Four players reached double figures in scoring as the Pella Christian girls basketball team topped Monticello 52-46 Monday night in Marengo to earn a State Tournament berth for the second consecutive season. The Class 2A Regional Final started off a bit slowly, but an 18-2 scoring run the spanned between the first and second quarters proved to be the pivotal stretch of the game.
“I didn’t realize that the late-first quarter [and] early second quarter run we made would be the run that was going to win the game for us,” said Pella Christian head coach Kevin Van Maanen. “We pretty much got up there and just held on.”
The Lady Eagles led by as many as 13 points in both the second and third quarters, but the Panthers found ways to pull themselves back in. With the lead shrinking late in the game, Jasmin Schelhaas hit a clutch three-pointer to secure the win, as Pella Christian was able to close out the game from the free throw line.
Schelhaas finished with a game-high 14 points. Behind Schelhaas was Tayler Stursma’s 13 points, Christina Nolte’s 12 points, and Sami Veenstra’s 10 points. Veenstra and Stursma also tallied 8 and 7 rebounds, respectively. The Lady Eagles’ defense, meanwhile, held Monticello’s leading scorer – Brooke Stahlberg – in check, as she made just two field goals and scored 8 points.
The Pella Christian girls basketball team enters the Class 2A State Tournament with a 20-3 overall record, and will face unbeaten West Hancock on Tuesday morning in the opening round.