A slow start against a good team can be fatal on the basketball court. That is just what happened to Pella in a Little Hawkeye Conference joust with the Mustangs from Dallas Center-Grimes Tuesday, Feb. 11, in Pella.

The Dutch were 0-for-13 from behind the arc before Johnathan Oltman made one at the 3:46 mark of the second quarter. Pella had fallen behind by as much as 27 -10 prior to that shot and that deficit contributed greatly to a 71-66 loss to the Mustangs.

Once a few shots began to fall, the Dutch finished the second quarter with a 20-6 run that narrowed the gap 33 -30 at the halftime break. In that run Grant Nelson and Logan Shetterly added three balls to the one by Oltman.

Treyton Sturgeon and Shetterly opened the third stanza with inside three point plays and a long three by Oltman finally allowed Pella to tie the score at 39 all. Then a pair of free throws by Shetterly gave Pella its first lead of the game.

Luke Rankin put the Mustangs back on top with a drive and Sturgeon answered with an inside three to regain the lead for Pella.

The pendulum continued to swing as Rankin again connected in the lane only to have Sturgeon nail a three point shot and a pair of free throws for a 49-45 Pella lead. Alex Thomas then hit twice from the inside for the Mustangs to tie the score. Parker Elder beat the buzzer with a perimeter shot for a 51-49 lead going into the final eight minutes.

The battle raged into the final quarter with the lead changing often. Shetterly opened the period with a three ball only to have the Mustangs score the next seven points to take a 56 -54 lead.

A triple by Ryan Mace put Pella back in the lead, but the Mustangs answered. A circus shot by Shetterly gained a 59-58 Dutch lead, but Thomas drained four consecutive free throws for the Mustangs.

An inside bucket by Nelson and a free throw by Shetterly tied the score at 62-62 with 2:44 left in the game.

Rankin did the damage again as he connected to put the Mustangs up 65-64. Pella failed to answer and once the Mustangs got the ball back, they were able to draw fouls to put them on the line. In the final minute the Mustangs hit 6-of-8 free throws to put the game on ice.

“We just got beat in all phases of the game tonight,” Pella coach Derek Schulte said. “We were not sharp on defense and a 0-for-13 start from behind the arc made it tough for us offensively. I liked our response in the second quarter to get back in the game, but we were not consistent throughout the game. We were beat on the glass as well. We will take from it what we can and move on.”

Shetterly led the Dutch with 26 points while Sturgeon knocked down 15 points and Oltman was also in double digits with 10. Sturgeon and Karl Miller led the rebounding charts with six each. Josh Warner led in assists with three and shared the steal lead with Nelson with three each.

Rankin led the Mustangs with 18 points and he was followed by Cole Glasgow with 15 points and Thomas with 14.

Pella scoring Ryan Mace 1 0-0 3, Treyton Sturgeon 4 6-6 15, Logan Shetterly 8 8-10 26, Josh Warner 1 0-0 2, Johnathan Oltman 4 0-0 10, Parker Elder 1 0-0 2, Grant Nelson 3 1-3 8, Team 22 15-19 66. Three point goals (7) – Shetterly 2, Oltman 2, Nelson 1, Sturgeon 1, Mace 1.

Pella Rebounds (17) Sturgeon 6, Miller 6, Mace 1, Shetterly 1, Oltman 1, Nelson 1, Warren Page 1.

Pella steals (11) Warner 3, Nelson 3, Shetterly 2, Sturgeon 1, Elder 1, Page 1.

Pella assists (10) Warner 3, Shetterly 2, Oltman 2, Sturgeon 1, Nelson 1, Miller 1.

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