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Solon boys break six-game skid

Spartans down Maquoketa. 68-39

SOLON– It was good to get a win.
After dropping the previous two games by a combined four points, Solon’s varsity boys’ basketball team blew out the Maquoketa Cardinals for a 68-39 home victory Jan. 16.
Despite playing in the Solon Middle School, the Spartans tore the game open in the third quarter, turning a 10-point halftime margin into a 22-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
“I loved how our guys responded to getting challenged,” noted Head Coach Matt Lesan.
This time, Solon took a 19-11 first-quarter lead and didn’t look back.
A three-pointer by senior Cam Miller, a mid-range shot by junior Carson Shive and a baseline jumper by junior David Bluder gave the Spartans a 32-22 edge at the end of two periods.
Solon held the Cardinals to only five points in the third quarter.
But the Spartan offense was still in gear.
A post move by Bluder, three-pointers by junior Will Noonan and Shive, a nice outlet from Bluder that ended in a bucket by junior Ben Cusick and a fast break layup and a foul for junior Brady Jeworrek pushed Solon to a 47-24 lead in the third period.
Ten Spartans played and 10 Spartans scored, led by sophomore Jake Quillan with 19 points on 6-8 shooting from the field and 3-4 from the free throw line. Shive added 11 points, with 10 from Bluder and nine from Cusick.
Solon shot 44.4 percent from the field and 34.7 from deep, yet hit only 12-22 free throws (54.5 percent).
But the Spartans had a big edge on the boards (33-20), including 12 on the offensive glass. Junior Drew Turner led the team with 10 rebounds.
The win broke a six-game losing streak and moved the team to 3-8 on the season.
“They did a great job of being aggressive on defense without giving up uncontested shots,” Lesan said. “We want to hang our hat on defense for the remainder of the season so it was a great first step for us.”
The Solon boys host Mount Vernon Friday, Jan. 24, and head to Iowa City Regina for a girl/boy doubleheader Saturday, Jan. 25, before returning home to face Marion Tuesday, Jan. 28.