PELLA — After going through a difficult season, Pella Christian finished strong winning three of their last four games. They return a two-time first team all-conference center as they will look to get back to their winning ways.
Allison Van Gorp leads a group of five returning players. The 6-foot-1 senior center led the team with 14.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game on 50.7% shooting last season as she looks to be in store to finish off her high school career with another big year.
Other returnees include seniors Avery Baugh and Anna Bonnett along with junior Emma Witzenberg and sophomore Emri Agre.
Baugh and Witzenberg were fixtures in the starting lineup a year ago while Bonnett and Agre saw time off the bench.
All four had tough shooting years at 30% or under but could be in store to improve upon those this season. Witzenberg was second on the team in rebounds averaging 3.7 per game while her, Bonnett and Baugh can defend well, averaging at least a steal per game.
“Allison Van Gorp is a strong post player,” Pella Christian third year head coach Brad Engbers said. “She has been first team all-conference in the Little Hawkeye Conference for the past two years. Emma Witzenberg is an all around gifted player. She can shoot it, but also attacks the basket well. Emri Agre is a tremendous threat from the three-point line as well. Overall we have a group of girls that is ready to play hard and improve every day.”
Joining the squad will be a talented group of sophomores led by Joslyn Terpstra, who Engbers expects will play significant minutes this season. Joining Terpstra is Karlie Anderson, Anna Eveland, Claire Vander Molen and Anna DeBoef.
The Eagles hope to take a step forward this year after winning five games last season. Van Gorp should lead the way night in a night out while the development of the players around her will be something to watch.
Pella Christian finished conference play 2-12 while sporting the hardest schedule in the conference. They will hope to build off of last year’s strong finish and compete every night.
“The Little Hawkeye Conference will be up for grabs this year without a clear favorite, in my opinion,” Engbers said. “Indianola returns some very good players, and Pella will have a good team as well, returning several talented players. Like every year, I think we have a chance to win on any given night if we play well.”