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Lady Spartans swarmed by Indians 50-18 to open 2020

Solon holds No. 2 Marion to lowest total this season

MARION– Although the Lady Spartans varsity basketball team opened the 2020 portion of the season on the road suffering a 50-18 loss to the No. 2 (Class 4A) Marion Indians on Friday, Jan. 3, their defense held the Indians to their lowest scoring total yet this season.
Undefeated Marion met Solon having outscored its prior opponents significantly: Benton by 37 points (61-24), Williamsburg by 33 (78-45), South Tama by 83 (95-12), Clear Creek Amana by 29 (59-30), Vinton-Shellsburg by 30 points (73-43) and Maquoketa by 12 points (72-60).
Solon held Marion to just 50 points.
“Marion has really improved on the defensive end since break,” Solon Head Coach Jamie Smith said. “I knew this was something they would get better at, and they have.”
He was brief in his summary of Solon’s performance at Marion.
“(In the) first quarter, (we) turned the ball over seven times. Played good defense for the most part,” he said. “They switched to a 1-3-1 defense at about the five-minute mark and just suffocated us with their length.”
The Indians outscored Solon, 17-4.
“Second quarter, much of the same as first,” he continued.
The Lady Spartans trailed Marion, 31-10, at the half.
Solon played very well on the defensive end of the court in the third period and had a lot of open looks inside, but Marion’s size was again a factor, Smith noted.
At the end of three quarters, the Lady Spartans lagged behind, 46-10.
Solon outscored Marion 8-4 to close out the game.
“I feel we played good defense and our effort was there,” Coach Smith summarized. “We just need to keep doing what we do to get better. There has been a lot of hard work and it will pay off.”
Shooting for two, the Lady Spartans were limited by the Indians to just 5-30 (16.7 percent), and were held to just 25 percent (4-16) shooting threes. Solon went 4-11 (36.4 percent) from the free throw line.
By comparison, Marion shot 38.8 percent (19-49) from the field. The Indians sank 5-15 from beyond the arc (33.3 percent) and went 7-10 from the charity stripe. The Indians’ Kayba Laube led all scorers in the game with 18 points.
Jenna LaDage led the Lady Spartans scoring with nine points, Ava Stebral scored three points, Elly Holubar and MaKinley Levin were responsible for two points apiece, and Emma Bock and Claire LaDage each scored a point.
Both the Lady Spartans and the Indians collected 26 rebounds apiece for the game. Solon had five offensive and 21 defensive rebounds while Marion pulled down nine offensive and 17 defensive boards.
Holubar was responsible for 12 of the Lady Spartans’ rebounds, three offensive and nine defensive. With two defensive rebounds unassigned, Jenna LaDage collected four, one offensive and three defensive; Claire LaDage pulled down two defensive rebounds; Jada Buffington grabbed two defensive rebounds; Levin pulled down an offensive rebound; and Bock, Kaia Holtkamp and Ava Stebral recorded a defensive rebound apiece.
“I thought Elly Holubar did a great job again on the boards,” Coach Smith commented.
Bock was credited with Solon’s sole assist for the game while the Indians amassed 13 as a team. Levin and Buffington had two steals apiece in the game, while Holubar stole the ball once.
Marion stole the ball 15 times during the game and blocked seven shots.
The Lady Spartans committed 23 turnovers while the Indians limited themselves to just 10 while playing a slightly more physical game, collecting 15 team fouls compared to Solon’s nine.
Coach Smith was quick to dismiss concern over hosting Marion again this month, on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 6 p.m., at Solon High School.
“We will be working to get better,” he assured. “No matter who the opponent is. (We’re) not really thinking about Marion at the moment.”
Solon (3-6) hosted the Mount Vernon Mustangs (3-5) on Tuesday, Jan. 7, and travel to West Delaware Friday, Jan. 10, to battle the Hawks (1-8) at 7:30 p.m. The Lady Spartans remain on the road Tuesday, Jan. 14, facing the Williamsburg Raiders (1-7) at 6 p.m. and host the 7-2 Maquoketa Cardinals on Friday, Jan. 17, at 7:30 p.m. Then it is three away games leading to the Marion rematch, this time in Solon. The Lady Spartans trek to Central DeWitt (9-0) on Tuesday, Jan. 21, for a 6 p.m. tip off, then visit Mount Vernon (3-5) Friday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 25, Solon travels to Iowa City for a 4:30 p.m. confrontation with 6-1 Regina.
Coach Smith reiterated the progress the young Lady Spartans’ team has made thus far.
“Well, I think anytime you get to play a top-rated team, like Marion, and compete like we did. We did compete, the score might not show it but we competed,” he said. “We played good defense. We just have to keep getting better offensively. I don’t think we will face another team that plays defense like Marion did.”
Statistics for the article are courtesy of Quikstatsiowa.com and the Varsity Bound- Iowa High School Sports app as of Monday, Jan. 6.