CHEROKEE - The Cherokee Braves celebrated Christmas early by winning their first basketball game of the season, as they defeated the Estherville-Lincoln Central Midgets here on Dec. 21, 57-49, in Lakes Conference hoops action.
The Braves rallied from a 33-26 halftime deficit to capture the win. Matt Koch led the Braves' scoring with 20 points, while Kyle Schuck had 12 and Brock Dagel 10. ELC 's Matt Gruhlke and Marcus Stangl had 16 points apiece to lead their scoring.
In the girls' contest, the injury-decimated Cherokee girls dropped their game to the Midgets, 54-36. Cherokee coach Jeremy Dettmer said, "ELC plays tremendous defense, and forced us to work extremey hard for every point. It is no surprise they upset Spirit Lake Tuesday night."
Dettmer said his own team is "starting to get players back in the lineup, and after Christmas break we should be back to 100%."
The Cherokee girls were led in scoring by Nicole Hatch, with nine points. Shelby Dilla added eight and Misty Bruhn seven. Jessalyn Racine had eight rebounds to lead the team on the boards.