The Knoxville and Pella High girls basketball teams meet tonight – for the second time in five days – and this time it’s playing to keep their respective seasons alive. The Lady Dutch host the Panthers in the opening round of the Class 3A Regional Tournament after the two teams split the season series, with each team winning on their opponent’s home court; most recently with Knoxville claiming a 51-49 win last Friday night.
Following that victory, Knoxville head coach Jim Uitermarkt said his team had gained a lot of confidence and is hoping his squad can repeat the accomplishment.
“The win was good for our confidence. We had said before the game if we could go out and play them [Pella] straight up and win, that would be awesome,” said Uitermarkt. “Now we’ll come back Wednesday night and try to do that again, and add a little bit offensively. Hopefully that can make the difference again.”
The Panthers are 5-16 entering tonight’s game, while the Lady Dutch are 12-9 on the season, and head coach Jerod Garland says his team’s defense will have to be better than it was in the last outing if Pella hopes to extend their season.
“[We’ll have to] move our feet better, talk better, hedge better, step in and have help-side step in and help cut off the driving lanes – all of those things have to improve,” said Garland. “We were very poor in those areas [last time], and it all comes down to just moving your feet, I think, and playing better defense.”
You can hear all of the action broadcast live on 92.1 fm KRLS with Eric Gotschall and Randy Sikkema, or on AM 1320 KNIA with Derek Cardwell; as well as streaming live at kniakrls.com. Coverage from Pella High begins at 6:45 p.m. tonight.