SHELDON - The 9th-ranked Sheldon Orabs broke from a tight 26-23 lead midway into the second quarter with a 17-4 scoring run to blow open a competitive game and race away to a convincing 84-58 Lakes Conference victory here Feb. 13th.
"We battled to within three at 26-23 in the second quarter and then they just exploded on us," said Cherokee coach Trent Coombs. "We started playing too tight and they took the ball to the hole and got away from us. It went from 26-23 to 43-27 real fast."
Five Sheldon players hit double figures, led by Justin Kuiper with 18, Matt DeJong 15, Stephen Kirschbaum 12, and Kevin Huss and Nick Pulcher 10 apiece.
The Braves sank 23-56 field goals for 41 percent, including a 4-14 effort from the three-point line. Sheldon made 32-70 shots for 46 percent and was 3-10 on three-balls. Cherokee netted 11-15 free throws, and the Orabs were 17-26 from the line.
"We battled with them at the start and then it got away from us," added Coombs. "Andy Dawson came off the bench and gave us some very good minutes battling inside. I was happy with his play."
Cherokee's depth also was hindered with the absence of Chris Campbell, who has come off the bench all season to supply solid contribution. Campbell suited and played "about 10 seconds" in the first quarter before admitting he was ill, said Coombs.
The Braves (5-15) tackle South O'Brien at 8 p.m. Feb. 19th in Cherokee in first-round of the Class 2A Districts.
Sheldon plays Sibley-Ocheyedan in the 6:30 p.m game, and winners then play in District semifinals at Cherokee on Feb. 22nd.