With two senior leaders out of the lineup with injuries, the youthful Cherokee Washington High girls basketball team continued to courageously battle to little avail, dropping a 49-33 decision to visiting South O'Brien here on Jan. 17th.
Freshman Jackie Wilson led Cherokee's scoring with 14 points, while Misty Bruhn tallied six, and Shelby Dilla five. Chelsea Rohrs led the Wolverines with 20 points, and Casie Rehder added nine.
Cherokee sank 13-41 field goals for a chilly 32 percent, and finished 5-8 from the free throw line. South O'Brien netted 22-64 shots for 34 percent, and converted 12-17 free throws.
SOS jumped to a 13-4 lead in the first quarter and led 29-14 at halftime, and took a 41-23 lead into the final frame.
"Jackie had a great all-around game," said first-year Cherokee coach Abby James. "She is getting stronger and more confident every night. Lauren is really stepping up her game and is proving to be a strong defensive player.
"This was the toughest loss we had all season. Once again, we dug ourselves in a hole the first half and tried to fight our way out the rest of the game. I have to give the girls credit for playing hard.
"I hate to make excuses, but as the old saying goes, 'when it rains it pours' and right now injuries are raining hard on us. Inexperience only goes so far in a close game.
"On a positive note, our freshmen and sophomores are getting varsity experience and are learning to work together with a variety of players. The girls need to learn to play the entire game like we play the last three minutes of every game."
The team is without the services of two valuable seniors - leading scorer Kelsie Peterson and post player Lynn Carlson.