The highly competitive game took a turn for the worse in the second quarter, with the Indians balzing away with a 16-5 scoring run to break open a 19-18 game to take control with a 34-21 halftime lead. Cherokee went five minutes in the second quarter without a point.
"That scoring drought just killed us," said Cherokee coach Curt Klaahsen. "We were ready to go and had a great first quarter, and then we couldn't get a shot to fall for five minutes and that was the difference."
Kylie Dilla led Cherokee's scoring with 10 points, followed by Lynn Carlson nine, Lacie Drennan eight, Kayla Messerole eight, and Alison Husman seven. Kaisha brown led Spirit lake with 21 points, and Amber Kirschbaum added 13.
Cherokee sank 17-54 field goals for a chilly 31 percent, and the indians netted 25-68 for 37 percent. The winners were 12-20 from the free throw line, and WHS finished 9-14 from the line.
Dilla, the object of the Indians' defensive attention, also led Cherokee in steals with six and in assists with four.
"It was a fun game to watch, up and down," said Klaahsen. "Then we had that scoring drought. We were breaking their press and scoring and then we went ice cold. It wasn't for lack of effort. We played hard, we just couldn't overcome that second quarter. Give Spirit Lake credit. I don't think we'll see a team as tough as them in the (2A) tournaments."
Cherokee (6-12) hosts 5th-ranked 3A Sioux City Heelan (15-3) at 7 p.m. today in a game added after the schedule was made out. The undefeated Cherokee JV squad plays Heelan at 5:30 tonight.