Three Braves notched double figures in the big win over the dangerous Falcons of the sprawling Western Valley Conference, who came into the game boasting a sparkling 16-3 record.
Cherokee raced off to an 18-11 lead in the first quarter, and then soared to a 25-12 scoring run in the second quarter to gain the momentum and Falcons' fans attention with a 43-23 halftime bulge. The Braves held serve in the third period to take a 65-41 lead into the final eight minutes.
Brock Dagel, Cherokee's 6-8 post, led the winning Braves with 20 points, while Curtis Ege tallied 16, Seth Mahnke 11, and Jake Spindler eight.
Cherokee sank 29-53 field goals for a sizzling 55 percent against the Falcons' continual full-court defensive pressure, including 4-10 three-balls. OA-BCIG made 22-50 shots for 40 percent, including 7-18 three-pointers.
The foul-plagued game saw the Braves make 22-32 free throws, compared to the Falcons' 12-18 effort, as 50 foul shots were attempted in the physical game.
Kristian Freed led the Braves in rebounds with 12, while Jakob Hummel snared 11, and Dagel eight, along with four impressive blocked shots. Spindler led the winners in assists with five, and Hummel tallied four. Spindler also had three steals to lead that category.
"We played well, all things considering," said Cherokee coach Bob Lee. "They're an aggressive, in-your-face team that pressed us full-court the whole game, even in the closing minutes with our subs in. That's the way they play. We beat their press often and made some shots. This was a nice type of game to have going into the tournament."
Lee also pointed out that the Braves, owners of a modest 10-10 record, are 5-1 against non-conference opponents (5-9 against Lakes Conference teams) this season.