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Pella Girls Secure Trip to State by Smothering Bombers

Posted: Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 at 6:00 am
Author: KNIA/KRLS Sports - Andrew Schneider

Photo by Mike Buchheit

Using suffocating defense and a scoring barrage in the first half, Pella’s No. 4 girls are heading to the Class 4A State Tournament for the second straight year after defeating Ballard 50-32 in a game heard live on 92.1 KRLS.

Pella held Ballard to just 14 points, out-rebounded the Bombers 13-6 and forced seven steals in the first sixteen minutes of the game. The Lady Dutch shot 15-16 from the foul line to ice the victory during Ballard’s late comeback attempts.

Senior Kiara Bradley tells KNIA/KRLS Sports the team was focused on the defense, and fed on those opportunities to get the huge first-half advantage.

“[Ballard] had really good post players, so I think for us we had to 3/4th guard them to make sure they didn’t get that position in the lane so that they couldn’t get that shot up, so I think we did really good defense on that,” she says. “And just boxing out overall, we did a really good job–they had zero offensive rebounds going into the second half.”

Pella was led by 13 points from Katie Vander Molen, who knocked down eight of nine at the line, 10 points and four boards from Emily Holterhaus, and nine with five steals from Chloe Van Vliet.

The Lady Dutch are 19-4 and their journey to a 4A state championship will start against the same team as it did last year, when they take on No. 5 Lewis Central Wednesday, March 1st at 11:45 a.m. Join us on 92.1 KRLS for wire-to-wire coverage of the Pella girls 10th-ever state tournament run.