It was a highly anticipated matchup between the No. 5 ranked Pella Little Dutch and the No. 6 ranked Oskaloosa Indians in Pella Friday night. Pella had knocked off the Indians in Oskaloosa earlier in the season and the Indians were seeking revenge.
But it was all Pella as the Little Dutch roared out of the chute and threatened to blow the game open in the first half against the short handed Indians. Oskaloosa’s All-State center, Cole Henry, was sidelined by injury which left a dent in the Indian line up.
The Dutch still had to deal with seven-foot Xavier Foster. A masterful defensive performance by Nick DeJong, Grant Nelson and Andrew Hundt frustrated Foster and held him to three points in the first half and nine for the game. That left Rian Yates as the lone Indian in double figures with 15 points while the Dutch countered with four double figure scorers. Ryan Gustafson led the way with 17 points, DeJong checked in with 13 and Logan Shetterly and Nelson each notched 12 points.
The Dutch ran away to win with relative ease 64-39 over Oskaloosa.
The Pella defense was locked in from the beginning as they held Oskaloosa to only five points in the first period. The Little Dutch used great ball movement, sharp passing and good decisions with the basketball to put 12 points in the board in the first quarter. DeJong had three first period baskets by using excellent head and ball fakes to free himself inside. Gustafson nailed a three ball from the top of the circle and a shot on the inside.
When DeJong picked up his second foul, Nelson came on and opened the second stanza with a pair of long balls from the right wing. He later added another triple as a part of a 20-6 Pella run that opened up a 32-11 lead with two minutes to go in the first half.
The Indians tried to regain a little momentum with an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to 34-19 at halftime. But Pella was not buying it. The Dutch used a 16-7 third quarter run to take a 50-26 lead heading into the final eight minutes. That large lady was warming up the vocal cords already.
“Our great start came by way of the defense,” Pella Coach Derek Schulte said. “We came out with great energy and focused on the scouting report. I was real pleased with our balance and the way we shared the basketball. Everybody gave a great effort and Nick DeJong had a great game on both ends of the floor. Grant Nelson gave us a huge lift in the second quarter.”
The win sets the Pella record at 12-4 and they are one game behind Norwalk in the Little Hawkeye Conference.
Pella scoring (FG FTM-FTA Pts): Reid McGinley 1 0-0 2, Logan Shetterly 2 8-9 12, Ryan Gustafson 7 1-2 17, Josh Warner 1 0-0 3, Nick DeJong 6 1-1 13, Grant Nelson 3 3-4 12, Trey Wood 0 2-3 2, Karl Miller 1 0-0 3. Team 21 15-19 64. Three point goals (7) – Nelson 3, Gustafson 2, Miller 1, J. Warner 1
Pella rebounds (38) – DeJong 7, Jonathan Oltman 6, Nelson 5, McGinley 4, J. Warner 3, Sam Warner 2, Andrew Hundt 2, Shetterly 2, Gustafson 2, Miller 2, Warren Page 2, Kamden Lambert 1
Pella steals (6) – DeJong 2, Shetterly 1, Gustafson 1, Nelson 1
Pella assists (12) – Shetterly 4, Gustafson 2, J. Warner 2, McGinley 1, DeJong 1, Oltman 1, Hundt 1.