Three players hit double figures to lead Cherokee
The enigmatic Cherokee Washington High girls basketball team came firing out of the chute on the way to an impressive 17-6 lead in the first quarter, and went on to claim a 60-48 non-conference victory over a young, hard-working South O'Brien squad here Saturday night.
The visiting Wolverines trimmed the gap to trail 31-23 at halftime, but Cherokee, with three players hitting double figures, stayed the course with a 29-25 scoring advantage in the second half and cruised to the win.
Lacie Drennan unleashed her potential by leading the winners in scoring for the first time in the junior's varsity career. Drennan tallied 16 points, while Kylie Dilla added 13, and Kayla Messerole 12. Chelsie Rohrs paced South O'Brien with 19 points.
Cherokee sank 20-54 field goals for 37 percent, while SOS made 19-62 shots for a chilly 31 percent. The Wolverines didn't hesitate to fire the threes, finishing the night with a 5-18 effort from the three-point arc. Cherokee was 2-8 on three-balls.
Cherokee was 18-33 from the free throw line, while SOS was 5-9 for a decided disadvantage at the line.
Messerole led the winners in rebounding with nine, followed by Sarah Radke with five, and Lynn Leonard four. Dilla led in assists with seven, and Drennan led in steals with six.
"We got off to a great start and were active defensively in the first quarter," said Cherokee coach Curt Klaahsen. "South O'Brien did a great job of hitting some threes in the second quarter to get back in it, and were aggressive taking the ball to the hoop.
"Getting three players in double figures was huge, and something we need in the future."
Cherokee treks to Emmetsburg Friday for a tough Lakes Conference encounter. The E-Hawks won a close game in Cherokee in early December.