Slow start dooms Cards in 65-34 loss to Eagles
PELLA — Going into Tuesday night's game, Newton boys basketball coach Nick Wilkins wanted to keep the ball away from Pella Christian senior Austin Ver Meer.
That plan worked for a while, but it was the Eagles' supporting cast that did most of the damage in a 65-34 victory over the Cardinals to earn the season sweep and drop Newton to 4-9 overall and 1-6 in the Little Hawkeye Conference.
"We knew he was a key, and Collin Reynolds did a great job blocking him out tonight," Wilkins said of Ver Meer. "He's heavier and five inches taller, but I think Collin did a nice job. We just didn't have our guards rebounding down, so he was still able to get his hands on the ball."
It was Pella Christian senior Blake Riggen that was doing the scoring in the first quarter as the Eagles got out to an early lead. Newton senior Jesse Bates got the Cards’ first tally on the board, but the Eagles were able to push their advantage to 14-4 in the first quarter thanks to a plethora of offensive rebounds.
Newton’s offense made its move in the second, however, as sophomore Tyler Wood opened the quarter with a 3-pointer and Reynolds earned three more to close the gap to 16-10. Wood, Reynolds and Bates would get the score even closer as the quarter wound down, but a three-point play from Ver Meer gave the Eagles a bit of breathing room.
However, Reynolds hit a mid-range baseline jumper just before the buzzer, sending the Cards into halftime with only a 25-18 deficit to work against.
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