Pella split a non-conference doubleheader Tuesday night with Washington as the girls lost another close game 38-36; while the boys ended the night with a 75-50 win.
In the girls’ game, both teams were ice cold from the field, but Pella was able to maintain a lead throughout the first half and headed to the locker room with a 20-12 advantage. In the second half, turnovers began to mount against the Lady Dutch as they struggled against Washington’s full-court pressure allowing the Demons to pull within one point after three quarters.
The two teams swapped leads throughout the fourth quarter, but Washington iced the win with just :07 remaining; hitting two free throws to go up by four. Pella answered with a basket at the buzzer to cut the final deficit to two. Pella coach Jerod Garland said they felt pretty good starting the second half but things turned sour quickly:
“We came out in the third quarter and talked about trying to put them away, and we have three or four turnovers in the first couple minutes, and just like that, they’re back in it – they’re smelling blood,” said Garland. “We’re so close to being a good team. We’re just not there yet; we just have to improve in some areas.”
Regan Cooper turned in another all-star effort for Pella, pouring in 21 points to go along with 18 rebounds as Pella fell to 9-8 overall.
In the boys’ game, Pella came out firing on all cylinders as they jumped out to a 22-10 lead after one quarter; but Washington fired right back to pull within 30-25 at halftime. Pella got their groove back midway through the third quarter, once again showcasing a strong defensive effort – and would slam the door on their way to a 75-50 win. Pella coach Mark Core said they lost focus in the second quarter but rebounded nicely to get back on track:
“I think we kind of got away from attacking the paint, and that was something we discussed at halftime,” said Core. “Our guys did a terrific job of coming out and picking their zone [defense] apart with quick ball movement and flashes into the seems of the zone.”
It was a strong offensive night as well for the Dutch – who had 12 players score, including Jace Versteeg’s 15 points to lead four players in double figures. Pella improved to 9-6 overall. Both teams return to Little Hawkeye Conference action Friday as they travel to Grinnell.