The Pella High girls basketball team avenged an earlier home loss to Pella Christian with a 51-40 victory on the Lady Eagles’ home court Tuesday night, and gave their cross-town rivals their first Little Hawkeye Conference loss in the process. Lady Dutch head coach Jerod Garland credited the focus of his girls entering the game for their success once the ball went up.
“They were just really locked in the last few days,” said Garland. “[On the] 50/50 balls we had girls on the floor, and it was just an outstanding effort. It was fun to see two teams come play hard, play it the way it’s supposed to be played.”
Pella Christian’s girls got a strong start to their contest, as Christina Nolte knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to open the game, and the Lady Eagles took a 15-9 lead into the second quarter. Pella tied the game midway through the second frame, but the Lady Eagles came right back to hold a 28-22 halftime advantage. The ladies in green dominated the third quarter, though, outscoring Pella Christian 14-4 and seizing control of the game.
A key element in Pella’s success was their effort on the glass, as they had 42 rebounds to Pella Christian’s 23. It didn’t hurt that they also shot over 50 percent from the floor in the final two quarters, while holding Pella Christian to 14 percent from the field. Lady Eagles’ head coach Kevin Van Maanen said the game was won by Pella’s effort and said their defense made it hard for his team to run the offense.
“They [Pella High] outworked us tonight in every facet. They got every loose ball and rebound, and I don’t know what it was tonight, but we couldn’t stop Pella, and that kind of carried over to our shooting. We just didn’t have the confidence in our shooting and we started missing, which started getting in our heads,” said Van Maanen. “I’m going to give Pella a lot of credit. I thought their defense was great all night, and they made a lot of shots when they needed to.”
Regan Cooper led the Lady Dutch with 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Maddy Scholten pulled down 10 rebounds and chipped in eight points. For Pella Christian, Jasmin Schelhaas’s 14 points was tops on the team, with Christina Nolte adding 10 points. The win pushes the Pella High girls to 12-8 on the season and 7-4 in the Little Hawkeye Conference. They’ll host Knoxville on Friday. The Lady Eagles, meanwhile, suffered their first conference loss of the season, falling to 10-1 in league play and 15-3 overall. A road game at Norwalk on Thursday will be the final tune-up for the Pella Christian girls before Saturday’s Regional Tournament opener.