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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Braves fall to tough Spencer

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cody Ege of Cherokee watches the court as he advances the ball in action against Spencer in Cherokee. Photo by Paul Struck
Try as they may, the gritty Cherokee Braves just couldn't thwart Spencer's inside, offensive game, leading to a hard-fought 62-46 loss to the tall Tigers in a boys Lakes Conference tussle here on Dec. 7.

Big 6-6 senior post Dan Johnson led the Tigers with 19 points, followed by 6-3 junior Kyle Fitch with 16, and 6-3 junior Chris Fitzpatrick with 13.

"Johnson and Fitzpatrick killed us in the fourth quarter," said Cherokee coach Trent Coombs. "We battled all night and stayed with them, but those two stepped it up late in the game and we didn't stop them."

Tyler Jones led Cherokee with 18 points, with 14 of those coming the first half, before Spencer made some defensive adjustments. Matt Koch added 10 points, and Kyle Schuck six.

Matt Koch of Cherokee prepares to drive around Spencer defender Nolan Goeken in Lakes Conference boys basketball action in Cherokee. Photo by Paul Struck
Spencer led 33-25 at halftime after breaking from a 13-13 deadlock after the first period, and took a 47-35 lead into the final eight minutes.

Schuck led the Braves in rebounding with 10, while Koch, Cody Ege, a 6-6 freshman Brock Dagel snagged five apiece.

Cherokee sank 21-63 field goals for a chilly 33 percent, including a meager 2-11 three-pointers. Spencer shot a sizzling 49 percent after netting 24-49 shots. A big difference in the game was at the foul line, where the Tigers nailed 11-20, and Cherokee just 2-9.

Matt Pitts, Schuck, and Ege led the Braves in assists with three each, and Ege pocketed two steals to lead that category.

"Over all, I liked the way we played," said Coombs. "We were outsized underneath and they play a nice inside game. That hurt us. They're a good ball club and tough on the boards. We had a bad spurt in the third quarter that kept us from making a charge.

"I thought Pitts, Ege, and Keaton Tuttle came off the bench and played well. We'll get better every game. There are a few things we need to work on, but the kids are playing hard and hustling. I think they need to back off all the weight lifting. You can tell it in their legs and shooting stroke. It's something we'll have to address."

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