CHEROKEE - Playing four games in six days, the Cherokee Braves split the games at Alta on Jan. 24 and here against rated Battle Creek-Ida Grove on Jan. 26, defeating Alta 50-42, and falling 55-46 to the 10th ranked (2A) Falcons, who now sport a shiny 14-1 record.
Michael Huseman lad the host Cyclones with 18 points, Jeremy Lambert added 10, and Austin Stille eight.
Schuck snagged 11 rebounds to go with his impressive all-around performance, while Koch grabbed five. Nick Parker led the team in assists with six, while Jones and Koch dished four each. Brock Dagel was a defensive force for Cherokee with five blocked shots.
Cherokee sank 25-49 field goals for a warm 51 percent, while Alta netted 20-65 shots for 31 percent. The Braves were just 4-13 from the foul line, compared to Alta's 5-11.
Cherokee led 24-22 at halftme and took a 36-33 lead into the final period.
In the loss to BCIG, the Braves had 25 costly turnovers that cost them the game.
"Most of those turnovers were unforced. You can't win when you have that many turnovers against a good team, let alone a rated team," said Cherokee coach Bart Smith. "it's hard to beat anybody."
Smith said focusing on turnovers will be a main goal at practices. "It's usually an easy fix. At least, I hope so," said Smith. "We had 25 turnovers in a close loss at Le Mars, and 22 in a one-point loss to Spencer and could have still won those games. That's why they hurt. Quality ball possessions are so important."
Jones paced the Braves against BCIG with 15 points coming off 5 three-balls. Schuck added 12 to go along with his 13 rebounds for another double-double perofrmance by the quick-striking junior. Koch scored eight.
Cole Berger led the Falcons with 22 points, and Pat Luft tallied 17.
The Braves meshed 19-48 field goals for 40 percent, and hit 3-5 free throws. BCIG sank 10-14 free throws.
Parker led Cherokee in steals with three, and Schuck and Koch had three assists each.
BCIG led 27-23 at halftime and 42-30 heading into the final frame, after overcoming an early 9-3 Cherokee lead in the first quarter with a 7-1 run.
"We have to relax and let the game come to us. Some of the guys get into a hurry and get out of control and turn it over," added Smith. "I told them 25 turnovers are 50 points you'll never get. Even half of them equals 24 points.
"WIthout the turnovers, we'd be winning most of these games. We doing great in all other areas, like rebounding and assists. You have to take care of the ball in any sport, or you lose."
The Braves' record now stands at 8-8.