Deploying their typical physical style of play - especially on the inside - the taller Tigers came through with timely baskets and seized on Cherokee's inability to make free throws to claim the win.
The Tigers outscored Cherokee by seven at the free throw line, with the young WHS squad sinking just 8-22, and Spencer converting 15-27. The WHS lasses netted 11-28 field goals for 39 percent, including a nice 5-8 effort from the three-point line.
Cherokee jumped to an 11-2 lead in the first quarter, led 19-13 at halftime, and 29-26 after three frames, before the Tigers went on that 14-8 scoring advantage in the last stanza.
Megan Hummel led Cherokee's scoring with eight points, while Katie Sambrano tallied six, and Megan Carlson, Katie Hart, and Shanon Shaefer five apiece. Nicole Kramer led Spencer with 10 points, and Ashley Williamson added eight.
Jackie Wilson and Hummel paced the WHS club on the boards with eight rebounds each, and Taylor Woods grabbed four. Sambrano led her team in assists with five, and Carlson dished off four. Shaefer and Hummel had three steals each to lead that category.
"We take care of the ball and make some free throws and we win the game going away," said Cherokee coach Heath Hagberg. "That was the difference in the game. We had 31 turnovers and that's way too many. Most of them were poor passes at the perimeter and our post feeds.
"We need to take this game as a learning experience. We know we should have won it. Our effort was superb, but we need to polish things up."
Cherokee has two more tough road games this week at Hull Western Christian Tuesday, and Spirit Lake Friday, before entering the holiday break.