LE MARS - The explosive Le Mars Bulldogs, rated in Class 3A and owners of a shiny 16-2 record, blew out to a 20-6 first-quarter lead and then withstood a stiff Cherokee challenge the rest of the way to record a 61-44 Lakes Conference basketball win here Friday night for their second win over the Braves this season.
Paxtron Strub led the Bulldogs in scoring with 18 points, and Austin Homan chipped in with 16.
Cherokee managed just 16-53 field goals for 30 percent, while Le Mars sizzled with 28-59 shots for 48 percent. The Braves cashed in 11-14 free throws, and Le Mars was 5-9.
Jake Spindler led the Braves in steals with four, and Hummel led in assists with four.
"The first three or four minutes when we got down early were huge in this game," said Cherokee coach Bob Lee. "But we showed good composure and fought harder and held our own the rest of the way. I'm proud of the kids.
"Le Mars has a lot of depth and we were taken aback by their crowd in the early going. We played them within one point in the second half after their big early start. We missed a lot of inside bunnies that hurt us and got us behind early."
The 8-9 Braves host Storm Lake Tuesday and play at Odebolt-Arthur/Battle Creek-Ida Grove Friday.