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Basketball preview: Pella vs Waverly-Shell Rock

Mar. 4—Who: No. 7 Pella (15-9) vs No. 2 Waverly-Shell Rock (20-3)

What: Class 3A — State Quarterfinal

Where: Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines

When: Tuesday, March 5 at 7:15 p.m.

Matchup history

These two have already met twice over the past year with Waverly-Shell Rock winning a tight substate semifinal game 62-56 in 2023 while the Go-Hawks also won a high-scoring regular season game at Pella a couple weeks ago, 86-72.

One key player for Pella

Junior guard Brayden Traetow will be a key on both ends of the floor for Pella. On offense, he's averaging 9.4 points per game on 45% shooting from the field and is one of their best shooters at 35% from three. He is also a good playmaker and leads the team in assists at 3.3 per game. Traetow had 10 points, three assists and only one turnover in the previous meeting between these two teams a couple of weeks. Something similar to that plus a couple of threes would help the Dutch keep pace with the high-scoring Go-Hawks. Traetow will also need to have a good night on the defensive end, where he leads Pella with 1.3 steals per game. Waverly-Shell Rock plays at a lightning fast pace and Traetow and the Dutch defense will need to figure out how to get stops more consistently than they did in the last meeting.

Keys for Pella

It all starts on the defensive end for Pella. The Go-Hawks have been an offensive juggernaut this season averaging 75.6 points per game (second in 3A). They play at a very quick pace but that doesn't effect their efficiency as they shoot 51% from the field (second in 3A) and are the top three-point shooting team in the class making 11.4 per game at 43% from deep. The Go-Hawks dropped 86 on Pella a couple of weeks ago but the good news is coach Derek Schulte and his staff will have film to prep his guys on and the game will be played at Wells Fargo Arena where state games tend to be played a little bit slower pace than usual and it can be tough for shooters to adjust to the arena. Pella will need to defend the three-point line better, rebound but also defend better off the bounce and at the rim as the Go-Hawks were 28-of-39 (71%) inside the arc in the previous meeting. The Dutch have the weapons to keep up with the scoring of Waverly-Shell Rock and should be able to score once they adjust to the environment. The biggest thing to watch for will be how Pella closes in the fourth quarter. If the game is close over the last eight minutes, the Dutch have dominated fourth quarters on both ends this postseason outscoring their opponents 53-25.

Colin Peters can be reached at 641-672-2581, by email at cpeters@oskyherald.com or on Twitter @ColinPetersOH.