Paige Engbers had the hot hand from beyond the three-point arc as Pella Christian rolled to a 73-43 win over Eddyville-Blakesburg in Tuesday night’s Class 2A Regional Quarterfinal in Pella. Engbers knocked down four of her seven 3-pointers in the first quarter; giving the Lady Eagles an 18-7 lead entering the second period. The Rockets showed signs of life late in the second quarter, though, posting an 8-0 run and entering the locker room down just 30-18 at the intermission.
What hope Eddyville-Blakesburg had left, though, was quickly squashed by Pella Christian, as they forced the Rockets into a series of turnovers and missed shots to post a 21-10 scoring advantage in the third quarter and enter the final frame with a 51-28 lead. From there, a few more outside shots and several strong contributions from the Lady Eagles’ reserves capped off the win; allowing the majority of Pella Christian’s seven seniors to enjoy the conclusion of their final home game from the bench.
The two eye-popping figures that came from the game were the 35 turnovers committed by Eddyville-Blakesburg and Pella Christian’s 12 3-pointers; both of which contributed heavily to the outcome. Guards Jasmin Schelhaas and Cali Vink said the way the team carried out their defensive strategy was an important step forward.
“We wanted to focus on our defense, especially our full-court press,” said Schelhaas. “We wanted to make them [Eddyville-Blakesburg] hurry up on offense and turn the ball over.”
“Our weak-side [defense] was there tonight,” said Vink. “We’ve been working on that a lot, and tonight we were just all working together on defense. It was a good defensive night.”
Not surprisingly, Engbers was Pella Christian’s top scorer at 21 points, while Christina Nolte and Schelhaas added 14 and 13 points, respectively, to round out the top scorers. With the victory, the Lady Eagles are now 18-3 overall. They’ll travel to Sigourney Friday night for a neutral-site Regional Semifinal game against Iowa City Regina. The Regents defeated Mid-Prairie 58-38 Tuesday night in their Regional Quarterfinal and are 20-3 on the season.