By Chris Umscheid
North Liberty Leader
TIFFIN– The Clear Creek Amana (CCA) Clippers overcame a first half deficit, but still fell prey to the Solon Spartans Friday night, Feb. 21, at home on Senior Night.
CCA honored seniors Cody Wagner, Jacob Klingeman and Josh Dillon between the sophomore and varsity games.
The Spartans took the sophomore contest 72-62 and the varsity tilt 68-62.
The game, originally scheduled for early January and postponed twice due to weather concerns, started out as a close battle with CCA’s Nile Rourke and Solon’s Austin Miller putting in six points each in the first period before the Spartans pulled ahead, 19-14. Josh Dillon put the Clippers on the scoreboard with a 3-2 lead as he nailed a 3-pointer while Nick Shelman sank a three-pointer at the period-ending buzzer to give Solon a 22-14 lead. Jacob Black also had a three-bomb in the period and dropped-in his second to open the second period for Solon. Black then swiped the ball and scored a field goal as the Spartans enjoyed a 27-14 lead. Jaden Durr fired another Solon three-point torpedo to make it 31-14. Cal Miller had a pair of 3-point shots in the half for the Clippers as well.
The Spartans took a 35-27 lead at the half.
In the third period, Rourke opened for CCA with a field goal and Jacob Klingeman put up a 3-pointer as Solon’s Ethan Ahern added a trio of free throws for a 38-32 lead. Emilio Villagrana extended the Spartan lead with a pair of 3-point shots. Solon was ahead 46-40 with 2.3 seconds left in the period when Rourke went to the charity stripe and sank a pair of free throws. Drew Wagner and Cody Wagner added field goals for the Clippers while Noah Whittinghill went 2-2 at the line.
Shelman sank his second 3-pointer to start the final period, and Dillon went 2-2 at the line to cut Solon’s lead back to five points. Jake Neubauer gave the Clipper fans hope and something to cheer about as he bombed the basket with a 3-pointer to make it a two-point ballgame with just over six minutes remaining. Solon put six points on the board in about a minute thanks to a pair of free throws and baskets by Shelman and Villagrana. Villagrana scored on a steal and a layup, making it 55-47 with just over five minutes to go.
Cal Miller hit his third 3-pointer to again cut the gap to five points, but the Clippers continued to play catch-up. Klingeman scored CCA’s final points with another 3-pointer with 17 seconds left in the game. The Clippers were down four points but Jaden Durr went to the line for Solon with 6.2 seconds left and knocked down a pair of free throws.
The Clippers fell to 6-14 for the season while the Spartans improved to 14-7.