Carlson's 13 lead WHS against rated Spencer
CHEROKEE - The surprising Spencer girls, rated ninth in Class 3A with a 14-3 record, had their hands full, but pulled away with a 31-19 scoring advantage in the second half to claim a 59-36 Lakes Conference win over Cherokee here on January 26.
With starting senior post Kayla Messerole out with illness, Cherokee knew it would be rough sledding against the taller Tigers. Spencer also crowded and double-teamed Cherokee scoring ace, senior guard Kylie Dilla, for a damaging one-two punch that the home team could not overcome.
Lynn Carlson, a strong 5-8 sophomore post, came off the bench to lead Cherokee with 13 points. If not for her superb offensive effort, the score would have been much worse.
Cherokee's failure to identify Spencer sharp-shooter Abby Salton in the first half also killed any chances the Washington High lasses had to stay with the Tigers. Salton canned six consecutive two-point field goals from the same spot in the first half for a dozen points, although Cherokee keyed on her in the second half and limited her to just one point.
Dilla, Jesselyn Racine, and Lynn Leonard each scored six points for Cherokee. Marnie Jacobsen led the Tigers with 22 points, and Salton added 13.
Cherokee sank just 13-56 field goals for a frosty 23 percent, including 0-4 from the three-point line. Spencer netted 25-68 shots for 37 percent and was just 2-18 from the three-point arc.
"Twenty-three percent is not going to get it done," said Cherokee coach Curt Klaahsen. "I can't fault the effort, the kids keep a great attitude, but the wins just aren't coming." rebounding effort with eight, while Dilla grabbed five, and Alison Husman four.
Spencer led 28-17 at halftime after mounting a 10-5 lead after the first quarter, and led 39-25 after three.
"Lynn Carlson had a great game and gave us a post presence with Kayla out of the game. Jesselyn Racine also came off the bench to contribute," said Klaahsen.
Cherokee had a week off before traveling to third-rated (Class 3A) Spirit Lake on Feb. 2, and then hosted rated Heelan (3A) on Monday, February 5, for three consecutive top nine opponents in one week.