LE MARS - Missing senior post Kayla Messerole, who was out with illness, only added to the misery the Cherokee Washington High girls experienced here Tuesday night during a 65-43 setback to pesky Le Mars in Lakes Conference basketball action.
The host Bulldogs jumped on Cherokee early with a 13-5 lead after the first quarter, and ballooned that to 34-20 at halftime, before taking a 50-35 lead into the fourth quarter.
Coming off a career-high 40-point performance at Alta Saturday night, Cherokee's Kylie Dilla again led the WHS club with 16 points, despite being the focus of attention by the Bulldogs. Lynn Leonard, seeing more action in the post due to Messerole's absence, scored 10 points, and Lacie Drennan and Jesselyn Racine six apiece.
Cassie Lassen paced Le Mars with 18 points.
Cherokee shot poorly throughout, netting just 16-59 field goals for a cold 27 percent, including a 1-10 night from the three-point line. Le Mars made 28-53 shots for a sizzling 53 percent. WHS meshed 10-15 free throws, and the Bulldogs made 6-10.
Alison Husman led Cherokee in rebounding with six, while Lynn Carlson grabbed four, and Leonard and Racine three each. Dilla also led her team in steals with five.
"We certainly weren't at 100 percent with three kids out and many others under the weather, but give Le Mars credit for being the aggressive team and for shooting the ball well from the outside," said Cherokee coach Curt Klaahsen.
"We did not adapt well to their aggressive style."
Cherokee junior wing Morgan Mahnke is also absent due to injury, and junior Shauna Drefke was out with illness.
Cherokee hosts dangerous Spencer Friday night.