Cherokee battled all the way, trailing 21-16 at halftime, and 32-26 after three quarters, but the host E-Hawks outscored the WHS gals 13-6 in the final frame to seal the deal.
Misty Bruhn led Cherokee with a superb double-double performance, totaling 13 points and snagging 10 rebounds. Shelby Dilla scored nine points, and Julie Miller grabbed nine rebounds for Cherokee.
Jackie Barnes led the E-Hawks with 10 points, and Paige Naig added nine.
Cherokee made just 10-54 field goals for an arctic 19 percent, while Emmetsburg made 16-45 shots for 36 percent. The WHS girls were a perfect 7-7 from the free throw line, and the E-Hawks netted 10-26, shooting 19 more free throws that Cherokee.
Dilla led Cherokee in assists with four, and Miller, Dilla, and Lauren Husman led in steals with three apiece.
"Misty had a great game offensively and defensively for us," said Cherokee coach Abby James. "Julie played great and worked hard, but her shots just wouldn't fall. The girls played four quarters and never gave up. We're learning as we go. We have very little varsity experience and that's tough to battle in the Lakes Conference."
Cherokee played without the services of two senior leaders in Kelsie Peterson and Lynn Carlson, both out with injuries. In addition, freshman Shanon Schaefer injured a wrist, senior leader Dilla hurt her knee, and sophomore Liz Dawson hurt her knee and didn't see further action.
"We're banged up but we never gave up," said James.