The Pella Christian boys basketball team must have felt like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day” last night, as they found themselves repeating the same early game miscues that doomed them in the first meeting and again leaving them unable to recover from an early deficit to Pella. The Little Dutch jumped out to a 19-6 advantage through the first quarter and maintained the spread from there as they claimed a 65-41 win over Pella Christian. The Pella defense forced the Eagles into several early turnovers, which Little Dutch Head Coach Mark Core says is what they wanted to do early on.
“The main thing we’re trying to establish with our pressure is to get the game going up and down the floor. We feel like that’s what we do best,” said Core. “The defensive pressure created tempo, and that’s to our liking.”
The Dutch were again balanced offensively, led by a 14-point, 8 rebound performance from Blaine Forsythe, while senior Nathan Buchheit also scored in double figures with 11. Pella Christian was paced by 9 points from Chase Carlson, while Sam Tvedt and Kyle Nikkel each chipped in 8 points. Eagles’ Head Coach Larry Hessing said it was disappointing to see his team fall behind early, after feeling they had prepared well enough to do better.
“It’s really disappointing and disheartening, and I don’t know where to start with this,” said Hessing. “When we got down early the way we did, it just seemed like our mindset became ‘here we go again’ and I just didn’t think we reacted very well to it until the third quarter, when we got it [the score] down to eleven.”
At that point, the score was 45-34, but the Dutch then rattled off eight straight points and the Eagles never challenged for the lead again. With the win, Pella is now 11-1 in Little Hawkeye Conference play, while Pella Christian falls to 9-3 in the conference, with the losses to the Little Dutch and Norwalk. Pella travels to Knoxville on Friday, while Pella Christian is on the road at Grinnell.