Anyone who watched a Pella High boys basketball game last season would probably use words like “hustle”, “high-engergy” and “fast-paced” to describe the style of play employed by the Little Dutch. Those adjectives will stay in the lexicon again this season, and others like “swarming” and “suffocating” will likely be added to the list of ways to describe the high-pressure, up-and-down type of game that Pella plans to run.
A key component of that format is the full-court press defense, something head coach Mark Core says the team began implementing just before Thanksgiving break.
“The main focus has been putting in our presses. We’re almost there. We stopped a little bit short of getting our full press package in, but that’s ok,” says Core.
“We’ve got enough of it in that we think we can go into the weekend scrimmage, and then certainly by next week – by the time we’re actually playing regular season games – we’ll have the full compliment of presses in, and hopefully at that point we’ll be starting to tweak them and make them as effective as they need to be”
Core will pilot a Little Dutch team that features a number of seniors who played significant minutes last season, though he’ll also be charged with the task of filling the offensive production of five of the top six scorers from last season that were lost to graduation.
The Little Dutch went 19-4 last year, falling to Mount Pleasant in the Substate Finals; and will aim to avenge that loss when they open the 2011-2012 season against the Panthers next Saturday.