While many teams elected not to play last night, the Pella Christian girls and boys did make the trip to Norwalk and came away with a split with the girls winning 22-20 and the boys falling 60-54. The girls fought their way through a slow moving game to gain a 22-20 win. Norwalk’s game plan was to hold the basketball as long as possible, and limit Pella Christian’s posessions and they did that with several posessions that lasted over a minute. Eagles coach Kevin Van Maanen said it was the type of game where they needed to be very focused and stay patient and he was pleased with how the girls handled it. Pella Christian led just 10-9 at halftime but Norwalk tied the game at 19 heading into the fourth quarter. Norwalk held the ball for several minutes in the fourth quarter but only managed one point and teh Eagles were able to get just enough to win. Bekah Posthuma and Shelby Weaver led Pella Christian with five points each as the Eagles improved to 6-5 overall and 5-2 in the Little Hawkeye Conference. They are off until next Friday when they begin their second round of games in the LHC hosting South Tama.
The boys game was everything it was thought it would be heading in as the two teams stayed close until the final minutes when Norwalk was able to hit several free throws and earn a 60-54 win to stay undefeated while handing the Eagles their second loss of the season. Norwalk led 18-17 after one quarter and held a 32-28 advantage at halftime as it was still anybody’s ball game heading into the second half. The Warriors were able to extend their lead to 45-37 after three quarters and never relinquished that lead in the fourth quarter despite several Pella Christian runs where the Eagles would cut it down to a two or four point lead. In the end it came down to Norwalk making free throws which they did. Pella Christian coach Larry Hessing said even though it was a loss, he was happy with alot of things the guys did on the floor against a taller, stronger Norwalk team. He said in the second half of Tuesday’s win over Grinnell and throughout alot of last night’s game he’s starting to see glimpses again of how good this team can be. He says they still had a few mental breakdowns though and when you only lose by six points that makes a big difference. Jake Logan and Jared Stogdill combined for 41 points for Norwalk, Logan with 23 and Stogdill with 18. Pella Christian was led by Alex Branderhorst with 14 and Chase Carlson with 10. The Eagles leading scorer Kyle Nikkel was held to just four points on the night. Norwalk improved to 7-0 overall and 5-0 in the LHC while Pella Christian dropped to 7-2 overall and 5-2 in LHC play. Next up for the Eagles is a non conference game with Centrerville then back to LHC play Friday hosting South Tama.