Area roundup: Lady Dutch basketball wins opener, wrestling gets four champs at Norwalk

Nov. 23—Girls basketball

Pella 51, Mt. Pleasant 37

MOUNT PLEASANT — The Lady Dutch opened up their season on the road on Tuesday at Mt. Pleasant as they were able to pull away late to pick up their first win, 51-37.

"Basketball is a game of runs and that was evident tonight," Pella head coach Blaine Forsythe said. "A lot of our players are playing in a new role so we knew there were going to be bumps along the way. We stuck with our game plan and that allowed our players to play to their strengths. Late in the game we hit big shots and took care of the basketball. By the fourth quarter we were playing our best basketball."

Pella established their defense from the opening tip and would hold the Panthers to just two points in the opening quarter before back and forth play in the second and third quarters put the Lady Dutch in front 34-27 entering the fourth quarter. Pella would play their best in the final stanza as they pulled away to secure the win.

Kennedy Van Vark was sharp from beyond the arc as she was 6-of-8 from three to lead Pella with 20 points, two rebounds, one assist and three steals. Kylie Tauke added11 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals while Mia Warner attacked the offensive and defensive glass with a team-high 12 rebounds on the night.

"I am proud of the effort that our players played with and how they responded to adversity throughout the game," Forsythe said. "There are a lot of positives that we will be able to take from tonight and opportunities to grow."

Pella (1-0) returns to action next week with their home opener against No. 4 (4A) North Polk (0-1) on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Girls wrestling

Pella gets four champs at Norwalk

NORWALK — The Pella girls wrestling team was back in action on Tuesday as they were among the 12 teams at the Norwalk Girls Invite.

The Lady Dutch would leave with four champions on the night with Elaine Babcock, Andie Branson and Emmalee Spurgeon all going 2-0 with two pins while Anna German went 1-1 and won her bracket based on having the fastest fall.

"Overall we saw a lot of improvement from last week, especially in areas that we addressed in the room," Pella head coach Adam Hale said. "It's encouraging to see the girls respond to the feedback we're giving them."

Other results from the night saw Hailey Mackey, Elizabeth Thomas and Meav Swank all take second while Isabella Smith, Lorin Mart, Jasey Olson, Ellison Ritzert and Lissbeth Rosenstein all took third.

"We've been really happy with the level of competition we've seen at meets so far," Hale said. "There are great matches for our brand new wrestlers and our returners. Everyone is getting stretched and pushed. It's giving us a great opportunity to learn about the tough, gritty side of wrestling and then bring that back into our room with a better feel for the sport. That allows us to keep building up the intensity as we practice."

Pella returns to the mats next week on Saturday, Dec. 3 at Newton.

Colin Peters can be reached at 641-672-2581, by email at or on Twitter @ColinPetersOH.