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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Braves tumble at buzzer, 56-55

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cherokee's Nick Parker drives to the basket against Spencer defender Alex Toay in exciting Lakes Conference basketball action in Cherokee on Jan. 23. Photo by Paul Struck
A superb comeback in the final minutes went for naught here on Jan. 23, as a talented Spencer team nicked the battling Cherokee Braves, 56-55, at the buzzer, as Cherokee's final, game-winning shot came up just short.

The Braves' loss was Heart-break City, as they withstood the Tigers' initial salvo of draining 6-8 three-pointers in the first half to mount a 33-21 halftime lead.

The Tigers also controlled the defensive boards, limiting Cherokee to a one-and-done scenario on offense throughout the first half.

Cherokee's Kyle Schuck is the headless Brave as he ponders a pass against Spencer defender Kyle Fitch in basketball action on Jan. 23. Photo by Paul Struck
Still, following Tyler Jones' big three-ball to make the score 56-55, Spencer, with 18 seconds left, the Braves had the opportunity to cash in and win the game.

With several poor passes inside to Cherokee's 6-7 sophomore post Brock Dagel in the first half, the Braves dug a hole they could not crawl out of.

Jones led the offense with 19 points, while Dagel finished with 14, and Nick Parker six. Taylor Chapman led well-coached Spencer with 20 points, and Kyle Fitch added 15.

Cherokee's Tyler Jones fires a pass to teammate Nick Parker during the Braves' recent home game against Spencer . Photo by Paul Struck
The Braves notched 20-46 field goals for 43 percent, and made 11-17 free throws, compared to Spencer's 18-27. Matt Koch led Cherokee with seven assists, and Cody Ege led in steals with three.

Dagel led in rebounds with seven, and Koch grabbed six against the steady Tigers who were solid at blocking out on the boards.

Cherokee was victimized by 22 turnovers, a statistic not lost on first-year coach Bart Smith.

"Turnovers are holding this team down," said Smith. "Too many turnovers hurts. We gave a great effort, and had a shot to win it at the end and couldn't pull it off.

"If we limit our turnovers during the game, it doesn't come down to that. The last minute we played exactly how we're supposed to play and didn't get it done. We need to work on and fix the little things. We'd make a nice run and turn it over to keep them in the game."

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