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Boys fall to West Delaware

SOLON– After starting the season with three straight wins, the Solon boys basketball team has dropped four in a row, with the last two coming with identical 63-49 scores.
The Spartans fell to West Delaware at home Friday and to Cedar Rapids Kennedy on the road Saturday, both by a margin of 14 points and both by a score of 63-49.
“We finally put together a great showing defensively at Kennedy on Saturday,” said head coach Jason Pershing. “The progress defensively is being made.”
Kennedy jumped out to an 18-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the Spartans responded by outscoring Kennedy 18-12 in the second, and trailed 30-27 at the half.
Solon’s offense faltered in the third quarter and the Spartans could only put six points on the board. Solon trailed 42-33 going into the fourth quarter.
The previous night, Solon had hosted West Delaware in only the second home game of the season.
The Spartans were able to hang tough in the first half, but the Hawks outscored Solon 32-23 in the second half.
After a close first quarter, unforced errors by West Delaware helped fuel the Solon offense in the second period. A rebound put-back by senior Jackson Rushek pulled Solon to within a point at 27-26, but the Hawks scored four unanswered points and took a 31-26 into the locker room at halftime.
Solon and West Delaware traded 3-pointers to start the third, but a Solon turnover led to a transition 3-pointer for West Delaware and a 10-point lead.
Earlier in the week, the Spartans traveled to face league-leading Central DeWitt and came home with a 72-59 loss.
Solon started slow offensively and trailed 15-7 at the end of the first period. The teams traded buckets in the second, but the Spartans were still down 30-23 at the half. Solon scored 36 points in the second half, but DeWitt put up 42.
Jacob Coons had 16 points to lead Solon, with Emilio Villagrana adding 14.
Villagrana, Brandan Childs and Rushek all fouled out of the game. The Spartans were called for 31 fouls.
Solon went to the foul line 26 times, connecting 18 times (69 percent), and shot 38.6 percent from the field (including 41 percent from the 3-point line). The Spartans had 12 assists on 17 made baskets, led by Villagrana with five and Streeter McIlravy with four.
“We are still learning a new system so the DeWitt and West Delaware games are very good learning experiences,” Pershing said. “We are learning to adjust to the officiating and stop fouling, trusting our teammates.”