The Pella Christian basketball teams wrapped up their regular season with a split in Newton Thursday night.
P.C.’s girls won 53-39, while the Eagles boys couldn’t slow Newton in the second half of a 56-44 loss, both heard live on 92.1 KRLS. They did so without Head Coach Kevin Van Maanen for the second straight game as he battles an illness. Balance on both offense and defense was the key for the Eagles girls in a game they never trailed, as five players scored seven or more points.
Assistant Coach Craig Juffer tells KNIA/KRLS Sports he was impressed with how the team is coming together after battling injuries and illness for the stretch run.
“That’s kind of the M-O of what we want to be to known for–hey, you can’t just stop one girl, you have to stop us all,” he says.
Isabella Baugh had a 14-point, seven rebound night, with Morgan Fopma tagging on 10-and-7, Kaley Wilson dropping in 11 points, and Mara Juffer grabbing four offensive rebounds and three steals.
Despite an overall solid effort, cold shooting vs a white-hot Newton offense was the key difference against the Cardinals boy for the Eagles.
Pella Christian shot just 2-of-9 from beyond the arc, and lost despite overcoming two large leads in the 2nd and 3rd quarters to close the gaps within one possession. Head Coach Larry Hessing says Newton is a great team, and played outstanding defense to slow down the Eagles.
“I thought the little run at the end of the first half, when we had [their lead] I think down to one point and maybe even had the basketball, and then Newton scored the next six or seven of the half, was critical,” he says. “We actually got off to a decent start in the 3rd quarter, but the runs we had in the first half didn’t materialize for us, and Newton kept pulling away.”
The Eagles were paced by 10 points from both Jayden and Alex Huisman. Pella Christian’s boys finish the regular season at 7-14 and will kick off the playoffs in Monroe Monday against South Hardin, while the 11-10 Eagles girls will enjoy a bye in the first round of their regional bracket, and start their postseason on Tuesday at home. Both games can be heard live on 92.1 KRLS.