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Pella Sweeps Red Rock Rivalry, Vander Molen Scores 1,000th Point

Posted: Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 at 6:00 am
Author: KNIA/KRLS Sports - Trevor Castle

The top-ranked Pella High girls had no problems with Knoxville last night, winning 79-17, while the number three Little Dutch boys had to overcome a strong start by the Panthers to win 75-60.

The Lady Dutch dominated from start to finish, and the victory was highlighted by the 1,000th career point from Katie Vander Molen.

Coach Jared Garland knew before her freshmen year that she was going to be a special player for his program.

“She’s just been solid. She’s someone who handles the ball so well. We rarely get pressed and a big part of that is because she’s able to see the floor and make those long passes. Anytime that you press there’s a gap somewhere, and she’s able to make those passes that make you pay. The way she’s done things and carried herself has been great for the program, and she sets a great example.”

Vander Molen finished with 16 points, giving her exactly 1,000 for her career. Emily Holterhaus led Pella with 21 points and 7 rebounds, while Haley Still and Halli Swan paced Knoxville with 6 points each.

The Lady Dutch improve to 12-1, while the Panthers fall to 5-9.

In the boy’s game, Knoxville harassed Pella into 12 first half turnovers, and led 17-14 early in the second quarter, but the Little Dutch closed the half on a 19-3 run to take control.

Panthers Coach Jeff Larson was frustrated with missed opportunities that could have kept his team in the game.

“We missed some easy bunnies in the first half, and we missed some free throws. We just gotta knock those down. If we don’t miss five free throws in the second quarter, including the front end of a one-and-one, and they don’t make that three (at the buzzer), it’s a four point game at halftime.”

Assistant Pella Coach Roger DeWaard told KNIA/KRLS Sports that the Little Dutch were able to take control once they started holding onto the ball in the paint.

“Obviously we had a height advantage, and we wanted to get the ball inside. So we told the guys that if you’re strong with the ball, you’re going to get fouled and get a chance to go to the line. I think it played out that way in the second half.”

Pella got to the free throw line for 28 foul shots, and made 21 of them.

Four Little Dutch players were in double figures led by Ryan Van Wyk’s 23 points. Nick Finney scored 12, Drew Pringle added 11 and 7 boards, and Tyson Wassenaar scored 11 points, all in the fourth quarter.

Knoxville got 15 each from Blake McClung and Chase Larson and 10 points from Trent Davis.

Pella is now 11-1, while the Panthers drop to 8-4.

The Lady Dutch and Little Dutch get back into Little Hawkeye Conference play Friday at Grinnell. Knoxville is back in South Central Conference action that same night with Hall of Fame Induction night at home against Davis County.