Explosive First Half Vaults No. 15 Cherokee Over Rival Storm Lake

13 Feb

BY JEFF BENSON | Cherokee County News-Patriot Sports

CHEROKEE, Iowa - The No 15 ranked Cherokee girls put an exclamation points to a season sweep of Lakes Conference rival Storm Lake on Friday, Jan. 24, pummeling the Tornadoes by 36 points, 86-50. 

In the teams two regular season meets Cherokee outscored Storm Lake 174-to-93, averaging 87 points per contest. 

Cherokee opened the game with an 8-0 run on Storm Lake in the games opening 45 seconds.

Following a 13-to-7 run by Cherokee the Braves led 21-8 with two minutes left in the opening quarter. The final two minutes Storm Lake went on a 6-1 run, ending the first quarter with the score standing in favor of CHerokee 22-14. 

In the second quarter Cherokee outscored the Tornadoes 35-to-6, utilizing a 13-0 run in the quarter and ending the opening half up 37 points, 57-20.

JeMae "Corn Dog" Nichols, Kenna Mongan and Alexis Pingel were in control offensively basically scoring at will against a STorm Lake defense unable to keep pace with the Braves speed. Nichols finished the first half with 14 points, MOngan and Pingel each had 13. 10 different Cherokee players scored in the opening half of play 

Both teams finished with identical numbers in the third quarter, each putting 17 points on the scoreboard with the continous clock in play. Storm Lake maintained a 13-12 edge in scoring the fourth quarter, but the first half offensive assault by Cherokee already had the game decided. 

The persistent pressure imposed by the Cherokee defense forced Storm Lake into 34 costly turnover, while Cherokee finished with only 13.

Cherokee shot 50 percent (34-of-68) attempting 27 more shots than Storm Lake which finished at 49 percent (20-of-41 from the floor overall. One of Cherokee's struggles all season long has been foul shooting. The Braves finished 13-of-26 (50%) against Storm Lake, below their seasonalaverage of 56 percent.

Pingel finished with a game-best 21 points Mongan wound up with 17 and Nichols 16. 

Storm Lake (2-11) was led by Mary Yanga's 16. Skylar Cole chipped in 12 points.

Storm Lake won the battle of the glass, finishing a plus +4 (30-26). The Tornadoes' Amy Slight had a game-high eight rebounds. Cherokee's rebpound leaders were Nichols with six and Molly Piotts with 5ive rebounds off the Braves' bench. 

Cherokee improves to 12-4 overall and continues its bid for a Lakes Conference team title. Cherokee has four regular season games - all conference matchups. The Braves will need a deep postseason run if they expect to duplicate the 22 wins of the 1018-19 season.

Storm Lake 14-20-37-50
 Cherokee 22-57-74-86

Alexis Pingel 9-16 1-2 21, Grace Anderson 3-4 0-2 6, JeMae Nichols 7-12 1-2 16, Teagan Slaughter 1-8 0-2 2, Kenna Mongan 7-8 2-4 17, Camille Zwiefel 1-4 0-0 2, Abbey Vandelune 3-3 1-1 7, Megan Boger 2-3 1-3 6, Molly Pitts 0-5 2-2 2, Anna Paulsrud 1-2 4-6 6, Jena Jenness 0-0 0-0 0, Kayden Waldner 0-2 1-2 1, Taylor Christensen 0-1 0-0 0, Jaylee Happe 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 34-68 13-26 86.

3-point goals: Cherokee 5-25 (Pingel 2-6, Mongan 1-2, Boger 1-2, Nichols 1-2, Christensen 0-1, Paulsrud 0-1, Zwiefel 0-2, Waldner 0-2, Pitts 0-3, Slaughter 0-4), Storm Lake 5-11. Rebounds: Cherokee 26 (Nichols 6, Pitts 5), Storm Lake 30. Assists: Cherokee 25 (Slaughter 8, Pingel 6, Zwiefel 5), Storm Lake 17. Steals: Cherokee 30 (Zwiefel 6, Slaughter 5, Mongan 5, Nichols 4), Storm Lake 7. Blocks: Cherokee 3 (Nichols 2, Slaughter 1), Storm Lake 3.

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