It was heartbreak on the road as the Pella girls are going to have to keep searching for a signature upset over a ranked team, after falling to No. 13 Grinnell 77-71 in a single varsity conference game heard live Tuesday night on the KRLS2 stream at www.kniakrls.com.
The Lady Dutch controlled the bulk of the contest behind one of their best offensive performances of the season, and took a nine-point lead into the 4th quarter. But six turnovers in the quarter, coupled with several missed foul shots and an overall cooling of the offense, allowed the high-shooting Tigers to have far too many extra opportunities. Grinnell outscored Pella in the final eight minutes by a 26-12 margin.
Head Coach Jerod Garland says it was an excellent three quarters squandered by an inability to execute down the stretch, but also believes by the amount of times they have been staying in the games during all five of their losses, it’s a matter of time before they break through against a top opponent.
Pella was paced by a 20 point performance from Faith Diers, who was 5-of-7 from three, making the first five consecutive, and a 17 point night from Madison Naig.
The Lady Dutch fall to 5-5 overall and 3-3 in Little Hawkeye Conference competition. Pella’s boys — who jumped to No. 1 in the latest AP Poll in Class 3A, were off due to COVID-19 concerns in the Grinnell boys’ program. The two Pella basketball teams will return to wrap up the first half of the Little Hawkeye Conference season against Pella Christian this Friday at Eagle Lane.