Spartans find spark in blowout win

Spartans find spark in blowout win

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Spartans find spark in blowout win

By

VAN HORNE

Brad Randall had three words for his Solon basketball team after the first quarter of its district opener against South Tama.

And just to make sure the Spartans understood, Randall repeated the three words three times.

“Too many points,” Randall said three times in succession.

The Spartans heard the message loud and clear.

After allowing 14 points in the opening quarter, Solon (15-7) held South Tama (4-17) to a combined 10 points in the next two quarters as the Spartans cruised to an 82-36 win in the opening round of the Class 3A district tournament at Benton Community.

“We were doing a lot of good things on both sides of the ball in the first quarter, but we just weren’t very consistent with our defense,” Randall said. “I think once we turned up our defense we were better, and when we are playing defense and running the floor like that, we are a tough team to beat.”

With the win, the Spartans advanced to the district final against Benton Community (18-4) at 7 p.m. Thursday at Cedar Rapids Prairie.

“We knew we needed to get through this first one,” Solon’s Emilio Villagrana said. “We just wanted to take care of business tonight.”

Solon led 26-14 after the opening quarter thanks in large part to a 13-4 run midway through the quarter but allowed South Tama to hit 7-of-10 field goals in the opening eight minutes.

The 14 points got the attention of Randall, who got the attention of his team after the opening quarter.

The rest of the game was all Spartans.

They outscored South Tama 37-10 during the second and third quarters before sending their starters to the bench with two minutes to play in the third quarter.

“We picked up the pressure 10 times better than what we did the first quarter,” senior Austin Miller said. “We got up on them in the trap and anticipated the ball much better after the first quarter.”

Solon led 36-21 but put the game away early in the third quarter with a 24-0 run that spanned nearly four minutes and gave Solon a 60-22 lead, triggering the continuous clock.

South Tama managed just three points in the third quarter as Solon forced the Trojans into 13 turnovers in the fourth quarter and 34 for the game.

“The way that we scored 80 points was defense and rebounding, and that is kind of what we fed off of,” Randall said. “I liked our energy. We were a team that looked like they were very energized and ready to go.”

Miller finished with a game-high 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting as 14 Spartans scored Monday.

Villagrana added 13 points and a team-high six rebounds for Solon, which shot 51 percent from the floor and held a 37 to 20 rebounding edge.

“We always talk about keeping teams off the boards and keeping the pressure up,” Miller said. “We were able to do that especially in the second and third quarters.”

SOLON (82) – Emilio Villagrana 5-9 0-0 13, Nathan Hawkins 2-5 0-0 5, Ethan Ahern 3-4 0-0 6, Cameron Fitzpatrick 2-4 0-0 4, Payton Nicol 1-1 4-4 7, Jackson Rushek 0-2 0-0 0, Nick Shelman 2-6 0-0 4, Zach Lawson 1-1 0-0 2, Josh Prybil 1-2 2-2 4, Jacob Coons 1-2 1-1 3, Jaden Durr 4-10 4-4 12, Shay Croy 1-4 0-0 2, Jacob Black 1-4 1-2 3, Austin Miller 7-8 1-2 15. Totals 32-63 13-15 82.

SOUTH TAMA (36) – Darius Lasley 2-6 0-0 5, Tyler Martens 0-3 2-2 2, Grant Koch 4-9 0-2 8, Dalton Doyle 1-2 0-0 2, Clayton Rosenberger 0-3 1-2 1, Darien Taylor 2-6 0-0 5, Drake Cherveny 3-4 0-0 6, Ian Slagle 3-4 1-2 7. Totals 15-37 4-8 36.

South Tama 14 7 3 12 — 36
Solon 26 10 27 19 — 82

3-point field goals – SOL 5-22 (Villagrana 3-5, Hawkins 1-2, Fitzpatrick 0-1, Nicol 1-1, Rushek 0-1, Shellman 0-2, Prybil 0-1, Coons 0-1, Durr 0-2, Croy 0-3, Black 0-2, Miller 0-1) ST 2-13 (Lasley 1-4, Koch 0-2, Doyle 0-1, Rosenberger 0-3, Taylor 1-3). Rebounds – SOL 37 (Villagrana 6) ST 20 (Doyle, Slagle 3). Turnovers – SOL 15, ST 34. Total fouls – SOL 8, ST 15. Technicals – None. Fouled out – None.

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