The 6-3 Cherokee Braves split two tough Lakes Conference games on Jan. 5 and 6, defeating Spirit Lake 56-47 here on Monday, and falling 54-45 at undefeated Estherville-LC (8-0) on Tuesday.
Brock Dagel led the Cherokee scoring against Spirit Lake with 19 points, while Matt Koch added 14, and Matt Pitts 11. Tyler Solsma led the Indians with 20 points.
The Braves sank 23-55 field goals in the game for 42 percent, and cashed in 13-20 free throws.
"We started with good intensity, but we couldn't ever pull away. We didn't dictate like we can," said Cherokee coach Bart Smith. "We'd make a run and then they'd make a run. They had an 8-0 run in the third quarter off our silly turnovers and that cost us. But we played with patience and the perimeter guys got the ball inside to Brock Dagel in the second half and that was the difference. Brock had a great game."
Koch led Cherokee's scoring with 18 points, and Dagel added 12. Kyle Grems led E-LC with 12 points.
Cherokee made 13-30 field goals for 43 percent, and was outscored by eight points at the free throw line, the Braves cashing in 12-24, and the Midgets 20-36 in the foul-plagued game.
Schuck led Cherokee in rebounds with seven, and Dagel grabbed five. Koch had five steals, and Seth Mahnke tallied four assists to lead that categoy.
"We were flat and had no ontensity," said coach Smith. "I'm really disappointed in how we played. We get some guys back this week so maybe we can get some things changed in practice and be ready to go Friday night at home.
"We're getting away from our identity and not playing defense. Plus, we gave a poor effort in our defensive rebounding. That's got to change."