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So close yet so far is the most apt way to describe the Cherokee Lady Jackets encounter with the North Lady Stars in a 41-38 defeat on Monday evening.
North would start the game on an 8-2 tilt before Cherokee used baskets from Lana Robinson and Gianna Manfredi to get within 10-6 at the end of the first period.
Robinson, Manfredi and Meredith Garrett scored the early points for the Lady Jackets in period number one.
After Cherokee got within 13-10, North went on a 6-0 tilt to pull out to a 19-10 lead before Cherokee went on a 6-0 run of their own to get within 19-16 thanks to four points from Casey Gaines and two from her sister Shannon.
The Lady Stars scored the last three points of the half to lead 22-16 at the half.
Casey and Shannon Gaines were the leading scorers for Cherokee with four points each in the second period.
North would have a 10-4 run in the middle of the third period, but the rest of the third period at the first and end of the third period saw Cherokee outscore the Stars 10-3 to pull within 35-30 after three periods of play.
Manfredi scored 10 of Cherokee's 14 third period points.
Cherokee would outscore the Lady Stars 8-6 in the final period and pulled within 41-38 at the end of the game, but couldn’t catch the Lady Stars down the stretch.
Cherokee had a 27-24 edge on the boards and a 17-6 advantage in team steals on the night.
Manfredi (14 points, 7 boards) and Shannon Gaines (10 points, 5 boards, 5 steals) scored in double figures for Cherokee. Robinson (7 boards), Abby Wilson (6 assists, 5 steals) and Garrett (5 boards) also played well in the loss.
Cherokee (38) Manfredi 14, S. Gaines 10, Garrett 5, Robinson 4, C. Gaines 4, Wilson 1.
It might not have been the most stylish of victories, but the Yellow Jackets escaped with a 41-36 win on Monday Night over North.
Cherokee started off with a 7-2 lead at the end of the first period with Tyler Thurman (4 points) leading the Jackets in scoring.
Cherokee pulled out to an 11-6 lead at one point in the second period before both teams scored three points en route to the Jackets taking the 14-9 halftime lead.
North would embark on a 13-5 run through much of the third period to take a 22-19 lead.
Matt Spellman would tie the game at 22-22 with a clutch three-point play for the Jackets before the Stars scored the final basket of the third period to take a 24-22 lead into the final stanza.
Spellman (5 points) led the Jackets in third period scoring.
The Jackets came out buzzing in the final stanza with an 11-5 surge with Spellman scoring six points during the run by Cherokee to take a 33-29 lead.
Spellman added three more to enable the Jackets to capture a 41-36 win.
Spellman (17 points), Tyler Thurman (7 points), and Nathan Jones (6 points) led the Jackets in scoring. Tanner Poole (6 boards) also played well in the win.
Cherokee (41) Spellman- 17, Thurman 7, Jones 6, Clark 4, Poole 4, Plemens 3.