Cherokee's lethargic Braves couldn't keep up an impressive first-quarter pace that vaulted them to a 19-9 lead and, as a result, dropped a 60-53 Lakes Conference basketball decision to Emmetsburg here Tuesday night.
The stinging loss comes on the heels of the Braves 52-40 victory over the same E-Hawks one week ago in Emmetsburg.
That foul trouble, some of it attributable to poor officiating from a Le Mars crew that doesn't always bring its A game to town, also sent two more Braves starters (Nick Parker, Seth Mahnke) to the bench in the second quarter that opened things up for the opportunistic Emmetsburg squad.
The E-Hawks seized the momentum by canning 17-28 free throws in the game - most of those in the second quarter when the visitors rallied from that early deficit with a 23-8 scoring run to take a 37-30 halftime lead. E-Burg led 50-41 heading into the final eight minutes.
Wuebker led the winners with 25 points, and teammate Corey Schultes added 20. Kyle Schuck paced Cherokee with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Mahnke added 15 points, and Cody Ege 12, all in the first half.
Ege also led in steals with five, and Mahnke led in assists with three. Dagel had two blocked shots despite his limited playing time due to foul trouble.
Cherokee sank 21-54 field goals for 39 percent, including 6-16 threeballs. The Braves were 5-12 from the free throw line, 12 fewer than Emmetsburg, which accounted for the difference in the score.
The E-Hawks made 14-35 shots for 40 percent, and was 5-15 from the three-point line.
"We got off to a good start in the first quarter, then ran into foul trouble and ended up having to sit three starters due to fouls," said Cherokee coach Bob Lee. "This gave the Emmetsburg players a chance to catch up and build some confidence, which they carried into the second half.
"Our guys played hard, but just had trouble stringing together good plays."
The 9-4 Braves play at Spencer Friday, and host Alta Saturday.