Braves Roll Over Storm Lake Again
STORM LAKE - History shows it's been 11 years since Storm Lake has beaten Cherokee in girls' basketball.
Friday night the domination continued as the Class 3A, No. 1 ranked Braves rolled over the Tornadoes, 68-23, and improved to 14-0. Storm Lake's gals are 1-12.
It was understandably an emotional night for Cherokee players, coaches and fans as they entered the contest minus four-year starter, senior Teagan Slaughter.
Sadly, Slaughter tore an ACL in a game last week and is facing surgery. But to her credit and courage, she was on the sidelines to support her teammates here Friday. The senior cager was averaging 12.7 points a game this season and led the Braves in assists (55), and was second in steals (47) behind the state's steal queen and teammate, JeMae Nichols (80).
Teagan's dad, Brandon, is the head coach of the Braves. "It's always tough when you lose a great player," said Coach Slaughter on Sunday. "But this one really stings because she's a great player and she's my daughter. We are devastated, but we have goals for this team and Teagan wants to be a part of it, so her role is going to change."
Coach Slaughter continued, "Teagan has been a great leader all year and I know she will keep that leadership role rolling. She will rehab and be even better down the road."
Teagan recently signed on to play her college ball at Briar Cliff University and join her sister, Payton, on the Charger roster next year.
In the win over Storm Lake, Cherokee rolled out to a 47-12 first half lead and never looked back. "I was happy to see all the kids get to play," said Coach Slaughter. "It was a good win and some of our younger kids got some good varsity minutes. Coach Heath Hagberg is in charge of our substitutions and does a good job," added Slaughter.
All 10 players suited for the Braves scored in this one led by junior Lexi Pingel with 12, senior Nichols with 11, with senior Grace Anderson and sophomore Kenna Mongan chipping in 10 points apiece.
Cherokee also got seven points from junior Abbey VandeLune and five each from juniors Molly Pitts and Anna Paulsrud.
Mongan and Nichols each grabbed seven steals, while junior teammate Camille Zwiefel had a strong defensive game with five steals. Nichols led the Braves in rebounding with 10, while VandeLune and Paulsrud nabbed five each.
"It was a good win for us and we appreciate the rankings," noted Coach Slaughter. "But our goal is to be ranked No. 1 at the end of the season."
Cherokee's gals played No. 10th ranked Estherville-Lincoln Central on Tuesday and host Western Christian on Friday night.