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Local Sports

Cardinals clip the Eagles

NEWTON — Sturtz to Banfield for the win.

Newton senior guard Chandler Sturtz recognized which teammate was opened. Joseph Banfield, sophomore forward, found himself a spot just left of the top of the key. Sturtz made the pass. Banfield put up the shot at the buzzer.

Newton’s Cardinals edged visiting Pella Christian’s Eagles 70-68 in overtime Tuesday. It was the second win in as many home games for the Cardinals. They are 5-4 in Little Hawkeye Conference play.

“I just got open and Chandler made a great pass to me,” Banfield said after the game. “This is a great feeling. It felt good when I released it. I’m just happy I hit it. Everybody just mobbed me afterwards.”

Banfield’s final shot set of an explosion of celebration by his team and Cardinal fans, and sent the Eagles to their fifth loss in a row. The Eagles walked off the NHS court in disbelief that they had allowed the Cardinals to rally twice in the game.

The Eagles led by 11 points with four minutes remaining in regulation. A 3-pointer by PC freshman Levi Jungling settled in the net for a 60-49 advantage.

Quickly, a 3-pointer by junior guard Tyler Wood, who had six treys on the night, triggered a 13-2 run by the Cardinals to tie the game at 62-62. Wood hit two free throws then Jason Holwerda got out on a long pass to score for the Eagles.

Newton’s junior guard Nick Easley drove the lane then kicked the ball outside to freshman Connor Gholson. Gholson connected from outside the three-point arc. Gholson sank two free throws at the 1:28 mark to make it 62-59.

Pella Christian turned the ball over, leading to a driving layup by Easley. When Pella Christian’s sophomore Sebastian Baugh missed on an one-and-one, Wood grabbed the rebound for Newton.

Wood downed one of two charities to knot the score 62-all with 35.9 seconds remaining.   Holwerda, a junior, made a drive to the basket but the ball rimmed off and Newton’s Devin Shores pulled the rebound. Newton took a timeout with 18.1 seconds on the clock.

Easley lost the handle on the basketball going to the basket at the end of regulation. The Eagles and Cardinals went to an extra four-minute period.

Jungling put the Eagles up with a 3-pointer. The teams combined for 18 3-pointers in the game. Jungling’s free throw with 1:38 left in overtime lifted Pella Christian to a 66-62  lead.

Sturtz drilled a three. Newton senior Nick Glotfelty stole the basketball with 58 seconds left in overtime and the Cardinals down one. The Cardinals had been switching personnel — offensive and defensive — down the stretch, but they didn’t have any more timeouts.

“That was on me,” said NHS assistant coach Brian Conway, who was coaching the varsity game in head coach Nick Wilkins’ absence. Wilkins was out ill. “We felt comfortable with our defensive guys in there. They do such a good job at the defensive end and rebounding.

The Cardinals went inside to Daquan Allen, senior forward, but the Eagles knocked the ball out of his hands. Newton fouled junior Josh Posthuma, who missed both free throw attempts for the Eagles with 27.9 seconds on the clock.

Wood drained a 3-pointer to put Newton up 68-67. Posthuma tied the game up, hitting the first of two free throws. Sturtz drove to the basket but the ball was deflected out of bounds by the Eagles.

There were 3.8 seconds remaining in overtime when the Cardinals put the ball inbounds under their basket. Banfield nailed the shot.

“We didn’t execute offensively in the first half and we didn’t have that strong intensity at the defensive end,” Conway said about Newton’s performance. “We were getting the shots we wanted but not shooting well. At halftime, we just talked about executing better and pushing up our level of defensive intensity.”

At the beginning of the game, it was back-and-forth. Sturtz hit a 3-pointer at the 4:40 mark of the first quarter to put Newton up 13-10. 

Jungling made back-to-back steals as the Eagles scored 11 unanswered — seven came on one possession. Holwerda scored on a layup plus was awarded two free throw attempts on an intentional foul call on Newton. He hit from the free-throw line twice and Pella Christian got the basketball, which led to a 3-pointer by Jungling.

Easley scored to make it 21-15 at the end of the first quarter. Sturtz and Wood drained consecutive threes to open the second quarter for Newton to tie the game. Baugh made it three 3-pointers in a row, putting Pella Christian back in front.

Wood, who had a game-high 28 points, connected from long range again then downed three free throws with 5:15 left. Gholson tossed in two more charities to push the Cardinals to a 29-26 lead. The Eagles went on a 9-2 run to end the half with a 38-31 halftime lead.

Pella Christian stayed in front throughout the third quarter. The Eagles outscored the Cardinals, 12-8, in the period to lead 50-39. They maintained it until the final run by the Cardinals.

“We weren’t playing very well in the first half. When we realized we were going to lose this game against a team we believed we could beat, we bared down and got after it,” Easley said.

Behind Wood’s 28 points, Sturtz fired in 16 for the Cardinals. Newton had 11 3-pointers on the night. The Cardinals went 11-of-16 from the free-throw line.

Jungling led the Eagles with 18 points followed by Coltin Collins, who worked inside for the team, with 14 points. Baugh added 13 points. The Eagles were 9-of-16 from the line.

Newton (6-8) goes to Knoxville Friday in LHC action. Pella Christian, which is 6-10 overall and 2-7 in conference play, is at home against Oskaloosa Friday.

Pella Christian21-17-12-12-6 (OT)—68

Newton15-16-8-23-8 (OT)—70

Pella Christian — Vermeer 0/1-0-2-3, Baugh 1/3-2-2-13, Holwerda 3-3-4-9, Jungling 4/3-1-2-18, Haveman 1-0-0-2, Van Wyk 0-0-2-0, Posthuma 2-2-4-6, Collins 7-0-0-14, Riggen 1-1-0-3. TOTALS: 19/7-9-16-68.

Newton — Sturtz 3/3-1-3-16, Shores 0-0-4-0, Wood 2/6-6-1-28, Roush 1-0-0-2, Allen 0-0-3-0, Easley 3/1-0-1-9, Williams 0-0-2-0, Banfield 4-0-0-8, Gholson 0/1-4-0-7, Glotfelty 0-0-2-0. TOTALS: 13/11-11-16-70.

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