Advertisement

Dutch upset bid spoiled late in overtime thriller against Go-Hawks

Mar. 6—DES MOINES — It was only the second day of the state boys basketball tournament, but fans at Tuesday night's game at Wells Fargo Arena likely the best game of the week as No. 7 Pella (15-10) went toe-to-toe with No. 2 Waverly-Shell Rock (21-3) in an overtime classic that saw the Go-Hawks sink a go-ahead free throw late and the Dutch just missing a buzzer beater at the horn in a 65-64 loss.

"It was a battle with so many clutch plays by both teams and so many plays that I'm sure we want back," Pella head coach Derek Schulte said. "But the reality is, we left everything on the floor and this group had great preparation heading into the state tournament. We talked about what we needed to get done to beat a number two team in the state and came out and executed and battled. I can't say enough about how proud I am of this group. It's tough to end it because the journey to the state tournament is special. But there's no better place to end it than here at Wells Fargo Arena. We're disappointed in the result, but so proud of this group in these young men."

The game opened with the Go-Hawks turning a block at the rim quickly into other points on the other end with a layup. Luke Hardman answered right back with a three for Pella and things were off and running.

W-SR led 6-3 early with both teams eventually tying up at 11-11 before the Dutch ended the quarter on a 7-2 run with a three by Brayden Traetow, followed by a steal and layup by Traetow and and a layup by Tyson Barnes.

It was a great start for Pella and the Dutch supporters were buzzing heading to the second quarter with an 18-13 lead. Defense was a key point for the Pella game plan after losing to this same Go-Hawk team 86-72 a couple of weeks. And it was that defense that put them out in front early as they forced six W-SR turnovers in the opening quarter.

"We've been saying it all year, if we keep our composure and stay together, we trust each other to make plays," Traetow said. "We've told each other that all year long. We know that if we played good team defense, if we got stops, we knew we were going to score. We just needed to get stops."

The Go-Hawks punched back at the start of the second quarter as they used a 9-3 run to get out in front by one after Pella missed a handful of good looks at the rim. The rest of the quarter played pretty balanced with the Dutch getting to the free throw line to help counter a tough shooting quarter where they were 3-of-12 compared to W-SR's 8-of-14. The two teams went into halftime tied at 31-31.

The physicality ramped up again in the third quarter but both teams were trading blows with a late floater by Pella's Harrison Mullens cutting the deficit to 48-46 heading to the fourth quarter.

The Dutch had been dominant in the fourth quarter during this postseason run and had the number two ranked team on the ropes with eight minutes to go.

The Go-Hawks had a three-point lead before a huge Luke Hardman three tied it up only for W-SR's Cole Marsh, who is set to walk-on as a TE at Iowa this fall, to put his team back out in front with a tough layup.

The Dutch trailed 54-52 with just over two minutes to go as it entered into the clutch time for both teams. McGuire tied things up with a good look in the paint while W-SR answered on the other end by splitting a pair of free throws to go back in front 55-54. Traetow then powered down the lane for the Dutch and rattled in a big-time runner to put Pella ahead 56-55 with 40 seconds left.

After a timeout, Cameron Rowe would come up with a huge steal and force the Go-Hawks to have to foul with under 35 seconds left. McGuire would head to the line for two big free throws and would split the pair to push the Pella advantage to 57-55.

The Go-Hawks set up a good play and got a good look at the rim with Pella fouling W-SR's Jude Landers to send him to the line with a chance to tie the game with 17 seconds left. Landers splashed in the first with Pella calling a timeout afterwards to try to ice him for his second but Landers would stay clutch and make the second to tie it up.

Pella would look to hold for the last shot and would set up a play to get Hardman driving right to the rim. Hardman would get a good look at it but his shot would hit rim and out as time expired and send things to overtime with the two tied at 57-57.

The extra period started off with a bang as both teams traded big-time shots that included a layup by Hardman, a layup by Austin Schulte and a jumper by Traetow. Pella trailed 64-63 with 41 seconds to go before McGuire would get fouled and would head to the free throw line with a chance to tie and take the lead. McGuire made the first but missed the second with Hardman flying in to get the offensive rebound.

The shot clock was still on but Pella could melt it down to below 10 seconds on the game clock before needing to take a shot. The Dutch set up a similar look for Hardman to drive off the right side but once again his shot would not fall.

The Go-Hawks quickly grabbed the rebound and advanced it up the floor with Marsh finding Noah Frazell at the three point line. Schulte came flying over to try and contest the potential three but Frazell would pump fake and get Schulte to foul him with only 1.8 seconds left.

Frazell went to the line for the two biggest free throws of his life. He would miss the first and Pella would use a timeout to try to ice him but also set up a play for a potential inbound. Frazell would come out of the timeout and knock down the second to put the Go-Hawks in front by one.

Hardman, who has played quarterback for the Dutch football team the last two seasons, got the ball and three a great one-handed pass up the floor to McGuire who was able to take one dribble before firing a shot at the buzzer. The ball was tracking but would rattle out as McGuire collapsed to floor and the Go-Hawks celebrated holding off the upset-minded Dutch, 65-64.

"Great pass from Luke," McGuire said after the game. "I turned around and shot it and thought it looked good but it just didn't happen to go in. It's a rough way to end the season but I'm glad it was a close game."

McGuire finished the night with 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting with four rebounds and two assists but also made sure to give credit to his opponent in Marsh who had a big night himself with 17 points, 14 rebounds, two assists and two blocks.

"I just want to give credit to Cole Marsh for playing a great game offensively and defensively," McGuire said. "I feel like just being patient and using pivots got me a lot of open looks and got my teammates a lot of open looks tonight, too."

Traetow added 12 points, two rebounds and three assists while Hardman had 10 points and five rebounds. Rowe and Schulte both finished with nine points.

Pella battled through an up and down season that saw them start 1-3 before rattling off nine wins over their next 10 games. They then struggled down the stretch going 2-5 over their final seven regular season games. The Dutch then got going again in the postseason and were able to get back to state for the first time since winning the title in 2021.

For Pella's five seniors, it was a tough finish to their high school basketball careers, but it was the place they wanted to go out at.

"It's a tough ending," Hardman said. "We gave it our all. The shots didn't go in the final minutes, free throws didn't go in but we're proud of our effort and are proud to make the state tournament. Waverly's probably going to make it to the championship because there's a lot of talent on that team. But I'm proud of our team. Our goal at the beginning of the season was to get to the state tournament and make a run and we did that. We just came up a little short."

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