on her way to game-high scoring honors, while leading WHS to its first win of the early season.
Cherokee soared in the third quarter after taking a 29-23 lead in at halftime. The winners came out of the gate in the third period to go on a 17-10 scoring run to put distance and momentum between them and the Warriors.
Kayla Messerole scored a career best 20 points to bolster Dilla's efforts with a superb night in her own right. Messerole, also a senior, sizzled from the field, sinking 7-8 field goals and 6-10 free throws to form a solid 1-2 punch for the WHS gals. Messerole also led her team on the boards with nine rebounds.
Lynn Leonard added eight points, and Lacie Drennan six for the winners. Ashley Martinson paced SB-L with 11 points.
Cherokee made 23-39 field goals for a warm 58 percent, including 3-6 three-pointers. The Warriors netted 14-42 shots for a cool 33 percent, and were 2-8 from three-point land. WHS nailed 18-30 free throws, and SB-L sank 12-18.
Dilla also led Cherokee in steals with eight, and in assists with five.
"We played much better and were much more aggressive in all areas," said a pleased Cherokee coach Curt Klaahsen, whose team dropped its first two games of the season last week to Sheldon and Hull Western Christian on the road.
"We were much more active defensively and that led to some easy baskets for us."
In the boys' matchup, quick-striking Sergeant Bluff-Luton jumped out to an early 11-2 lead and expanded that to a 39-16 halftime bulge on the way to a convincing 70-56 victory over the Cherokee Braves in season-opening action here.
The Cherokee boys won the second half with a 40-31 scoring advantage, but that's of little consequence in the disappointing loss.
Were it not for Michael Boothby's second-half offensive explosion, things would have turned out much worse for the cold-shooting Braves. Boothby led his team with 21 points, including 19 in the second half. The hustling senior canned four three-balls in the second half, tallied four steals, and dished off three assists for a superb outing.
Cory Ege scored 15 for the Braves, while Evan Meyer totaled nine, and Tyler Jones seven. The Braves had serious trouble coping with the Warriors' Derek Moore, who scored a game-high 34 points, including five of his team's six three-pointers.
After the cold start, the Braves ended up shooting decent from the field, thanks largely to Boothby. Cherokee netted 19-41 field goals for 46 percent, and was 13-22 from the free throw line.
Ege paced Cherokee in rebounds with nine, and Meyer grabbed six. Jones and Josh Mugge led the Braves in assists with four each.
"Over all, there were 10 minutes in the game in which we didn't score," said Cherokee coach Trent Coombs. "We beat 'em in the second half, but that doesn't count for much after such a slow start. We need to start better and I think we'll be all right. We also need to improve our rebounding. Michael Boothby had a great game for us."
Coombs also credited Matthew Boothby, Kyle Schuett, Andy Dawson, and Toby Grohe with solid play off the bench.