The entertaining contest featuring two evenly-matched teams showed Cherokee leading 13-11 after one quarter, 26-24 at halftime, and trailing 32-31 after three periods, before the opportunistic Orabs outscored the Braves 17-11 in the final frame to chart the win.
Cherokee played the game with the return of starting guards Tyler Jones and Cody Ege, who have missed the past few weeks with injury (Jones) and illness (Ege). Although not at full strength, the pair did provide valuable minutes for Cherokee and showed glimpses of what the Braves can do down the road at full strength.
Kyle Schuck dominated the boards for the Braves with 10 rebounds against the taller Orabs, while Nick Parker snagged five, and Matt Pitts five.
Cherokee netted 15-31 field goals for 48 percent, and was 5-9 from the free throw line. Sheldon converted 19-25 free throws for a 14-point advantage at the line, the difference by far in the game. Obviously not homers, game officials were Mike Dreckman, Craig Madsen, and Mark Schuttler.
"The start of the third quarter was the big difference in the game," said Cherokee coach Bart Smith. "We had turnovers and beat ourselves in the third quarter. But they're correctable errors and we will work on them in practice.
"I'm liking our progress. We're building for the end of the year to be at our best. This was a fun game. Dykstra is a good player and he knows how to finish. Our kids never gave up. We need to take care of the ball and can't force things into the post. It's good to see Tyler and Cody back. Over all, I was pleased with our defense. Sheldon is a well-coached team. They got to the line, we didn't. We need to get there more."