Shanon Shaefer led Cherokee's scoring with 10 points, and Taylor Woods added five. Both are freshmen. Jordan Henningsen led Ålta with 21 points, while Emily Grieme and Jessy Bibler tallied 13 apiece.
Three freshmen also paced the WHS club on the glass, with Jackie Wilson grabbing 10 rebounds, Woods nine, and Tasha Larsen seven.
"Although we out-rebounded them, we struggled with putting our bunny shots back in," noted James.
Shaefer also led in steals with six, and Shelby Dilla had four steals. Wilson nothed two assists and two blocked shots.
Cherokee sank 23-59 field goals for 39 percent, and Alta made 24-67 shots for 36 percent. WHS was 8-16 from the foul line, and Alta was 14-26 in the foul-plagued contest.
Cherokee was hurt by a whopping 33 turnovers.
"The girls just didn not come out ready to go tonight," said James. "We did not take care of the ball. Misty Bruhn had four fouls before halftime and Alta did a nice job of keeping the ball out of Dilla's hands. Both greatly affected our game.
"Tasha Larsen did a nice job of stepping in. She is showing great improvement this season. Shanon Shaefer did a wonderful job of playing hard the entire game."