Josh Warner Spencer Hixson

Pella’s Josh Warner comes from behind to block a shot attempt by Knoxville’s Spencer Hixson.

Pella led the Knoxville Panthers 35-28 at halftime in the Marion County matchup of varsity boys teams Tuesday, Jan. 21 on Veteran’s Night at the game.

In the third quarter the Dutch got their game on and never looked back as they outraced the Panthers to win the quarter 24-9 to increase the lead to 59-37.

Coach Derek Schulte’s Dutch squad continued the charge in the fourth as they picked up a 77-47 win.

It marked Pella’s eighth win in a row as they moved to 10-2 overall. For the Panthers, the loss puts them at 9-3.

Early on the two teams were tied at 9-9 before the Dutch claimed a narrow 16-12 lead at the quarter break.

Treyton Sturgeon and Josh Warner each had five points for Pella in the opening eight minute session.

Logan Shetterly had seven points in the second stanza as Pella took a 35-28 lead into halftime.

The Panthers stayed close as Kieren Nichols had 12 points at halftime.

“The big third quarter was a result of the team coming out and being focused on their assignments. We were much sharper at the defensive end of the court and that carried over to Knoxville turnovers and our offensive rhythm,” replied Coach Schulte.

Knoxville connected on only four field goals in the third quarter. That was one less field goal and Sturgeon had in the quarter.

Sturgeon scored 11 points in the third as he finished the game with 16 overall.

Also hitting double digits for the Dutch was Grant Nelson with 13.

Five other Pella players were within a bucket of double digits. The list included Shetterly, Warner, John Oltman, Parker Elder and Karl Miller.

Nichols finished the night with 16 points for the Panthers. Next on the KHS charts were Spencer Hixson with nine and Ben Olson with eight.

Panther Coach Jeff Larson stated, “Pella missed some shots they normally make in the first half. They didn’t miss those shots in the third quarter. We allowed them to get on a roll. They are a good team.”

Coach Schulte was pleased with the ball movement of his team.

Pella had 48 rebounds in the contest, 16 of them at the offensive end of the court.

Nelson, Elder and Warner each had seven boards while Sturgeon pulled down six for Pella. Shetterly was the assist leader with five.

Odds and Ends

Veterans were admitted free into the contest as they were treated and honored for their dedication to our country with a promotion put on by Raceway Tire & Exhaust.

Travis Thompson, owner of Raceway Tire & Exhaust announced that a special halftime tire roll event featuring veterans from both school districts earned $5,000 to be split between the two schools Booster Clubs.

Mrs. Fessler’s 1st Grade Class sang the national anthem with colors presented by the Pella American Legion Van Veen – Van Hemert Post 89.

Pella Scoring - Sturgeon 16, Nelson 13, Shetterly 9, Miller 9, Warner 9, Elder 9, Oltman 8, Jared Bruxvoort 2, Drew Schulte 2.

Knoxville Scoring - Nichols 16, Hixson 9, Olson 8, Luke Keitges 3, Cael Peterson 3, Jaxon Zuck 3, Evan Eck 2, Keegan Cox 1.

Perry Bell can be reached at sports@journalexpress.net or by calling the Knoxville newsroom at 641-842-2155.

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