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Pella Christian Falls in Semifinals, Will Play for 3rd Place at State

The most efficient defense in the state of Iowa in Class 2A showed exactly why they earned that mark Thursday afternoon.

Cascade of Western Dubuque, the #4 seed in the tournament, took full advantage of an undersized Pella Christian front line and closed the three point line to get a 51-36 win.

#8 seed Pella Christian battled gamely during the first half, as the lead exchanged hands 8 different times. But PC’s patient offensive attack was unable to get consistent looks inside the arc and the shots from downtown were contested regularly by the long and active Cougar defense.

The Eagles’ defense did the job they needed to, limiting the chances Cascade had inside. But their inability to score with any consistency on the offensive end led to their demise.

Levi Jungling, PC’s best scorer at over 20 points per game, was held to just 5 points on 2 of 9 shooting. Mitch Fopma led the Eagles with 13.

Pella Christian will play Anamosa in the 3rd Place Consolation Game at 11:45 AM on Friday morning. Cascade will face Western Christian for the Class 2A State Championship Friday night at 8 PM.

You can hear reports from that game on 104.9 FM KBOE and 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN.

Pella Christian Uses Thrilling Comeback to Advance to Semis

It wasn’t Levi Jungling’s best day on the court on Monday. It didn’t matter.

Jungling’s teammates came up huge en route to #8 seed Pella Christian’s 59-52 victory over previously unbeaten and #1 seed Dike-New Hartford in the Class 2A State Quarterfinals.

The first half was controlled by PC, as they held the lead throughout. They would take a 29-21 lead into the locker room, leading the 25-0 Wolverines, who hadn’t faced many tests all season.

The second half began much differently, however, as DNH stormed back into the game and took the lead as PC failed to get anything going offensively with their star player struggling to find his shot.

As the fourth quarter rolled around, DNH pushed the lead to 8 with 6 minutes to go in regulation.

At this point, the Eagles started to chip away and get the game back to within reach. Senior Mitch Fopma had a couple of the biggest hoops of the game, nailing a three and getting a bucket while being fouled to help his team claw back within a single possession.

Junior Alex Pringle would complete the play of the game, however. With just over a minute to play and the Eagles down 50-48, Pringle would gather a loose ball off a miss and a guide pass from DNH 35 feet from the hoop. While in the odd-man situation in the fastbreak, Pringle then dribbled to the right corner before calmly gathering the dribble and burying the three to give the Eagles a lead they would not relinquish.

Jungling was huge down the stretch, as he would get a breakaway layup to make it a three-point game shortly thereafter, and nail all four of his free throws to ice the game.

Although he would only go 5 for 14 from the field and 1 for 5 from downtown, Jungling went 9 for 10 from the line to get to 20 points to lead the Eagles. He also led the way with 8 rebounds.

Senior Jeremy Van Beek had a very nice showing inside for Head Coach Larry Hessing, scoring 10 points in the first half to keep the Eagles on top while Jungling tried to find his stroke.

PC moves on to the Class 2A Semifinals where they will face #4 seed Cascade of Western Dubuque. Cascade defeated Osage 60-27 in the quarterfinals earlier on Monday night. They enter the game 21-3, while PC comes in at 17-9. All 9 losses for the Eagles came in Little Hawkeye Conference play, where they face Class 3A and 4A opponents. They are unbeaten this year against 2A competition.

The game will begin at 2 PM on Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. You can hear live updates throughout the afternoon on 104.9 FM KBOE and 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN.

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