For the second time this season the Pella Christian girls and boys basketball teams claimed a pair of conference victories over Knoxville – but the margins were much closer the second time around – as the Lady Eagles claimed a 68-30 win last night and the PC boys followed up with a hard-fought 73-67 triumph in a pair of games heard live on 92.1 fm KRLS and 1320 am KNIA.
The opener saw the Pella Christian girls open the game on a 20-0 run, and essentially cruise from there, as the Panthers played the Lady Eagles fairly close for the remaining three quarters. Ten players scored for Pella Christian, led by 14 points from Jasmin Schelhaas and 11 points from Tayler Stursma. Knoxville was led by 10 points from Hanna Rosenkranz. The win moves the Pella Christian girls to 7-0 in the Little Hawkeye Conference and 11-2 overall, while Knoxville dips to 1-13 overall and 0-7 in league play.
The boys’ game saw Knoxville open up the contest on a 10-0 run, only to have the Eagles’ close the first quarter on a matching run to end the first quarter 10-10. After that, Pella Christian seemed to gain the momentum, taking a 32-24 halftime lead, and going up by as many as 15 points in the third quarter.
The Knoxville boys would not give up, though, fighting back late in the third period and going on a 10-0 run late in the fourth quarter to pull within five points. They would actually get as close as four points at a pair of different moments in the final minutes, but the Eagles would close out the game at the free-throw line. Knoxville’s Bryant McWilliams led all players with 18 points and also pulled down 8 rebounds, while Gerritt Davis poured in 17 points to lead the Panthers. Pella Christian placed four players in double-figures in the scoring column, led by Austin Vermeer’s 16-point, 11-rebound performance.
Following the win, the Pella Christian boys are now 8-4 overall and 4-3 in the Little Hawkeye Conference; while Knoxville is at 1-12 overall and 0-7 in league play. Both teams have non-conference games on the schedule for today, as Knoxville hosts Chariton to cap off their big “Coaches versus Cancer” day in a girl/boy doubleheader; and Pella Christian travels to Des Moines to face Des Moines Christian in a busy day of non-conference basketball for the Eagles that will include a total of five games.