The Pella High boys basketball team avenged an earlier season loss to Grinnell with a 60-58 overtime win over the host Tigers Friday night, while the Lady Dutch overcame a sluggish start to post a 44-35 triumph in a road sweep of Grinnell in Little Hawkeye Conference play.
Heard live on kniakrls.com, the opener saw Pella convert on just one field goal in the entire first half, but success at the free-throw line gave the Lady Dutch a slim 13-10 advantage at the intermission. Pella more than doubled its score in the third quarter and eventually pulled away from the scrappy Tigers in the final frame, but it was certainly an unconventional win, as Pella shot just 20 percent from the floor, but made an incredible 30 free throws on 47 attempts. Regan Cooper had a team-best 15 points to go alongside 14 rebounds, with Bailey Vande Weerd scoring 11 points and Maddy Scholten pulling down an impressive 18 rebounds. The win moves the Pella girls to 10-8 overall this season and 7-3 in the Little Hawkeye Conference.
The boys’ game was just as competitive as any fan would hope for, as the Little Dutch entered a rowdy environment with the goal of proving they were better than the team that lost to Grinnell by six points earlier in the season. The two teams battled back-and-fourth for three quarters, remaining within four points of each other most of the way, until the Little Dutch seized a 39-33 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Pella began to gain the momentum, and a three-point play by Grant Gustafson with 6:06 remaining in the final frame of regulation gave Pella an 11-point lead. The Tigers stormed right back, though, assembling a 10-0 run to pull right back within one point and the two teams finished regulation tied at 55 points.
The extra frame saw Pella knock down timely free throws, including the game-winners from Lucas Boyd, and a final attempt by the Tigers rimmed out just before the buzzer to allow the Little Dutch to hang on for the win. Boyd had a team-best 23-points, and went 13-of-14 from the foul stripe. The Pella boys are now 10-6 on the season and 8-2 in the Little Hawkeye Conference.
Both squads have another road game on the schedule today, as they’ll travel to Fairfield.