The win was No. 100 for Bulldog coach Dave Irwin and the team's fifth straight since a two-point setback to Emmetsburg Jan. 5. It was also a big turnaround over the first meeting between the clubs, when Le Mars slipped by Cherokee 54-51 in Cherokee Dec. 8.
"Defensively we had a nice first half. We set some traps and got some steals out of that," said Irwin. "When you do that, you're going to shoot a little better and that set the tone."
In that first meeting in December, the Bulldogs were just 16 of 35 from the field and 17 of 30 from the free-throw line. Le Mars was a blistering 31 of 60 from the floor and 15 of 18 at the foul line Tuesday by comparison.
The hot shooting led to a 14-7 Le Mars lead after the first quarter and a 39-17 advantage by the break. The lead peaked at 29 points in the third quarter before the Braves rallied back to cut it to 18 at 57-39 by the end of the third.
"In the second half - really in the first minute or two - we did a nice job, stayed with our traps a little bit. We got up 29 and I called the trap off," said Irwin. "We got a little passive then, were content with our shot selection and didn't overwork ourselves. I would have liked to have had a little better third quarter to come out of the locker room, but it wasn't in us tonight evidently. But you don't want to harp on that too much - a win is a win."
Clement - the leading scorer in the Lakes - was 15 of 25 from the field in scoring his game-high 34, adding three steals.
"That's a lot of shots, but when you shoot 60 percent nobody is ever going to complain," said Irwin. "He's just so tough to guard. His quickness enables him to create some shots and once again his teammates put him in good positions."
Borchers' night included 21 points, a team-high 10 rebounds and four assists. Irwin said it was Borchers that got the Bulldogs rolling in the first half.
"The game was Bryan Borchers offensively. In the first half he had four traditional three-point plays. We got the ball to him and he finished strong," said Irwin. "He was 6 of 8 from the floor and 9 of 10 from the free-throw line. You throw in 10 bards and that's a pretty special night for a kid."
Justin Phelan added six points and four assists, Tyler Schleis a team-high six assists and Caleb Van Otterloo five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Van Otterloo's major contribution came on the defensive end, where he limited Cherokee leading scorer Cory Ege to 10 points.
The Bulldogs are now 9-3 overall and 6-2 at the midway point of the Lakes season, but will see Syd Bergquist and Spirit Lake for the first time Friday at home.
"We'll spend some time this week and watch some tape, talk to some people that have seen Spirit Lake more than us and try to devise a game plan," said Irwin. "We get another one at home, which is nice, but - regardless of records - in this conference you have to be ready to play every night. We're still working on putting four quarters together. We're not quite there yet, but we're playing alright."