SOLON– The Solon girls let the lead slip away against Marion at home, but not on the road at Center Point.
The Lady Spartans moved to 2-1 on the young basketball season last week, dropping a 58-52 home opener to Marion, but rebounding for a 47-43 win at Center Point-Urbana (CPU).
Foul trouble spoiled the home opener for the Solon Lady Spartans against WaMaC foes from Marion Tuesday, Nov. 29. Solon led by eight after Mel Breza hit a buzzer-beater to close the first half.
“We had a nice lead throughout, but we committed way too many fouls,” Solon Head Coach Mark Sovers said.
Marion was 26-35 from the free throw line, while Solon was 17-30.
At the start of the third quarter, Solon’s Kara Misel took a hard charge foul under the Marion basket, but that was the last call to go her way. She was one of three Lady Spartans to foul out of the game, joining starting point guard Rylee Smith and Alyssa Rickels to watch the closing minutes from the sidelines.
“It started to get away from us in the third quarter,” Sovers said. “We hit the double-bonus and that really hurt us.”
Smith was dominant on the offensive end, moving easily with the ball through a porous Marion defense. Smith led the Solon scoring with 10 points, while Emma Rickels added nine and Kristen Purdy eight. Breza had seven rebounds to go with five assists.
By the end of the third, Marion chipped away and closed the gap to just four points. Solon held its meager lead until just under four minutes remained in the game, when Marion tied, then controlled the tempo and forced Solon to foul.
“Fifty-two points is a good total for us,” Sovers added. You just can’t give up 58.”
The Lady Spartan defense tightened against CPU on the road Friday night.
After being down 8-0 at the beginning of the game, Solon scored 15 unanswered points and maintained a double-digit lead for most of the 47-43 win.
Defensive pressure led to scoring opportunities in the second quarter, Sovers noted, sending the Lady Spartans to the foul line, where they were 17-30 for the game.
Smith again led in scoring with 13 points, while Emma Rickels added 12. Smith also led in rebounding with nine, and took two offensive charges to help stretch the lead. Karly Kramer provided a spark off the bench with four points and five rebounds.
“We did a good job of containing their dribblers,” Sovers commented. “We need to continue to work on closing out games.”
The Lady Spartans travel to Central DeWitt Tuesday, Dec. 6, and return home to host West Delaware Friday, Dec. 9.