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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Braves tumble 63-51 at Storm Lake

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cherokee's Stetson Dagel prepares to drive the ball to the basket during recent basketball action in Cherokee. Photo by Paul Struck
STORM LAKE - The Cherokee Braves spotted Storm Lake an 11-5 lead in the first quarter and despite battling back time and again could not overtake the 7-2 Tornadoes, falling 63-51 here Friday night.

Eric Wilkie led the Braves with 21 points, while Stetson Dagel, playing just one half, tallied 10 points, and Marc Husman and Zac Smith eight apiece.

Ethan Kinkel led Storm Lake's scoring with 18 points, followed by Jay Grant 14, and Koung Deng 12.

The Braves netted 19-65 shots for a chilly 29 percent, including 6-20 three-balls. The Tornadoes made 20-56 shots for 36 percent and were 0-10 on three-pointers.

Eric Wilkie of Cherokee ponders shooting a three-ball or driving to the hole during basketball action in Cherokee recently. Photo by Paul Struck
The difference in the ball game came at the free throw line, where the home team meshed a whopping 23-27 free throws, compared to Cherokee's 7-12, prompting Cherokee coach bob Lee to say, "They shot a lot of free throws and they shot them well."

Smith paced the Braves on the boards with a dozen rebounds, and Wilkie grabbed five. Husman led Cherokee in steals with four.

Storm Lake led 24-17 at halftime, and 41-31 heading into the final period. The Tornadoes ballooned to a 22-point lead in the fourth quarter before the battling Braves fought back to close to within seven points with three minutes left to play. The hosts then kept their distance at the free throw line to seal the deal.

"We didn't take the ball to the basket in the early going and most of the first half," lamented Cherokee coach Lee. "In the second half, we started to execute the offense and penetrate and that kept us fighting back to stay in the game. Eric had 14 points in the first half and then distributed the ball better in the second half and got more players involved. I'm proud of the effort by all the guys. We could have folded the tents when we were down 22 in the fourth and we kept fighting."

The 0-10 Braves play at Hartley-Melvin-Sanbvorn tonight, host South O'Briwn Tuesday night, and travel to Emmetsburg Friday night.

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