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High School Basketball:
Slow Start Doesn't Bother Cherokee to Rally Past Eastern

Saturday, January 4, 2003

By Jerome Michaels
SJSports Special Correspondent

Bounce, bounce, bounce...dribble, score, cheer was finally here for basketball fans to enjoy on the fourth day of the New Year. The Vikings from Eastern traveled to Cherokee High School to take on the Chiefs for their first divisional contest of the season. Initially, Eastern jumped out taking control of this Olympic Conference American Division boy's basketball game converting on early chances. Cherokee would respond in the middle two quarters outscoring Eastern 29-14 to pull away with a narrow 41-38 victory.

It was all Eastern as Chris LaVoice and Kofi Dwebeng lead the charge in the first quarter. Cherokee was caught on the back of their heals and trail 15-4 starting the second quarter. Tim Kemp and Shawn Barlow established their position and were able to chip away Eastern's lead, but it was Jeff Benfield who turned the game around. Benfield found his shooters touch to remove a 5-point halftime deficit to a 33-29 lead going into the final quarter. Cherokee would hold on to the lead to win the game. Kofi Dwebeng had a team high 11-points for Eastern while Jeff Benfield ended with a game high 15-points.

Photos by Forrest Robleto

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