Jake Spindler nailed a half-court three-pointer at the end of the third-quarter to give the Cherokee Braves a 36-31 cushion and a needed dose of confidence on the way to an exciting 48-38 Lakes Conference win over a solid Spirit Lake team here Friday night.
Riding that impetus, the Braves defense continued its sterling play as Cherokee outscored the Indians 12-7 down the stretch to pocket their eighth win of the season and their fourth in five recent games.
Curtis Ege again displayed his mastery along the baseline to lead the Braves with 18 points, while Brock Dagel added nine, and Spindler eight for the winners.
Talented guard Mitch Peschon paced Spirit Lake's scoring with 15 points, and Paul Brown added 10.
Cherokee canned 19-44 field goals for 43 percent, and converted 8-16 free throws, as the officials let the teams play throughout. The Braves were just 2-13 for three-balls. Spirit Lake sank 13-35 shots for 38 percent and made 5-10 three-pointers against the stout Cherokee defense. The Indians were 7-9 from the foul line.
"This was a good win," said Cherokee coach Bob Lee. "Spirit Lake plays hard all the way and I'm impressed with their new coach (Nate Loenser). We held them to single digits in three of the four quarters so our defense was great. The guys are communicating. It was a physical game and we held our own."
The 8-8 Braves travel to Estherville-LC Tuesday night and play at dangerous Le Mars Friday.