That's more like it.
The Cherokee Braves, embarrassed by a lack-luster overtime loss at Storm Lake in their season opener last week, hit the ground running here Thursday night against a good Manson NW Webster team, blowing out the cocky Cougars 72-42 with a 40-point salvo in the second half.
The Braves sank 31-67 field goals for a warm 46 percent, and cashed in 8-17 free throws while breaking away from a 32-20 halftime lead that saw the Cougars score the final six points in the first half.
Brock Dagel, Cherokee's 6-7 junior post, led all scorers with 19 points, while junior wing Seth Mahnke came off the bench to contribute 11, and senior guard Cody Ege added 10. Senior wing Kyle Schuck tallied nine points in the balanced Braves' attack, while senior post Zac Woods added six off the bench.
Woods led the hustling Braves on the boards with nine rebounds, while Schuck and Ege each grabbed six, and Dagel five. Nick Parker paced Cherokee in assists with six nifty gifties, while Ege fashioned a whopping seven steals, and Dagel blocked six shots and altered many more. Mahnke also dished out three assists.
The Cougars showed three players each with eight points - Zach Steinhoff, Kyle Twait, and Kaden Cue.
Manson NW Webster sank 16-45 field goals for 36 percent, and converted 6-12 free throws.
The Braves led 13-7, 32-20, and 47-33 at all the breaks, and then closed the deal with a 25-9 scoring run in the fourth quarter.
We played a real good team basketball game tonight," said Cherokee first-year coach Bob Lee, a Cherokee Washington High graduate. "Everyone on the team contributed to the win. We knew Manson was a pretty good shooting team coming into this game. I thought our defense did a real good job of pressuring the ball, forcing turnovers, and identifyng shooters.
"Brock Dagel came out very aggressive in the first half and we did a real good job of finding him. We felt like our defense really stepped up in the second half, and not only caused them some problems, but created quite a bit of offense for us."
The Cherokee teams play at Lakes Conference foe Emmetsburg Tuesday night, and at Ridge View in Holstein Saturday night for a non-conference tussle.