MONROE — Grit, toughness and a little bit of luck guided Prairie City-Monroe’s boys past Pella Christian on Monday night. At least that’s how PCM coach Fred Lorensen explained it.
The Mustangs were seemingly on top the entire game, at one point stretching a lead out to 15 points. Pella Christian stayed tough at the end, but PCM made enough free throws to hold of the Eagles for a 61-51 victory.
“I loved our effort,” Lorensen said. “We could have played smarter at times, but we played hard and came out on top.”
Dillon Bruxvoort led the way as usual for the Mustangs, scoring 20 points and pulling down seven rebounds, but there were three other Mustangs in double figures. Zach Uhlenhopp, Logan Gilman and Devon Woody scored 10, 11 and 12 points, respectively.
For the Eagles, Coltin Collins gave Bruxvoort everything he could handle in the paint. Collins went 9-for-13 shooting, scoring 19 points and pulling down six rebounds.
“We needed to stop them from getting easy baskets,” PC coach Larry Hessing said. “Their offense is to get out on the break and score in transition. If we turn the ball over, they’re going to get out and score in transition, and that’s what happened.”
PCM opened the game with a flurry of scoring, Woody and Uhlenhopp kicked things off in the fastbreak, extending a lead out to six points at 8-2. The Eagles soared back into it with some tough defense and post scoring, feeding Collins inside the paint. Bruxvoort nailed two free throws before the buzzer sounded, and the Mustangs took an 11-8 lead into the second quarter.
Bruxvoort hit a spinning one-hander off the glass to open it up for PCM. He then came down and swished a jumper from the right elbow. Woody nailed a 3-pointer, and the Mustangs were suddenly up 18-10. PCM got out on the fastbreak off a PC turnover when Trey Lindsay went up for a layup, but Eagle junior Nate Haveman came barreling in from behind and whacked Lindsay across the back of the head with an elbow. An international foul was called. Lindsay was removed and would not return to the game due to a head injury. According to Lorensen, Lindsay should be OK.
PCM nailed the two foul shots, taking its first double-digit lead. Gilman got a diving steal on the next possession and found Bruxvoort in transition. Bruxvoort kicked it in to a wide open Ryan Jennings, who converted the layup. Hessing called a timeout to regroup.
Coming out of the timeout, PC’s Josh Posthuma nailed a turnaround jumper. Jason Holwerda hit a three on the next Eagle possession to trim the lead to seven, but Gilman answered with a three of his own. PCM took a 30-19 lead into halftime.
Coming out of the half, GIlma took a shot from under the hoop, but it was rejected by Collins. Gilman recovered and put it in. PC’s Brant Vermeer got on the board with a three, but that was answered with a three by Bruxvoort. With two minutes left in the third, Holwerda chopped the lead to 12 with a three. Collins stripped the ball loose and found Sebastian Baugh for the easy score. Baugh hit a pull-up jumper before the buzzer sounded, and the Mustangs led by just nine going into the fourth.
PC and PCM went back-and-forth for much of the quarter. Collins hit a post-move score, but Gilman penetrated and answered with a layup. Collins converted a three-point play, and Posthuma nailed two free throws to slim the lead to 47-41. Bruxvoort tossed a seed to Jennings for a score to answer back. With 1:16 left, the Eagles started to foul, and PCM free throws sealed the win for the Mustangs.
“With them, every year it’s the same thing,” Lorensen said. “Both teams guard each other very well, and it’s whoever can suck out enough offense that comes away with the win. They take away the stuff we like to do, and vice versa. It’s a battle every time we play. We were just fortunate to make a few more shots than they did and came out on top.”
PCM heads to Jewell tonight to take on South Hamilton. It will be the lat game the Mustangs play before heading to Story City on Friday.
“We haven’t had a lot of time to practice our defense, which is what we need the most work on,” Lorensen said. “With the gap between tomorrow’s game and Friday’s, we’ll have a little more time to work on what we need to.”
PC is at Oskaloosa tonight and has a showdown at home on Friday against Newton.
PC 8-11-14-18 —51
PCM 11-19-12-19 — 61
Points (PC) —Collins 19, Posthuma 12, Holwerda 5, Jared Van Wyk 5, Baugh 5
Points (PCM) — Bruxvoort 20, Woody 12, Gilman 11, Uhlenhopp 10, Jennings 8
Rebounds (PC) — Collins 6, Posthuma 6, Baugh 3, Haveman 3
Rebounds (PCM) — Gilman 9, Bruxvoort 7, Woody 4, Jennings 4
Assists (PC) — Van Wyk 3, Vermeer 2
Assists (PCM) — Bruxvoort 6, Gilman 4