Junior forward Zac Smith scored 22 points and snagged 10 rebounds to register a nifty double-double to lead the Cherokee Braves to a 64-53 non-conference win over Manson NW Webster in Cherokee Thursday night.
Smith was feelin' and dealin' throughout the game, despite sitting out most of the second quarter after being whistled for his second foul late in the first period.
Tucker Herzberg paced the Cougars with 22 points, and Brody Eischeid totaled 13.
The Braves sank 21-44 field goals for a warm 48 percent, including 7-17 three-balls. Cherokee netted 15-24 free throws.
MNW made 18-53 shots for 34 percent, and cashed in 12-16 free throws.
The Braves led 27-24 at halftime, but with Smith leading the way, went on a 22-15 scoring run in the third quarter to take control of the game, even though the hustling Cougars cut the lead to four points on a couple occasions.
"It is a good feeling to open at home with a win against a good opponent," said Cherokee coach Bob Lee. "Manson has some real good shooters and played tough team defense tonight.
"We are real proud of how our guys responded in the third quarter when things didn't go our way. They came out, picked up their intensity on the defensive end and created some turnovers that helped lead to some easier baskets on the break.
"We got big performances from Zac Smith and Adam Pitts. Zac shot the ball well and made some nice moves in the post. He hit a couple of big three's during the third quarter that really got us going. Adam had a huge night on the boards, played great help side defense, and hit some key free throws to close out the game."
The Braves host Spencer Tuesday night.