ALTA - A sluggish first half paved the way for the host Alta-Aurelia boys to take a 31-22 halftime lead that set up a hard-fought 51-45 non-conference win over the Cherokee Braves here Thursday night.
Mitchel McDonald paced the balanced A-A boys with 10 points, followed by Ross Friedrich seven, Colton Ballantyne seven, and Nathan Flattery seven. Titus Leitzring led the Warriors on the boards with 10 rebounds, while McDonakd snagged nine, and Friedrich five.
"It was a great team win," said A-A coach Randy Bissen. "We had a lot of guys step up and help us out on both ends of the floor. Titus, Nathan, and Tyler came off the bench and really gave us some productive minutes. "Cherokee has a big physical team and I thought we did a great job of rebounding the basketball against them. We got to the free throw line by attacking the basket and did a nice job of taking care of the ball."
Stetson Dagel paced Cherokee scoring with 14 points, while Eric Wilkie added 12, and Zac Smith seven. Smith and Marc Husman each grabbed eight rebounds to lead that category, and Dagel snagged six.
The Braves sank 16-48 field goals for 33 percent, and the Warriors made 16-45 for 36 percent. The foul-played game saw the hosts net 18-34 free throws, and the Braves mesh 11-17.
"We struggled to match Alta-Aurelia's intensity and hustle in the first half, which allowed them to build a lead and create some confidence," said Cherokee coach bob Lee.
"We did a nice job of regrouping at half, and played much better in the second half. Marc Husman continues to be a spark for us with his hustle and aggressiveness on the court."
The Braves play at Spirit Lake Tuesday night, and the Warriors host Sioux Central.