Cherokee trailed 14-7 after the first quarter, and 22-19 at halftime, before knotting the score at 31-31 heading into the final eight minutes.
Megan Hummel led the Cherokee scoring with 13 points, followed by Katie Sambrano nine, Julie Miller six, and Shanon Shaefer and Jackie Wilson four apiece.
Paige Naig, Emmestburg's 6-1 post player, led the E-Hawks with 16 points, and ornery Tiffany Wollum tallied 15.
Emmetsburg was 14-36 from the field for 39 percent, and was 3-10 in threeballs, and meshed 9-16 free throws.
Wilson led Cherokee on the boards with eight rebounds, while Hummel grabbed five and Taylor Woods six. Sambrano led in assists with three, and also in steals with five.
"We let them jump out to an 8-point lead and spent most of the first half climbing back into the game," said Cherokee coach Heath Hagberg. "I thought the effort all night was very good. We need to improve our aggressiveness against zone defenses. We tend to settle for deep jump shots instead of looking to make the zone rotate from side to side and attack the breakdowns in the rotations.
"Additionally, our shooting percentage from the perimeter must improve if we are going to force teams to come out of their zone defenses."
The Cherokee girls play at Spencer Friday night and host Alta on Saturday.