A tired Cherokee Braves basketball team dropped a 73-67 non-conference tussle to visiting Woodbury Central here Saturday night.
The game, the Braves' third physical, helter-skelter contest in five days, was tarnished by a decided foul discrepancy favoring the visiting Wildcats, and the fact that Cherokee had left a lot out on the floor in Friday night's hard-fought. narrow 54-51 setback to Lakes Conference foe, Le Mars. Cherokee also played second-ranked Emmetsburg Tuesday night in another donnybrook, losing on a three-pointer at the buzzer.
Here Saturday night, Woodbury Central shot 24-40 free throws, compared to a meager 6-15 effort by the Braves for a most telling statistic.
"We weren't moving our feet or cutting guys off," explained Cherokee coach Trent Coombs. "Maybe it was because of the Le Mars game the night before, or from the fact this was our first back-to-back games this season. We just stood there and reached and grabbed as they penetrated to the basket. But, still, that big of foul differential is hard to take. It's tough to win when that happens."
Cory Ege led Cherokee with 22 points, while Michael Boothby, playing better each time out, tallied 21, Evan Meyer nine, and Tyler Jones seven.
Landon Wright, a talented 6-6 player, led the Wildcats wth 26 points, with Jeremy Rogers adding 24, and Nate Campbell 12.
Cherokee sank 28-69 field goals for 41 percent, and WC made 25-54 for 46 percent.
Ege also led the Braves on the boards with 13, while Meyer grabbed eight, Jones five, and Josh Mugge four. Ege and Mugge led their team in steals with three each, and Jones and Mugge led in assists with four apiece.
Woodbury central led 32-30 at halftime, and 56-45 after three quarters, after outscoring the Braves 24-15 in the third period when Cherokee went through a 4-minute scoring drought.
"I'm disappointed that we lost," added Coombs. "We missed a lot of bunnies inside, but we got a lot of shots off. We just didn't take it to the hole like I know we can. If the kids keep playing hard and as a team, we'll straighten this thing out."