It’s an all Marion County matchup Monday night in the Tulip City as Pella Christian entertains Knoxville for high school basketball action.

Both girls’ teams struggled in Friday night losses. Pella Christian turned the ball over 34 times in a setback against Pella, while it was defensive breakdowns that cost Knoxville it’s South Central Conference contest against Chariton.

Panthers coach Jim Uitermarkt tells KNIA/KRLS Sports that he’s looking for improvement in that area against the Eagles.

“Our man-to-man defense in the second half kind of got exploited, and our help defense wasn’t as good as it needed to be. So there are things on both sides of the ball that we need to get after and we need to get better at.”

Knoxville’s boys stayed undefeated in SCC play with a win over the Chargers, and Pella Christian is still looking for its first win after falling short against the Little Dutch.

However, the Eagles played their best half of the season in the second half against Pella, and coach Larry Hessing is anxious to get back at it and see if they can keep building.

“We’ve been really inconsistent with, I hate to say this, effort. And maybe effort’s not the right word, but energy, enthusiasm, want to, verve. Whatever word you want to use. I’ve challenged our senior leadership, and we don’t have many seniors, but I’ve told them that I can’t do this for you guys, you need to do this individually and it’s got to come from our leadership. Hopefully that’s what we’ll see on Monday night.”

Monday night’s matchup will start at 6:15 at Pella Christian. You can hear the Panthers perspective with Derek Cardwell on AM 1320 and 95.3 FM KNIA, while Trevor Castle has the Eagles’ call on 92.1 KRLS. Both pregame shows will start at 6:00.

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