SOLON– Solon’s girls rebounded after a disappointing loss at Anamosa, but the Lady Spartans dropped to 8-7 overall after going 1-3 on the week.
Finishing off a stretch where six of seven games were on the road, the Lady Spartans traveled to Maquoketa for a win before hosting Iowa City Regina Saturday and losing to the leaders of the Cedar Valley Conference, 51-45.
At Anamosa Tuesday night, Solon’s girls continued to struggle with offensive output. The Lady Spartans shot 30 percent from the field and 54 percent from the line, with no players in double figures in the 40-38 loss.
The girls started the game with a decent lead, but Anamosa came back to claim a 2-point halftime lead. Kristen Purdy led the scoring with 8, while Kara Misel and Ali Herdliska each added 7 points. Karly Kramer had six rebounds to lead the team.
It was a better showing Friday during a 46-33 win in Maquoketa, according to head coach Tony Nicol. “I thought the girls played with a lot of heart and toughness at Maquoketa,” he observed. “Rylee Smith and Kristen Purdy kept pressure on their guards all night, which led to them bringing the ball up with a forward.”
Solon held a 7-point lead heading into halftime.
After a 31-31 tie in the third quarter, the Lady Spartans went on a 15-2 to finish out the game, Nicol said.
Rylee Smith led the offense with 12 points, including 3-4 from the charity stripe. Kramer and Kristen Purdy each added 9 points. Shelby Gunnells had seven rebounds to pace the team, while Kramer had five.
The Lady Spartans shot a combined 6-13 from the 3-point line against Maquoketa, and out-rebounded their opponent, 28-23.
But then the girls had to turn around and host a solid Regina team vying for the Cedar Valley crown.
Trailing by 5 at the end of the first quarter, Solon was down by 9 at the break and behind by 13 heading into the fourth.
The Lady Spartans went on to outscore the Regals 16-9 in the final frame, continuing to push until time ran out.
“I knew on Saturday it was going to be tough for the team to find energy and be able to maintain energy after the week we had,” Nicol said. “I could not be more proud with the team effort that was given against a very good Regina team. The girls kept fighting and even though the individual performances were not stellar it was a great team effort.”
Rylee Smith scored 12 points to lead Solon, but Kristen Purdy, Emma Rickels and Kara Misel each had 6 points, while Kramer added 7 points and eight rebounds. The Lady Spartans shot 4-12 from the 3-point line and 60 percent from the free throw line.
The girls host West Delaware Tuesday (Jan. 22) before hitting the road for games at DeWitt and Mid-Prairie Friday and Saturday. The Lady Spartans host Mount Vernon and Western Dubuque before a regular season finale at Beckman Tuesday, Feb. 5.
“The end of our schedule is brutal and my hope is that we can continue to play with effort and energy and continue to build for the future of the program,” Nicol said.