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Strong finish gives LCS girls win over Cherokee

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

(Photo by Kent Jones) Le Mars' Meredith Rand attacks the basket in her team's 60-48 victory over Cherokee.
CHEROKEE -- The Le Mars girls basketball team is picking up steam in the final stretch of the season, collecting its second consecutive win at Cherokee on Tuesday, 60-48.

"It was a good win," LCS coach Judd Kopperud said. "Cherokee is a dangerous team right now. We were very happy to come out of there with a win tonight."

The teams were evenly matched in the game's opening stages, but the Lady 'Dogs were able to gain a slight edge and led 12-9 after the first quarter.

(Photo by Kent Jones) Lady Dogs' senior Molly Renken drives past a Cherokee defender in her team's win.
Things remained close in the second period and the Braves pulled within a point at halftime, 21-20.

"In the first half we were kind of flat on both ends of the floor," Kopperud said. "We weren't moving our feet as well on defense as we should have. Offensively we were a little stagnant."

Shots started to drop for Le Mars in the second half, but Cherokee hung with the 'Dogs in a high-scoring third quarter.

Coach Kopperud's team was up 39-37 going into the final eight minutes.

It was in these closing minutes that Le Mars put the game out of reach for their opponents, outscoring the Braves 21-9.

"We did a nice job executing in the fourth quarter," Kopperud said. "We got some shots to drop, we made big stops on defense and rebounded very well. The girls really dug deep and were able to to put together a nice quarter to finish the game off and get a good win for us."

Molly Renken led the Lady 'Dogs in scoring with 16 points, followed by Emily Pick with 15. Mary Kate Eckstaine finished the night with 10 points and seven assists.

On the defensive end, Ashley Phelan had 12 rebounds and Carolyn Ahlers grabbed six boards for Le Mars.

With the win, the Bulldogs' record improves to 7-10.

They will host third ranked Estherville on Friday.

"Estherville is right at the top of the conference and they're one of the top teams in the state," Kopperud said. "We look forward to the challenge Friday night on our home floor and hopefully we can come out, play hard and play a solid game."

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