Sneaking a peek: A first look at Perry vs Pella

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Perry's Solomon Pierce (left), Shammond Ivory (22) and Janier Puente celebrate their 73-71 overtime win against Glenwood in Atlantic Monday.

Seventh-seed Perry (15-9) will battle second-seed Pella (22-1) in the Class 3A Quarterfinals at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

ThePerryNews.com will have a detailed breakdown of the first Bluejay game in the state tournament since 1988 later this weekend. Included here are a few short tidbits about the match up.

ABOUT PELLA: The Dutch were the champions of the Little Hawkeye Conference. Their sole loss this season as a 68-57 setback to West Des Moines Valley.

The Perry faithful showed up en masse Monday, something each player and coach interviewed said had helped fuel the team to victory.
The Perry faithful showed up en masse Monday, something each player and coach interviewed said had helped fuel the team to victory.

Head coach Mark Core is in his 30th year on the bench, the last 21 of which have been at Pella. He was a combined 127-114 in four years at Klemme and five at Denver and is 337-98 at Pella for an overall record of 464-212.

The Dutch are making their 15th trip to state and ninth under Core’s leadership. Pella was bounced in the quarterfinal round last year. The team won back-to-back 3A titles in 2002-2003, were second in 1989, 1997 and 2010, placed third in 1979 and 2001 and were fourth in 1998. They were also in the tourney in 1975, 1991, 1993, 1999 and, as mentioned above, in 2015. They are 17-13 all-time in the state tourney.

Pella is riding a 15-game win streak and qualified for state with wins over Saydel (79-23), Bondurant-Farrar (62-50) and Ballard (81-56).

The Dutch were the Class 3A state champions in football this year and could join a list of seven schools that have accomplished the double-dip a total of 10 times.

ABOUT PERRY: The Bluejays finished third in the Raccoon River Conference behind co-champions ADM and Ballard.

The last man up the ladder is always the head coach, and here Ned Menke takes the place of honor to cut the final cords on the net.
The last man up the ladder is always the head coach, and here Ned Menke takes the place of honor to cut the final cords on the net.

Head coach Ned Menke was recently named the Character Counts Coach of the Year. He will be honored at halftime of the second Class 4A semifinal Friday. Menke is 81-100 overall and has spent all eight years of his head coaching career at Perry. He is a graduate of Soouth O’Brien, where he was a multi-sport standout, competing in both the state track and cross country meets. Menke earned an undergraduate degree from UNI and his Master’s from Viterbo University.

Perry is appearing in their third state tournament. The Bluejays, playing as a Class 2A school, with fourth in 1987 and won the championship in 1988. The school is 4-2 all-time in state tournament games.

The Bluejays own a five-game win streak. They advanced to state with wins over DC-G (57-50), Boone (75-57) and No. 6 Glenwood (73-71, OT).

ABOUT THE MATCH UP: Pella averages 75.2 points per game and Perry 71.5 ppg. The Dutch have scored 97 more first-half points than the Bluejays over the course of the season, but the Jays have produced 69 more second-half points, not including 15 points in two overtime games.

Pella’s average margin of victory is 22.5 ppg while Perry’s is 6.3 ppg.

Perry is led by all-state senior guard Shammond Ivory, the all-time leading scorer in school history. Ivory scored 505 points last season and has 493 this year and 1,690 in his career.
Perry is led by all-state senior guard Shammond Ivory, the all-time leading scorer in school history. Ivory scored 505 points last season and has 493 this year and 1,690 in his career.

The two teams have played six common foes. Pella has swept DC-G (72-71, 67-34) and Bondurant-Farrar (57-45, 62-50) and owns an 84-63 win over Carlisle. They also swept Ballard (76-49, 81-56), who swept Perry by a combined 13 points, and Norwalk (81-49, 67-57), who edged Perry by two points. Perry fell to ADM twice by a combined 18 points; Pella was a 93-59 winner over ADM in their one meeting.

Pella is one of the few teams with more assists (446 to394) and steals (263 to 239) than Perry, but the Bluejays have more rebounds (852 to 837) and own a decided edge (111 to 41) in blocked shots.

The winner will face the victor of the 6:35 p.m. Tuesday contest between third-seed Spirit Lake (21-3) and six-seed Cedar Rapids Xavier (16-8) in the semifinal round. The semifinal game will be played at 8:15 p.m. March 10.

Teams advancing to the semifinals are guaranteed a third game, to be played Saturday. Semifinal losers will meet for third place at 12:05 p.m. with the championship game beginning at 6:05 p.m.

The IHSAA provided some information for this report.

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