The game was everything as advertised, as it came down to the last minute to decide a winner between PCM and Pella Christian’s boys’ basketball teams, and in the end, the Eagles came away with a 40 – 35 win in the Class 2A district final. Both teams showed jitters early, combining for 12 points in the first quarter. The Mustangs held a slim 17 – 16 halftime advantage and led the entire first 16 minutes. In the fourth quarter, with PCM up 35 – 34, Eagles’ freshman Sebastian Baugh hit a big three for the sixth and final second half lead change to give his team the lead for good, despite the Mustangs having several opportunities to tie or take the lead late in the contest. With a two-point advantage and time ticking away, Coach Larry Hessing said his game plan was a little out of the ordinary.
“I thought our best scenario was to foul,” Hessing said. “I know that’s really unorthodox; that’s not something you really want to do. There’s a young man on the floor that really didn’t have a very good free throw percentage. The probability that he’s going to make both free throws is not that great.”
Mustangs’ coach, Fred Lorensen, said they were trying to get the rock to one of his six seniors for a go-ahead shot. Dillon Bruxvoort led all scorers with 15 points for the Mustangs, while both Blake Riggen and Austin Ver Meer each scored 14 for Pella Christian. The win puts the Eagles one game away from the state tournament and will play Notre Dame – Burlington this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in Ottumwa. PCM squad ends their year with a 21 – 2 record and will say goodbye to seniors Nate Vande Wall, Ethan Kain, Rhett Gainey, Michael Neff, Hunter Van Veen and Alex DeWitte.