Playing like they're capable of, the Cherokee Braves unloaded on visiting Ridge View here Thursday night, demolishing the shell-shocked Raptors 70-37 in non-conference basketball action.
The game, a weather makeup from last Saturday's winter storm, hinged on the explosive offense of Seth Mahnke and Brock Dagel, with Mahnke firing in 17 first-half points and Dagel scoring 15 in the second half to take Ridge View out of the mix early.
The Braves rushed to a 17-8 lead in the first quarter and maintained a 35-14 cushion at halftime, before taking a 53-32 lead into the final period.
Dagel tallied a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead Cherokee, followed by Mahnke 19 points and five boards, Jakob Hummel 10 points and three rebounds, Kristian Freed 10 boards, and Jake Spindler six assists and three steals. Dagel also had four blocked shots.
Isaiah Miller, the Raptors' 6-6 senior post/wing was sandwiched much of the night between the 6-5 Mahnke and the 6-8 Dagel, plus foul trouble, and led Ridge View with 11 points and nine rebounds. Miller sat much of the second and third quarters because of fouls, and went to the bench with four fouls midway into the fourth quarter with the game out of reach and both benches emptying.
"Cherokee put a lot of full-court pressure on us and we did not handle it very well," said Raptor coach Shannon Tesch. "I was impressed with Cherokee's discipline, both offensively and defensively. They rarely were out of position, which made it difficult for us to take advantage of mismatches."
Kris Alesch totaled nine points for Ridge View and Seth Johnson had eight.
The Braves netted 31-66 field goals for a warm 47 percent, and was 5-7 from the free throw line. Cherokee was 3-10 in three-balls.
Ridge View sank 15-53 field goals for 28 percent and cashed in 9-17 free throws. The Raptors were 2-9 for three-pointers.
"This was a nice way to bounce back from our game up in Hull earlier in the week," noted Cherokee coach Bob Lee. "Our guys did a real nice job of playing together as a team. We started with a lot of energy and continued to keep that up throughout the game.
"Seth Mahnke played a real good defensive game on a very talented offensive player (Miller), and it was nice to see our guys rotating defensively to set traps and stop penetration. Kristian Freed had a big night on the boards for us, and Jake Spindler did a nice job of establishing tempo and directing traffic in our half-court offense."
The 3-3 Braves now enter the holiday break and play next on Jan. 4 , when Estherville-LC comes to town. Ridge View (3-4) hosts River Valley on Jan. 4, after the holiday break.