PELLA — Postseason play and can bring out unsung heroes.
Both teams had plays that averaged under three points per game go for big nights but it was Pella Christian doing enough in the end to pick up a 49-40 win and advance to the regional semifinals while snapping an eight-game skid.
One of those heroes was Pella Christian sophomore Karlie Anderson, who was making her eighth start of the season. She came into the game averaging 2.2 points with 10 made threes on the year. On Tuesday night, she was shooting with confidence as she would finish with five made triples and a game-high 17 points.
Early in the game, Pella Christian was getting good looks inside but were missing a lot of point blank looks, finding themselves behind 5-3 midway through the first.
The Eagles continued to move the ball well around Pekin’s zone and were able to leave the first tied at 11.
The PC defense would ramp up in the second quarter as stops turned into scores with Anderson and Allison Van Gorp both providing nine points with Eagles leading 25-18 at the break.
Both sides were back and forth in the third quarter with another unsung hero getting the Lady Panthers back in the game. Emma Phillips, who was playing in just her ninth game of the season, averaged 2.9 points per game coming into the night but gave Pekin a huge boost with eight of her 10 points coming in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 35-31 heading to the fourth.
Another timely three from Anderson pushed the Eagle lead to seven with 5:40 to go in the game as both teams would play the free throw game down the stretch.
Joslyn Terpstra and Anderson both hit free throws for PC before Anna Bonnett iced the game with a late layup to give the Eagles a nine-point victory and a ticket to the next round.
Anderson led PC (9-14) with those 17 points while Van Gorp added 13 points and Terpstra chipped in nine. Pekin was led by Kerrigan Pope’s 16 points while Erika Coleman (12 points) and Phillips (10 points) also scored in double figures.
Pekin ends the season with a final record of 10-10.