KNOXVILLE — Non-conference foes met in a Monday night tilt as Pella Christian used a strong second half push to pull away from host Knoxville to grab a 51-40 victory.
Guards from both teams had it going early. Maggie Wilkins knocked down a couple of threes while going for eight first quarter points. Emma Witzenberg, along with her teammates, stayed patient against Knoxville’s zone and looked in rhythm on her way to 11 first quarter points as PC jumped in front 14-12.
A pair of free throws by Witzenberg and a corner three from Joslyn Terpstra forced a Panther timeout as their offense struggled in the second quarter with just four points.
The low-scoring trend of the second quarter continued to halftime with the Eagles holding a 21-16 lead.
Pella Christian defended the paint well as Knoxville tried to drive to rim for either layups or fouls to no avail. Witzenberg would knock down two more threes as the Eagles found themselves ahead 35-25 heading to the fourth.
It became a scoring dual early in the fourth as Wilkins pushed for all eight of the Panthers’ points while Allison Van Gorp, who was held scoreless in the first half, dominated the paint for all 10 of the Eagles’ points.
Van Gorp continued to roll as PC closed out the win with late free throws down the stretch.
The senior center would go for 16 points (all in the second half) with eight rebounds, one steal and five blocks. Witzenberg finished with 23 points, eight rebounds, two assists, five steals and one block.
Wilkins led the Knoxville offense with 20 points while Marley McKay and Emma Dunkin both added eight points.
Knoxville (7-3, 4-1 SCC) goes to Clarke (2-6, 1-3 SCC) on Friday at 6:30 p.m. while Pella Christian (6-5, 1-3 LHC) stays on the road as they go to Oskaloosa (5-6, 1-4 LHC) on Tuesday at 6:15 p.m.