A stout Le Mars defense limited the Cherokee Braves to just 18 points each half carrying the visiting Bulldogs to a 61-36 Lakes Conference basketball victory here Tuesday night to kick off the second half of the hoops season following the holiday break.
Rated Le Mars (8-1) popped in 28-54 field goals for a sizzling 52 percent, several of those makes on the end of a Cherokee turnover resulting in an easy lay-up or short put-back. The Bulldogs were 4-10 from the foul line.
After nursing a 12-9 lead in the first quarter, the Bulldogs erupted on a 20-9 scoring tear in the second quarter to create separation from the Braves and take a 32-18 halftime lead. The teams tallied 10 points apiece in the third frame, before Le Mars ran it out on a 19-8 scoring advantage in the final eight minutes.
All-Stater Austin Homan, a 6-7 post, led the Bulldog scoring with 16 points, and Gabe Rahn added 10.
"We did not shoot the ball very well tonight against a very talented Le Mars squad," said Cherokee coach Bob Lee. "We were getting the shots we wanted to take, we just weren't putting them through the hoop. We made too many unforced turnovers as well, and Le Mars was able to turn these into quick transition opportunities on the other end.
"I was real pleased with our defensive effort. We challenged their shooters and limited their second chance opportunities. As a result of that, we were able to outrebound (42-29) a taller team."
The 2-6 Braves host a 6-3 Storm Lake team Friday night that was formerly rated in Class 3A.