Behind a 16-0 run in the game’s opening minutes, the Pella boys basketball team quickly put Oskaloosa in their rearview mirror, as the Little Dutch raced past the Indians for a 79-40 win in Monday night’s District 6 Tournament opener in Class 3-A.
After Pella scored the game’s opening basket, Oskaloosa returned the favor with a three-pointer at their offensive end to take their only lead of the night. From there, the Little Dutch streaked out to an 18-3 advantage and never let up; posting a 44-18 advantage by halftime and outscoring the Indians 35-22 in the second half.
Leading the charge for Pella was the dazzling play of their post players, as Kyle Newendorp finished with a game-high 18 points and 6 rebounds, while teammate Chris Bandstra finished with 14 points and collected a game-best 12 rebounds.
Little Dutch Head Coach Mark Core said the team’s sheer enjoyment of the game is translating into great play on the floor.
“These guys truly are having fun. I just don’t think [they’re] quite ready to let go of basketball. I think they want to play for a couple more, maybe three more weeks,”said Core.
“Right now I think we’re playing our best basketball of our season. Since the last time we played Oskaloosa and lost, we’ve just been playing really well on the offensive and defensive sides.”
The Little Dutch converted on an impressive 50 percent of their shots from the floor, which surprisingly included only one three-pointer. They also knocked down 22-of-32 free throw attempts – nearly twice as many makes as Oskaloosa had attempts.
Behind Newendorp and Bandstra, the Little Dutch had ten more players crack the scoring column, including 9 points from Deckar Lynch and 7 points apiece by Spencer Boeyink and Nick Dorman.
The victory advances the Pella boys on to the District 12 finals, where they’ll face a Williamsburg squad that downed Washington 60-38 on Monday night. The Little Dutch are 18-3 overall, while the Raiders carry a 13-9 record into Thursday night’s game, which will be held at Oskaloosa High School at 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcast live on 92.1 fm KRLS.