Great defensive play and plenty clutch shots by both teams made for a thrilling finish to last night’s boys basketball game between Pella Christian and Norwalk; but the home team left the court empty-handed as a steal and buzzer-beating lay-up gave the Warriors a 54-52 overtime victory.
Neither team led by more than four points at the end of any quarter as momentum swung back-and-forth throughout the night, and a last second three-pointer from Norwalk rimmed out at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime at 44-44.
Dan Hessing converted on consecutive possessions in the extra frame to give Pella Christian the upper hand, but Norwalk refused to go down. Trailing 52-49 with less than 30 seconds remaining, the Warriors drained a three-pointer to tie it at 52-52 and led to a timeout called by Eagles’ head coach Larry Hessing for one final play. It was then that Kolby Greenslade made the game-winning steal and lay-up at the buzzer to give the Warriors just their second conference win of the season.
Hessing said he had his players prepared for the challenge that Norwalk would present, but had no idea the the game would end how it did.
“I knew this game was going to be tough tonight. I told the guys that, and I think they believed me. Norwalk may have a quote, unquote, ‘bad record’, but they’re not a bad team,” said Hessing. “I told the guys it was going to be a tough game tonight, I just didn’t know that it was going to be a tough pill to swallow here at the end.”
The loss overshadowed a very impressive performance by Pella Christian’s Caleb Van Weelden, who scored a game-high 18 points and pulled down 9 rebounds, while battling with Norwalk’s tall post players all night. The Eagles are now 7-4 overall and 3-3 in the Little Hawkeye Conference. They’ll host Knoxville on Friday.
Click the link below to hear Eric Gotschall’s call of the final seconds on 92.1 fm KRLS.