Rebuilding year for Pella girls

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The 2019-20 basketball season will be a rebuilding year for the Pella High Lady Dutch, as Head Coach Jerod Garland will not only have to replace all-state standout Emily Holterhaus, but three other starters.

Garland’s solo returning starter from a year ago is Madison Naig, who was the team’s second highest scorer. Returning letter winners off the bench include Annika Peterson, Faith Diers and Anna Vander Waal. Vander Waal will be a tough, hard-nosed point guard for the Lady Dutch according to Garland. Bailey Van Voorst will provide some post work and Reagan Van Wyk will be in the wing.

With so many opportunities to get more time on the floor, Garland says he anticipates his younger players will push to get in the game. There is still much for them to learn, but everyone is showing great enthusiasm and he is confident that Pella will have its “a” game ready toward the end of the season. He has seen more deep shooters in practice thus far as well.

The Lady Dutch are coming off a 15-7 season overall and 9-4 in the Little Hawkeye Conference. The season ended with a loss to Grinnell, whom Garland believes will be good again this year. Though he believes every team in the conference will be tough and competitive, he thinks it will be Dallas Center-Grimes atop the LHC at the end of the season.

“We hope to compete every night in the conference,” Garland said. The season begins for the Lady Dutch Nov. 26 when they host Mt. Pleasant. That’s just one of the non-conference games on the schedule that will challenge the Lady Dutch. Ballard, North Polk and Knoxville will also be tough competitors.

“I think the team will be fun to watch,” Garland said.