PELLA — Faster than a speeding bullet. That is about how fast the Dallas Center-Grimes Mustangs took over the game in the fourth quarter of Tuesday night’s Little Hawkeye Conference joust with the Pella Christian Eagles on Eagle Lane. The quickness of the turn around left many heads spinning in disbelief in the 62-40 defeat.
The Eagles had dug themselves into a 27-19 hole at the end of the first half and were looking for a second half uprising. That did happen as PC used a gritty defensive and offensive effort to pull into a 34-34 deadlock on a three-point basket by Aiden Stoltz with 25 seconds left in the third period.
A three ball at the buzzer by Blake Perrin hit the ignition switch for the Mustangs and as the fourth quarter began the Tsunami hit with devastating force. In two short minutes, DC-G shot out to a 45-34 lead and they could not be stopped as they outscored the Eagles 25-6 in the final stanza to post a 62-40 win.
With the win, the Mustangs remain unbeaten in Little Hawkeye Conference play with Pella and Newton nipping at their heels with 3-1 records and PC, Indianola and Norwalk still in the hunt with 2-2 records.
It was a slow start for the Eagles as the Mustangs ripped off an 11-2 run to open the action. It took the Eagles three minutes and 20 seconds to finally get on the board with baseline shot by Stoltz. Then a pair of buckets and a free throw by Daniel Andringa and a slam by Eric Mulder pulled the Eagles to within five at 14-9 at the end of one quarter of play.
Pella Christian could not make up any of the deficit in the second period as the Mustangs outscored them 13-10 to take a 27-19 lead into intermission.
The Eagles came out on fire in the third quarter and used a 12-4 run in the first five minutes of the half to tie the score at 31-31. Mulder got it started with a slam and an inside bucket and Jaedon Huisman drained a three in a 7-0 opening burst. The triple by Levi Schelhaas and an inside bucket by Niko Schirz evened the score with three minutes left in the period. DC-G’s Jacob Runyan and PC’s Stoltz traded threes to leave the score knotted at 34-34 before the buzzer beater by Perrin.
The contrasts in basketball can often be painful and that was exactly what we found in the fourth quarter. The Eagle shooting irons went stone cold, while the Mustangs guns became red hot. The result was a disappointment for the Eagles and large PC following.
“This was a disappointing way for us to come out of Christmas break,” PC Coach JD Boer said. “We made a nice run in the second half to tie it up, but then DC-G took control of the game. The Mustangs were composed, made some big plays and did a great job of finishing the game. Unfortunately we were not able to recover from a bad stretch. We had some good moments, but we will need to play better in order to sustain the type of effort needed to win big games like this one.”
Mulder was the lone Eagle in double figures and he notched a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Meanwhile the Mustangs had three players in double digits as Cole Glasgow checked in with 17 points, Runyon added 15 and Bo Huston finished with 12 points.
The Eagles will travel to Newton Friday night in hopes of inflicting damage to the Cardinal record while the Mustangs host Pella in another huge LHC contest.
DC-G 14 13 10 25 - 62
Pella Christian 9 10 15 6 - 40
Pella Christian Scoring (FG FTM/FTA PTS) – Levi Schelhaas 2 2/2 7, Niko Schirz 3 0/0 6, Jaedon Huisman 1 0/0 3, Aiden Stoltz 2 0/0 5, Daniel Andringa 3 1/3 7, Eric Mulder 4 2/4 10, EJ Fransman 0 2/2 2. Team 15 7/10 40. Three point goals (3) – Schelhaas 1, Huisman 1, Stoltz 1.
Pella Christian Rebounds (27) – Mulder 11, Schirz 5, Huisman 3, Fransman 3, Schelhaas 2, Andringa 2, Bennett Spronk 1.
Pella Christian Steals (4) – Mulder 2, Huisman 1, Stoltz 1.
Pella Christian Assists (11) – Mulder 3, Schelhaas 2, Schirz 2, Tyson DeVries 2, Spronk 1, Stoltz 1.