PELLA — It was just not Pella’s night. The Lady Dutch hosted Glenwood in a Class 4A regional final on Tuesday with the winner punching their ticket to state. Unfortunately for Pella, the night saw them struggle to get anything going offensively and have a tough time slowing down a fast-pace Rams offense as their tournament dreams would fall short in a 65-45 loss.
“Tonight we didn't play well enough and credit Glenwood for executing their game plan,” Pella head coach Blaine Forsythe said. “Our team battled and played with great effort for 32 minutes. There were a lot of emotions in the locker room because of the work these players put in and not only towards the game of basketball. This is a group that is committed to the game of basketball, to their school work and how they impact the community.”
The game got off to a pretty pedestrian start with South Dakota State commit Jenna Hopp getting Glenwood on the board first with a layup with Mia Warner answering on the other end with a putback bucket. Pella would get some good looks from three in the first but were unable to capitalize. Meanwhile, Hopp was putting her imprint on the game and led a big first quarter on both ends for Glenwood who jumped out to a 16-7 lead after the first.
From there it was a combination of live-ball turnovers and missed shots that the Rams would quickly turn the other way for fast break baskets to not allow the usually stingy Lady Dutch defense to get set up. Hopp continued to have a dominant first half, finishing with 18 points over the first two quarters. An Aaliyah Riddick runner just before the buzzer would try to give Pella some momentum as they entered the break trailing 35-22.
But the Pella offense continued to struggle with a Hopp block leading to a Lauren Hughes three on the other end making it 42-26 Glenwood.
The deficit never got under double digits in the second half as Pella’s seniors got one last curtain call from their home crowd in the fourth quarter with their season coming to a close.
Hopp finished with 30 points to lead Glenwood to their fourth straight state tournament appearance. They held Pella to just 23.3% shooting from the field, 3-of-23 from three and forced 15 turnovers.
Tristan Gordon led the Lady Dutch with nine points, three rebounds, two assists and four steals. Mia Warner and Abby Warner both added eight points a piece.
“I am so proud to coach this group of players,” Forsythe said. “We made tremendous growth this season and have so many memories to look back on. Our seniors were excellent leaders for us and set the tone for how we played the game of basketball. They have developed a foundation that has impacted a large number of basketball players in the town of Pella.”
Pella ends their season with a 17-6 record.
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