Both basketball teams at Pella High try and keep an unbeaten conference record intact tonight, as they’ll close out the pre-Christmas slate with a Little Hawkeye Conference doubleheader against Newton.
The Pella girls have won four-in-a-row after dropping their first two games of the season, and head coach Jerod Garland says his team will have to work hard against a Newton team that is markedly improved on defense.
“Their defense is night-and-day better than in the past. They’re playing a more aggressive man-to-man set,” said Garland. “That’s a big improvement for them. They also have a really good scorer, and generally I just think they’re more improved all-around, so we’ll have to play well to get ‘em.”
On the boys’ side, head coach Mark Core also cites improvements in Newton’s defense as one of his keys to tonight’s game.
“They have some good athletes. They have a new coach, and it seems to me from watching their games that maybe they’re a little more defensive-focused than what they’ve been in the past,” said Core.
“It seems like they get out and pressure the ball, pressure the passing lanes, [and] play an aggressive style; so I think we’re going to have to take care of the basketball, because I think they’re going to go out and try and create some turnovers, maybe somewhat mirroring the style that we’re going to use. We’re going to have to play well to beat Newton, there’s no question about it.”
The Little Dutch are 2-2 following a loss to ADM more than a week ago. Both teams are 2-0 in conference play. You can hear both of tonight’s games at Pella High School broadcast live on 92.1 fm KRLS, starting at 5:45 p.m.