Megan Carlson of Cherokee, right, dribbles the ball up court against Spirit Lake defender Alli Gerking in Lakes Conference girls basketball action here Friday night. Photo by Paul Struck
The rated Spirit Lake girls bolted to a 14-2 lead in the first quarter and ballooned that to 36-13 at halftime on the way to a convincing 70-32 Lakes Conference win over youthful Cherokee here Friday night.
The combination of the Indians offensive attack and Cherokee miscues led to the lopsided win, with two Spirit Lake players leading the scoring with 14 points apiece - Mary Brown and Kieja Veldman.
Taylor Woods led Cherokee's scoring with eight points, followed by Shanon Shaefer six, and Jackie Wilson five.
Cherokee's Megan Hummel is fouled by a Spirit Lake defender during Lakes Conference girls basketball action in Cherokee Friday night. Photo by Reta Todd
The Indians led in rebounds 21-16, with Katie Sambrano, Julie Miller, and Lauren Husman leading Cherokee with three apiece. Shaefer led in steals with four and Sambrano led in assists with two. Shaefer also had a blocked shot to her credit.
Cherokee sank 12-40 field goals for 30 percent, while Spirit Lake canned a warm 28-66 for 42 percent. The Washington High girls made 6-11 free throws, compared to the Indians 10-13.
After staking out that 36-13 lead at halftime, the Indians jumped to a 59-17 bulge after three frames and withstood a 15-11 scoring run in the fourth period by Cherokee to claim the victory.
Cherokee's Megan Hummel and Jackie Wilson (44) battle for a loose ball during Lakes Conference basketball action against Spirit Lake in Cherokee Friday night. Photo by Reta Todd
"Our post players stepped up and did a good job against a tough team," said Cherokee coach Abby James, just returning after maternity leave one week ago. "We missed some practices lately due to bad weather and the transition from coach to coach takes some time for the girls (JV coach Heath Hagberg and freshman coach Jim Leonard guided the varsity in James' absence)."
Cherokee hosts Estherville-LC Tuesday and travels to Le Mars Friday for two more tough Lakes Conference encounters.