The young Cherokee Washington High girls basketball team, still struggling to find an identity in the rugged Lakes Conference, with a schedule packed with rated teams, played visiting Le Mars to the wall here Monday night before falling 34-30 in the final seconds.
Julie Miller led Cherokee's scoring with 10 points, and freshman Megan Carlson came off the bench to tally eight. Bailey Heidebrink and Erica Westoff led the Bulldogs with eight points apiece.
Cherokee sank 13-40 field goals for 33 percent, including 4-17 from the three-point arc. The WHS club was 0-5 from the free throw line.
Jackie Wilson and Megan Hummel led Cherokee on the boards with six rebounds each, and Shanon Shaefer paced Cherokee in steals with six. Lauren Husman and Carlson led their team in assists with two apiece.
Cherokee slipped to an 11-10 lead after the first quarter, but was outscored 12-4 in the second quarter as the Bulldogs took a 22-15 halftime lead. Le Mars led 27-19 heading into the final quarter.
"The girls played very hard tonight," said Cherokee coach Abby James. "We had four very hard-played quarters, but once again a scoring lag in the second quarter put us behind and we were not able to pick up those points. We did a lot of good things tonight and I hope the effort follows into the tournament.
Cherokee plays at Orange City Unity Christian Saturday night, gametime 7 p.m.