The Pella Christian boys are advancing to the State basketball semifinals for the third straight season after surviving overtime with Van Meter 52-49 in a game heard live Tuesday on 92.1 KRLS.
The Eagles came back from a 20-14 halftime deficit, sparked by a 10-0 run out of the break. After chipping away in the fourth quarter, Pella Christian hit big shots down the stretch until Van Meter forced overtime with 20 seconds remaining.
Alex Pringle made a clutch three and elbow jumper to give Pella Christian control of the overtime period early. PC shot 17-21 from the line, which gave them enough breathing room late to earn the victory over the Bulldogs.
Assistant Coach Marv Van Wyk tells KNIA/KRLS Sports the team has been tested frequently this year, and used their experience in those close situations and with handling pressure at The Well to will themselves to a hard-fought victory.
“We saw during the season probably just about every situation you can see in the a basketball game, at least a tight basketball game,” he says. “And I think when you get in this situation, that really benefits you, that experience.”
“And sometimes it just comes down to players making plays.”
Pella Christian was led by 18 points and four threes from Pringle and 14 from Levi Jungling, as well as 12 and 10 rebounds from David Kacmarynski.
The Eagles play Thursday at 3:45 in the Class 2A semifinals, against No. 3 Keumper Catholic of Carroll, who won 51-31 over GHV in their quarterfinals game.