PELLA — Prior to the big boys showdown, Pella was looking for the upset against No. 5 Dallas Center-Grimes. It looked like the Lady Dutch might be able to pull it off before the Mustangs closed out strong to pick up the 44-35 win in Pella on Friday night.
After a physical start to the game, Madison Naig’s pull-up three gave Pella a 7-5 lead a little more than halfway through the first. Annika Peterson added another score on a nice move in the post before DCG would take a 12-9 lead into the second on a Julia Reis corner three at the buzzer.
The Lady Dutch had trouble against 5-foot-11 Emma Miner of DCG on both ends of the floor while the turnover bug bit Pella, who trailed 22-15 with three minutes left in the second. Neither team could score in those final three minutes of the half as the score remained at 22-15.
Reis and Miner accounted for all 22 of the Mustangs’ first half. A stat that would remain the rest of the game.
Pella came out with great defense in the second half, closing out on shooters and playing tough in the post as they were able to cut the lead to 22-21 before DCG would get their first score of the half with 1:46 left on a Miner hoop plus the harm.
DCG would take a 28-23 lead into the fourth quarter as the upset-minded Lady Dutch were well within striking distance.
Pella was within three midway through the fourth before a pair of huge threes by Reis pushed the deficit back to nine with 1:41 left. The Lady Dutch hit a dry spelt late and DCG was able to pull away for the 44-35 win.
Reis (22 points) and Miner (18) combined to score 40 of DCG’s 44 points on the night. The duo shot 14-of-22 from the field while the rest of the Mustangs combined to go 0-for-16. The four non Reis and Miner points came late in the game at the charity stripe, where DCG finished 11-of-13.
The Lady Dutch were led by a 16-point output from Naig while Kylie Tauke chipped in six points off the bench.
Pella (5-4, 3-1 LHC) looks to bounce back on Tuesday at 6:15 p.m. when they travel to Grinnell (5-5, 2-3 LHC).