Two-point 4th quarter is Cherokee's demise
The Cherokee Braves lost a heart-breaking 36-35 Lakes Conference basketball game to Sheldon here on Feb. 5, after scoring just two points in the fourth quarter to seal their own doom.
For what it's worth, Cherokee's Matt Koch was fouled shooting a two-point field goal with about two seconds left, but the officials made no call and ran out of the gym as the buzzer sounded in the poorly officiated game.
"That fourth quarter just killed us," said a disappointed Cherokee coach Trent Coombs. "To score just two points is rediculous. Our goal was to be patient and selective on our shots, but we were too patient and had some costly turnovers down the stretch.
"Their 1-3-1 press hurt us in the second half and took us out of our comfort zone. But, still, we just didn't run our plays very well in the fourth quarter."
Freshman Brock Dagel led Cherokee with 12 points, with 10 of those coming in the first half, before Sheldon doubled up on Dagel with weakside help in the paint in the second half. Koch added eight to the low-scoring Braves' total. Andy Dykstra and Matt DeJong paced the Orabs with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Braves made 14-32 field goals for 44 percent, while Sheldon sank 14-49 for 29 percent. Cherokee cashed in 5-10 free throws, and Sheldon 5-15.
Dagel led the Braves in rebounding with nine, while Kyle Schuck grabbed eight, and Koch seven. Dagel also had three blocked shots to remain among the state leaders in that category.
Cherokee led 23-16 at halftime, and 33-30 after three periods, before that disastrous fourth frame.
"We focused on the things they beat us with up there (an overtime loss to the Orabs), and did a good job fixing that, but not scoring in the fourth quarter was a killer," added Coombs. "Koch was fouled at the end and there was no call, but it never should have come down to that if we had taken care of business. Overall, we played a good game against a pretty good team."