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Friday, May 6, 2016

Braves lose heartbreaker to Le Mars

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cody Ege of Cherokee splits two Le Mars defenders on his way to the basket during the Braves Lakes Conference basketball encounter with Le Mars here Monday night. Photo by Reta Todd
Cherokee's Braves, playing their hearts out throughout four quarters of stellar Lakes Conference basketball, dropped an undeserved 58-57 verdict to 10th-ranked Le Mars here on Monday night.

The 14-3 Bulldogs, rated 10th in Class 3A, trailed the hustling Braves at every break, but managed to overcome an early 14-0 deficit, and outscored the Braves 16-14 in the fateful fourth quarter to sneak away with the win.

Cherokee was victimized not only by the talented Bulldogs, but by blatantly poor officiating at critical times that turned the game away from the Braves and towards Le Mars.

Nick Parker of Cherokee is all business as he sinks a lay-up during the Braves thrilling game against Le Mars here Monday night in a weather make-up. Photo by Reta Todd
A series of botched calls on the block/charge foul rule repeatedly favored the visitors and, at one time, even had one of the officials rolling his eyes over the call another official made.

The result affected the Braves inside game throughout, with 6-7 junior center Brock Dagel forced to the bench for much of the game due to foul trouble before fouling out early in the fourth period. Dagel had six blocked shots in his short minutes of play.

Without Dagel's presence, the Bulldogs inside duo of 6-7 Paxton Strub and 6-5 Austin Homan had their way, with Strub leading the Le Mars scoring with 14 points, and Homan 12. Sam VanWettering tallied 13 for Le Mars, and Chance Grady had 12.

Kyle Schuck led Cherokee's scoring with 12 points, while Matt Pitts, Cody Ege, and Seth Mahnke each tallied eight. Schuck also had eight rebounds, Ege had seven, and Mahnke five. Ege led in assists with four and Pitts had three. Ege also had seven steals.

Cherokee led 18-10 after the first period, and 31-25 at halftime, before Le Mars closed it to 43-42 heading into the last quarter.

Matt Pitts of Cherokee observes the court while dribbling the ball during the Braves' game with Le Mars in Cherokee Monday. Photo by Paul Struck
"Our guys fought real hard tonight," said Cherokee coach Bob Lee, too much of a gentleman to say anything about the lousy officiating that cost his team a big Lakes Conference win and some needed momentum heading into the post-season tournament.

"Le Mars is a tough opponent and a quality program. We knew they would charge out in the second half and try to catch up. We did a good job of weathering that storm and keeping a lead going into the fourth quarter. Both teams really battled in the fourth quarter and, unfortunately, we came up just a little short."

The Braves had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but a three-pointer from Mahnke just missed as time expired and the officials raced out of the gym.

Cherokee sank 22-51 field goals for 43 percent, and was 2-8 on threeballs. The Braves meshed 11-13 free throws.

Le Mars made 19-47 shots for 40 percent, and was 3-7 from the three-point line. The Bulldogs made 17-30 free throws, with 17 more attempts than the Braves, another telling factor in the questiuonable officiating throughout the game.

Cherokee (13-6) plays dangerous South O'Brien (14-4) in Paullina Monday night in first-round Class 2A action beginning at 7 p.m. The Wolverines beat the Braves 46-41 on Jan. 16 in Paullina.

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Wow is about the only word that I can say in response to this article. Wow.

I'm not really sure how the editors of this newspaper even allowed such accusations and demeaning phrases to be published online or in print.

In case you forgot, these are high school kids, not professional athletes. In addition to that, these referees are not those paid big bucks like that in professional sports.

Such accusations should be kept off of public newspapers as this and kept on informal message boards. Kids from LeMars have found this and how do you think they feel? Imagine of it was the other way around. How would the students of Cherokee's team feel? They can't control how the referees call the game. They're just out there to play. So don't lessen their hard work because of your accusations.

Plus, this game was at Cherokee. If anything write about the athletic department at Washington High School and their hiring of inadequate referees.

For the record, I do not attend LeMars anymore; this is an older handle.

-- Posted by USD on Sat, Feb 13, 2010, at 9:36 PM


After reading your one sided diatribe, perhaps you could go back to high school and learn how to spell.

Is it THAT difficult to run a spell check program before publishing your "article"? As your ability to proofread an article is blatantly poor.

"...with 17 more attempts than the Braves, another telling factor in the questiuonable officiating throughout the game..."

-- Posted by irishscot on Thu, Feb 18, 2010, at 11:26 AM

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