Eric Wilkie lit up the Emmetsburg E-Hawks with a career high 31 points, but that valiant effort fell short as the Braves dropped a 69-56 Lakes Conference basketball game here Friday night.
Wilkie was a one-man wrecking crew for the Braves and helped keep the Cherokee club in the ballgame against the feisty. athletic E-Hawks, who stormed to a 25-12 lead in the first quarter, fell back in the second period, and then went on a 13-0 scoring run to start the third quarter on the way to the 13-point victory.
The Braves sank 18-49 field goals for 37 percent, including a tidy 4-9 three-balls, and was 16-23 from the free throw line, with Wilkie accounting for 12-13 of those.
Emmetsburg cashed in 30-52 shots - all two-pointers and many of those uncontested lay-ups - for a smoking 58 percent and the reason for the win. The E-Hawks netted 9-19 free throws.
Lee was quick to credit the play of Lane Peterson off the bencb, who brought the large crowd to its feet with his hustle and determination time after time. "Man, he worked hard and gave us great energy," noted Lee.
Lee also credited the play of Spindler on defense and Brett Walker off the bench, who turned in a solid performance at both ends of the court.
After battling back to forge a 29-29 halftime tie, the Braves faltered as the E-Hawks went on an 18-8 scoring run in the third period to pull away.
The 3-8 Braves play at Spencer Tuesday, and host Alta-Aurelia Thursday.