The Braves jumped to a 20-10 lead after the tirst quarter, but were outscored 18-10 in the second frame for a shaky 30-28 halftime lead. Both teams managed just nine points each in the third period to forge a 39-37 Cherokee lead heading into the final eight minutes, in which the Braves outscored the Raptors 18-14 for the win.
Eric Wilkie had a career high 23 points to lead Cherokee, while Jake Spindler added 14 and played some stifling defense down the stretch to boost the Braves to the victory. Zac Smith added 13 points, and Stetson Dagel five, along with 10 rebounds. Smith snagged 11 boards, and WIlkie nine, to go along with his four assists for a superb floor game all-around.
Travis Hoeppner led Ridge View with 17 points, and Seth Johnson added 10.
Cherokee sank 18-52 field goals for a chilly 29 percent, and was 15-18 from the foul line. The Raptors made 18-55 for 33 percent and cashed in 12-21 free throws.
"Ridge View played very tough tonight," said Cherokee coach Bob Lee. "They hit big shots when they needed to and never gave up. Our guys did a nice job of challenging their shots, limiting their open looks, and only giving them one shot each possession.
"We felt like we did a nice job of working through our offense against theur zone defense. Jake and Zac hit some jumpers to spread them out, and Eric found openings in their defense to slash to the hoop for several baskets. Eric played a very aggressive game tonight."
Ridge View coach Shannon Tesch said, "Cherokee has a good team. They played hard and got it done in the 4th quarter. We played pretty well, just came up short."
The 2-3 Braves play at Estherville-LC Friday night before the holiday break.
The 1-5 Raptors are at Logan-Magnolia Friday.