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Big OT win for girls

Lady Spartans take down Mid-Prairie, 49-46
Rachel Purdy drives on West Delaware’s Haley Morrison during the Lady Spartans’ 57-38 win last Tuesday in Solon. (photos by Doug Lindner)

SOLON– That was a good win.
The Solon Lady Spartans upended the No. 8 team in Class 3A over the weekend, taking the Mid-Prairie Golden Hawks to overtime for a 49-46 win Saturday in Wellman.
Solon used a second quarter surge to take an 8-point lead at half, 29-21, but was held to 15 second half points and the two teams were knotted at 44 after regulation.
The Lady Spartans outscored Mid-Prairie 5-2 in overtime to seal the victory.
“We were extremely pleased with the win over Mid-Prairie on Saturday,” head coach Tony Nicol said. “The game plan going in was to pressure the ball up the floor and fall back into a zone defense. I knew from a scouting report that Mid-Prairie does a great job of driving to the basket in their half court offense, so we went with a zone look to try and force them to take outside shots.”
The Golden Hawks were 13-4 coming into the contest, part of a girls/boys doubleheader.
“I liked the depth of our team and hoped that the pressure would wear Mid-Prairie down,” Nicol said. “Luckily it worked. We forced 44 turnovers.”
The game was the Lady Spartans’ sixth in two weeks, with four of them road trips.
One of last week’s road games resulted in a loss.
Against Central Clinton, DeWitt, Solon’s girls fell behind early, but battled back into the game, only to come up on the wrong end of a 51-44 final Friday.
“The DeWitt game was one of those frustrating nights where the team worked hard to get good shots but just could not convert,” said Nicol. “We shot 28 percent from the field while DeWitt shot 52 percent for the game and was shooting 66 percent at half time.”
The Lady Spartans fell behind by 9 at the end of the first quarter and 11 at the half, but closed the gap in the third quarter and were trailing by two possessions as the fourth began.
Solon didn’t have to come from behind against West Delaware Tuesday at home.
The Lady Spartans jumped out to a 10-3 lead, and maintained the advantage through the end of a 57-38 win.
“I really wanted to push the ball against West Delaware because I felt our conditioning and deeper bench would wear them out,” Nicol commented. “We really took over in the fourth quarter and their posts in particular looked like they ran out of gas. Rylee (Smith) was very aggressive and when she attacks the basket can be very difficult to stop.”
Smith led the Solon scoring with 15 points, complemented by Kristen Purdy with 14 (4-8 from behind the arc). Nine Solon players broke into the scoring column. The Lady Spartans had 19 assists on 21 made baskets, and outrebounded West Delaware by 10. Emma Rickels was the leading rebounder with six, followed by Karly Kramer and Rylee Smith with four each.
Solon’s girls close out the regular season hosting Mount Vernon Tuesday, Jan. 29, and Western Dubuque Friday, Feb.1, before traveling to Dyersville Beckman Tuesday, Feb. 5.