DeWITT– It was the first basketball loss of the year for Solon’s varsity boys Tuesday, as Central DeWitt scored 25 points in the fourth quarter to defeat the Spartans, 61-52.
“Both teams played well,” said head coach Brad Randall. “They played better in the fourth quarter.”
Solon built a 11-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the Sabers whittled it away slightly in the second. The Spartans held a four-point lead at the half, 26-22.
Central DeWitt tied the game at 36-36 to end the third period and then went on a 25-16 scoring splurge in the fourth to pull away.
“Their student section was really into the game,” Randall said. “It was a pretty hostile environment.”
Offensively, DeWitt held down Solon’s leading scorer, Austin Miller, limiting him to six points and four field goal attempts.
“They identified Austin,” Randall said. “It was a very physical game. They played very good interior defense.”
Emilio Villagrana and the rest of the team stepped up, however.
Villagrana had 14 points, including 3-4 from the 3-point line and 3-5 from the free throw line, to go with four assists, five steals and a block.
Randall said Nick Shelman also hit some big shots, finishing 3-4 from 3-point range for nine points. Ethan Ahern and Jaden Durr each added eight points.
Solon shot 58 percent from the 3-point line and 75 percent from the free throw line.
But Solon was called for 22 fouls, while only 13 were whistled against the Sabers, and the Spartans were edged on the boards, 22-18.
“We need to get back to working hard on the boards at both ends,” Randall noted.
The Spartans’ road trips continue after classes resume in January, with away games at Maquoketa Jan. 3, and Jan. 7 at Clear Creek Amana in Tiffin.