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Buzzer-beater moves Solon to 2-0

Krutzfeldt 3-pointer gives Solon the 55-54 win over Marion
Ben Krutzfeldt puts up a shot over Marion’s Grant Meth. (photo by Doug Lindner)

SOLON– Ben Krutzfeldt’s 3-pointer at the buzzer won it for the Spartans.
Down by two in the closing seconds to Marion, The Spartans inbounded at the far end of the court to A.J. Coons who drove the ball and dished it off to Krutzfeldt for a deep three that swished the net.
Solon, down by seven points to start the fourth quarter, scored 22 points in the final period to steal away a 55-54 victory over the Indians Dec. 1 in Solon.
“Ben hit a great shot,” Solon Head Coach Jason Pershing noted. “That was set up by A.J. Coons.”
Krutzfeldt, Coons and Ethan Yahr powered the Spartans offensively, and Coons collected a double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds).
The home-opening win moved Solon to 2-0 on the season.
The Spartans owned the lead only briefly during the game, at the beginning of the first quarter and again at the end.
Coons’ fastbreak layup and a free throw by Luke Schaeckenbach gave Solon the early 3-0 lead, but a 3-pointer and a layup gave Marion the edge until the final seconds.
From there the Spartans played catch-up, trimming the lead to a single point but never pulling ahead.
Coons, Yahr and Schaeckenbach kept Solon close with first-half baskets, but the Spartans were plagued by foul trouble, with Krutzfeldt picking up his third (the team’s 10th) in the closing minutes of the second quarter.
A minute later, Coons picked up his third foul, but Marion’s Jevin Manderscheid missed two of his three free throws, and a driving basket by Yahr on the other end made it 24-21.
Solon had trailed 13-7 at the end of the first quarter, but the margin was only three points at the half.
“No real big adjustments were made,” Pershing said of the mounting fouls. “We just played smarter. More under control and did not let the pace, or officiating affect us mentally. It was not the officials, it was things that we could control on the defensive end.”
Marion outscored Solon 16-12 to open the second half, but the Spartans made their move in the fourth.
Some shots fell, the Indians missed a few free throws, and Solon had an opportunity, Pershing said.
“We have a group of competitors and they practice very hard. I ask them to give me/their team 100 percent of their effort, 100 percent of the time,” Pershing said. “That is what they did.”
Solon held a massive edge on the glass, out-rebounding the Indians, 38-22, and shot better from the line (77 percent for Solon, 54.5 percent for Marion).
Coons’ 11 rebounds led the team, with Schaeckenbach pulling down nine, including five on the offensive glass.
Krutzfeldt (6-6), Yahr (3-3) and Coons (1-1) were all perfect at the charity stripe.
Coons had six of the team’s 12 assists.
Krutzfeldt led the scoring with 16 points, while Yahr added 12 and Coons 11.
After hosting Central DeWitt Dec. 5, the Spartans hit the road for Epworth to face Western Dubuque Friday, Dec. 8. Anamosa visits Solon Tuesday, Dec. 12.
The Spartans are still without last season’s third leading scorer, senior Luke Ira. Coach Pershing reported Ira has returned to practice and is expected back in the lineup in a coupe of weeks.