After a slow start, Pella caught fire and never looked back on their way to a quick 62-23 win over Carlisle in the Class 3A District tournament opening round Monday night. Scoreless for almost the first three minutes, Pella saw themselves in a 5-0 hole, when Schyler Kane came to the rescue, draining three 3-pointers to spark the Little Dutch – and it was all Pella from that point. Head coach Mark Core said Kane has been a big boost to their offense late in the season.
“Schyler’s on a nice run, and he’s feeling confident right now. Really, confidence in the game of basketball means so much,” said Core. “When you’re feeling good about yourself as a shooter, all of the sudden the basket looks maybe twice as wide as it does normally. So right now, the basket looks big for Schyler, and he’s putting it up there with confidence.”
Carlisle struggled to find any offensive flow, playing without their leader Jeremy Flaws – who was home sick. Pella held a 42-15 advantage at halftime and quickly stretched their lead to 35 points, putting the running clock in force for most of the second half. The game finished in just 57 minutes. Twelve players scored for Pella, led by Kane’s 17 points – which included five 3-pointers for the third straight game – while Jace Versteeg added 10.
Pella improved to 13-7 on the season and will prepare for a third match-up this season with Little Hawkeye Conference champions Grinnell in Newton on Thursday in the District final. The two split in the regular season; each winning on the others’ home floor You can hear Thursday’s game live on 92.1 FM KRLS.