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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Braves fall late at E-LC, 64-58

Monday, December 17, 2012

ESTHERVILLE - Playing one of their best games to date, the Cherokee Braves ended up on the short end of the stick here Friday night, dropping a hard-fought 64-58 game to Estherville-LC in Lakes Conference boys basketball.

Cherokee guard Kevin Fajardo controls the dribble and his opponent during recent basketball action in Cherokee. The Braves lost an exciting game at Estherville-LC Friday night. Photo by Paul StrucK
Three Braves cracked into double figures as the team broke out of a scoring funk that has plagued them the last few games. Zac Smith, overcoming a nettlesome back injury, scored a season-high 18 points, with 14 of those coming in the second half, while Marc Husman hit a career varsity high tally of 13 points, and Eric Wilkie added 10.

Nathaniel Morgan secures a loose ball as his defender closes in during recent Lakes Conference basketball action in Cherokee. Morgan's teammate Marc Husman observes in background. Photo by Paul Struck
David Hughes led the host Midgets with 22 points, at times unstoppable by the Cherokee defense as he penetrated down the lane to the basket. Evan Hansen added 15 to the E-LC cause.

Never saying never, the Braves kept battling throughout after leading 16-7 in the first quarter, and trailing 25-23 at halftime. The Midgets took a 42-37 lead into the final frame and cashed in 10-12 free throws down the fourth-quarter stretch to seal the deal over the pesky Braves.

Cherokee made 23-53 field goals for 43 percent, and netted 7-13 free throws. E-LC sank 23-56 shots for 41 percent, and meshed 14-22 free throws.

Wilkie paced the Braves in assists with five, and Nathaniel Morgan had three steals and led Cherokee rebounders with eight, while Smith grabbed six.

The Cherokee cause was hurt when Stetson Dagel, the Braves' major inside presence, was whistled for his third foul in the first quarter and was forced to the bench until late in the third frame. Cherokee coach Bob Lee also credited hustling Zac Taylor for his defensive prowess off the bench.

"They are small and very quick," said Lee of the Midgets. "Their half-court defense gave us problems early on. We also had 11 turnovers in the first half that cost us possessions and points. We're taking steps to improvement but need to overcome the turnovers and cold shooting."

Cherokee's Brett Walker drives the baseline during recent basketball action in Cherokee. Photo by Paul Struck
The Braves travel to East Sac County tonight, and go to Le Mars Friday before the Christmas break.

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