Pella’s hot start too much for PCM


PCM senior August Stock looks to pass to a teammate. Stock finished with five points, one assist and four rebounds. Photo by Stephanie Stock.

For weeks, Pella was circled on the PCM boy’s basketball team’s calendar. It was a chance to get a signature win in a season with not much success. PCM (3-9) had been going through a rough stretch, losing four of their last five games. But on Jan. 9, the stage was set: the Pella Dutch were sitting at 6-3, which wasn’t great, but they had the attention of PCM because, well, they were Pella. They were 13-3 against the Mustangs all-time and had no intentions of slowing it down. They have won two state championships and have made many state tournament runs. Facts like this danced in the heads of the Mustangs while they warmed up just minutes before the game, although every one of them knew that the possibility of a win was still alive, especially with head coach Fred Lorensen. 

Then the game started. As the minutes of the first quarter ticked by, the Dutch could do no wrong as they ended the quarter ahead 31-4. Lorensen remained calm talking to his team in between quarters, trying to keep hope alive. Postgame, he shared why PCM was doing so poorly. 

“At the beginning of the game, it was just an avalanche of points,” Lorensen explained. “We just turned the ball over too much and what was really disappointing was that Pella isn’t a good offensive team, so that wasn’t good.”

The second quarter wasn’t much better as Pella outscored PCM 18-8. It was at that point that 6’6 senior forward Grant VanVeen went down with an ankle injury. This led to 6 ‘7 junior Mark Bussan to get meaningful minutes for the first time all year. For the first couple minutes he was in, he made his presence known shooting 4/7. All of his points came in short range shots muscling around in the lane. Bussan finished with eight points, one steal, one assist and two rebounds. He led the team in scoring. 

“It was a rough game, but I think I played well individually,” Bussan said. “Just as a team, though, we needed to make more shots. Pella was really on it.” 

After halftime, PCM came out of the locker room with some renewed energy. The third quarter saw a new energy in the Mustangs as they outscored the Dutch 15-13. However, it was bad quality basketball and it wasn’t enough as they were still down 27-62. Then came the fourth quarter, during which Pella was in cruise control as they outscored PCM to seal a 75-33 victory. Towards the end, the Dutch started letting everyone on their team in on the fun as nine of their players scored. That was part of the domination from the beginning: Pella’s balanced attack. Their leading scorer had 15 points. The Mustangs never knew exactly who to key in on as anyone could score at any given time. Lorensen addressed this among other things to his team but kept it brief as he wanted to be there as much as his players at that point. The mission had failed and the Pella dynasty lived on. Nothing else could have been done at that point. 

“We just need to regroup from here and figure out who wants to play,” Lorensen said. “I’ve known a lot of these kids for a long time and I know they aren’t quitters. Hopefully we can make better outcomes as our season ends.”

PCM will play their next game this Friday, Jan. 20 at home against Greene County at 7:15p.m.