The Cherokee Braves battled uphill all the way and took a one-point lead midway into the final quarter only to falter at the end and drop a 53-49 basketball game to visiting Ridge View here Saturday afternoon.
Cherokee sank just 16-53 field goals for 30 percent, cashed in just 4-12 three balls, and made 13-21 fre throws for cold offensive performance throughout.
Ridge View meshed 21-63 shots for 40 percent, including 3-10 three-pointers, and made 8-17 free throws.
Eric Wilkie led Cherokee's scoring with 18 points, while Zac Smith added 11 and paced the Braves on the boards with seven rebounds. Cherokee played without senior forward Stetson Dagel who sat out with an injury.
"We struggled shooting the ball again," said Cherokee coach Bob Lee. "We are getting shots that we want to take, just not putting them in the hoop yet. After a slow start, we pulled ourselves back into the game in the third by our defense. "Zach Taylor did a fantastic job of applying pressure to the ball, and really making their point guard work to get it up the court. We caught up early in the 4th, and took a one point lead, but then we ran out of gas a little and Ridge View was able to make some key shots and free throws down the stretch to win the game."
"We were able to hang on at the end and get the win," noted Ridge View coach Ken Slater. "We got up twice in the game and Cherokee made two nice runs to have it go down to the wire. This game will help us down the road. We did some really good things offensively and defensively.
"We did turn the ball over at times and played too loose. We will need to eliminate those mistakes going forward. I was proud of the guys in coming up with the win as we needed one."
The Braves host dangerous Hull Western Christian Friday night, and the Raptors host Boyer Valley in Holstein.