STORM LAKE - The young Cherokee Washington High girls basketball team played hard and stuck with the game plan here Tuesday night, but could not contain the 10th-ranked Storm Lake girls, losing 80-58 in the season opener here.
Cherokee employed a two-platoon attack in the game, with five new players entering at a time, sometimes every other minute. The tactic kept the ball moving and the pressure on the Tornado defense, obviously concerning Storm Lake coach Mike Wabeke, who elected to keep his starters in to the bitter end, despite his team holding a 20-25 point lead throughout much of the second half.
Yo, ratings are ratings.
Cherokee sank 13-23 free throws for 56 percent, and netted 20-59 field goals for 34 percent. Storm Lake made 21-37 free throws and meshed 25-79 shots for 32 percent.
Shaefer had six steals to lead Cherokee in that category, while Amanda Kohn had four, and Julie Miller four. The WHS gals were plagued with 32 turnovers in the fast-paced game.
"I'm very proud of the way the girls played tonight," said Cherokee coach Abby James. "We have shown tremendous growth since last season, both with confidence and skill. The girls really played hard and we hung in there the entire game. Julie Miller showed great hustle and Shanon Shaefer had a great defensive game. Tonight, 11 of the 12 girls who played scored for us."
The Cherokee girls host Manson NW Webster tonight, and travel to Sergeant Bluff-Luton Saturday night for a pair of non-conference outings.