PELLA — The first meeting sported a competitive game and the sequel did as well as Oskaloosa battle Pella Christian on Tuesday night. The Eagles would grab a Senior Night win as they took down the Indians, 51-42.
Oskaloosa came out with great energy and confidence on both ends of the floor. Offensively, they were moving the ball, driving and cutting against the PC defense leading to threes from Keaton Flaherty, David Nelson and Charlie North. Defensively, they had active hands and were making it tough for 6-foot-8 forward Eric Mulder in the paint.
Despite that, PC held a 14-13 advantage going into the second quarter where the game changed.
The Eagles were relentless on their attacks to the rim in the second, forcing the Indians to get into some foul trouble while they also had trouble with turnovers on the other end. Carson Genskow rain drop floater just before the buzzer cut the Indian deficit to 29-19 at the half.
Lucas Hol started things in the right direction for PC at the beginning of the second half as he knocked down a three and a couple of layups as the Eagles pushed their lead to 45-32 at the end of the third.
Oskaloosa was going to need a big run to get back into the game and they did just that with Waylon Bolibaugh’s free throws capping off an 8-0 run to start the fourth and get the Indians back within five with 3:33 to go.
But in the blink of an eye, Daniel Andringa splashed home a rare three ball (PC was just 3-of-16 from deep on the night) and Levi Schelhaas nabbed a steal and a layup to quickly push the PC lead back to 10 with 1:27 left.
Oskaloosa, who only had two fouls in the half up to that point, had to see a lot of time tick off the clock as they tried to get PC into the bonus. Both sides missed free throws down the stretch as PC would come away with the nine-point victory.
“This was a game of runs, especially in the second half,” Pella Christian head coach JD Boer said. “We made a good run to put us up by 15 in the third quarter, but Oskaloosa did a great job of responding to that and put a run together of their own. As the game tightened up late, we made a few big plays in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.”
Schelhaas led the Eagles with 12 points, two rebounds, two assists and one steal while Eric Mulder filled the statsheet with seven points, five rebounds, three blocks, two steals and one assist.
Oskaloosa was led by Bolibaugh’s 12 points while Flaherty added 10 points.
Pella Christian honored their seniors prior to the game as they played their final regular season home game in front of a lively student section and crowd. The two also slotted into the starting lineup for the game.
“It was great to honor our seniors tonight,” Boer said. “Luke Mulder and Caden Van Dyke have been excellent leaders in our program. Those are two guys that have really worked hard, and I'm proud of the commitment they have shown to this program. It was great to get a win on their Senior Night.”
Pella Christian (11-10, 6-7 LHC) will now prepare to go to No. 6 (3A) Pella (16-2, 12-1 LHC) on Thursday at 7:45 p.m. Oskaloosa (1-16, 0-13 LHC) will make the short trip south to battle Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont (9-10) on Thursday at 7:45 p.m.
*Oskaloosa stats were not available at time of print