In a doubleheader heard live on both KNIA and KRLS, the Pella Christian basketball teams swept Knoxville last night on Eagle Lane. Final scores were 66-39 in the girls game and 43-40 in the boys game.
Pella Christian used a dominating inside game to win the girls contest, getting double doubles from Isabella Baugh and Morgan Fopma. Fopma finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds, while Baugh scored 20 and gobbled up 17 boards.
“It was really fun just to be out there and play, and it was a really nice game for us to come back after a kind of rough game at Pella”, Baugh said. “It was a big game for us to come back out, and I think we did a pretty good job.”
Kaley Wilson also poured in 17 points for Pella Christian, with 13 coming in the second half, including four three-pointers.
Katie Keitges led Knoxville with 24 points and Maggie Wilkins chipped in 10.
The Eagles’ girls improve to 5-2 on the season, while Knoxville falls to 4-2.
The boys game was a defensive battle, with Pella Christian rallying from a six-point halftime deficit to earn the victory. Trailing 22-16 at intermission, the Eagles outscored the Panthers 15-3 in the third quarter, including a 65-foot buzzer beater by Dan Jungling.
Knoxville kept it close in the fourth quarter, and forced a tie at 40-40 with 20 seconds remaining. Unable to find a shot against the Panthers’ pressure, Pella Christian was forced to try an awkward 22-footer, but Cole Webster was fouled on the shot and nailed all three free throws for the final margin.
After committing 17 turnovers in the first half, the Eagles committed just five in the second half, and coach Larry Hessing says that was a big key to his team earning its first win of the season.
“We handled the press a lot better in the second half. I don’t know if we turned the ball over against the press in the second half. And then the other thing is I thought we played really good defense for the most part most of the night. Obviously, we had some breakdowns here that we didn’t want to have, but those two things were the positives.”
Webster was the Eagles’ leading scorer with nine points, while Jake Pringle grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. Knoxville got 15 points from Patrick Crawford and nine from Darius Pipkins.
The Eagles improve to 1-4 on the season and Knoxville falls to 3-2.
Both Pella Christian teams are off until Friday when the host Norwalk. Knoxville is right back at it tonight at home against Davis County. Join Derek Cardwell for the play-by-play on AM 1320 and 95.3 FM KNIA, beginning with pregame at 6:15 and tipoff at 6:30.