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Albia No Match for Pella Christian Boys in Tournament Opener

A very strong third quarter helped the Pella Christian boys basketball team put their District Tournament opener away early, as the Eagles dispatched Albia 63-37 Monday night in Pella.

The defenses were on display in the opening period, as Pella Christian held an 11-4 advantage through the opening eight minutes. The scoring picked up in the second frame, though, and the Eagles used an 8-0 run midway through the quarter to take command of the game; finishing the first half up 29-16. Any doubt that Pella Christian would win was removed in the third stanza, as the Eagles opened on a 6-0 run and ultimately outscored Albia 17-5 to put the game out of reach, as they entered the final quarter with a 46-21 lead.

“It was a good win for us. Obviously in tournament play you want to come out on top, and even though it was kind of a sluggish start, I thought we did what we wanted to do,” said Pella Christian head coach Larry Hessing. “We thought we could do a better job on defense this time; we had kind of a better handle on what Albia wanted to do, and then offensively – it took us a little while to get going – but eventually I thought we started getting some better possessions.”

Ten players scored one basket or more for Pella Christian, led by Caleb Morgan’s 14 points. Jordan Van Maanen was close behind with 13 points, and Caleb Van Weelden’s 9 rebounds was a game-high. The Pella Christian win in the opening round of the Class 2A District Tournament betters their record to 13-7. They’ll face PCM on Thursday in Monroe. The Mustangs had a first round bye.