Following a challenging three-game slate this past week, the Pella Christian girls and boys will be back on the hardwood again tonight in a Little Hawkeye Conference doubleheader against Grinnell. The Lady Eagles are riding a three-game win streak following a 67-64 overtime win over Des Moines Christian on Saturday, but head coach Kevin Van Maanen said his team will need to stay sharp to take another win from the Tigers.
“The second time around is always the toughest, because they kind of pick apart what you do best and try and take that away. We’ve just got to keep getting better defensively,” said Van Maanen. “Grinnell’s coming in as our next opponent in the conference, and we kind of struggled at their place. We need to play a little bit sharper against them. They like to press and get after it, so we’ve got to take care of the basketball.”
Pella Christian’s conference record is 8-0.
Things have gotten a little bit bumpy lately for the Eagle boys, meanwhile, and it won’t be any easier tonight, against the conference-leading Tigers. Head coach Larry Hessing says his team is taking a more cerebral approach after a pair of mistake-prone games over the past weekend.
“We felt that we made too many mental errors and too many silly fouls, and we just need to clean some things up,” said Hessing. “The challenge going forward is probably more focus, more energy, and just trying to understand what a high ‘basketball IQ’ looks like and just trying to attain that.”
The Pella Christian boys are 8-5 overall and 4-3 in the Little Hawkeye Conference. You can hear both games broadcast live tonight on 92.1 fm KRLS, with Jamie Brockman providing the call; starting at 6:00 p.m.