• warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.

Spartans edged by Mustangs

Mount Vernon escapes with 70-68 win

SOLON– “They left it all on the floor,” Solon head Coach Matt Lesan said. “Some of those bounces that aren't going our way will start to change.”
Everything was looking good for a Spartan upset of two-loss Mount Vernon Jan. 24 in Solon.
But the Mustangs retook the lead when it mattered, and the 70-68 loss dropped the Solon varsity boys to a third straight loss and a 3-11 record. Mount Vernon improved to 11-2.
The Spartans held a 38-33 advantage at the half in a see-saw battle which featured some hot shooting and some aggressive defense.
The two teams were neck and neck throughout the first two periods. The five-point lead at halftime was the largest for either side.
Solon shot a torrid pace to start the game, with three-pointers raining in from juniors Bo Janssen, David Bluder and Will Noonan.
“Our team is getting better at taking the ‘right’ shot,” Lesan noted. “They are working the ball around and setting up shooters to shoot higher-percentage shots. We still have some episodes where we force some things up, but we have made a ton of growth.”
Bluder hit two more three-pointers late in the first quarter to give the Spartans an 18-15 lead, but the Mustangs responded for a 22-18 edge at the end of one, despite missing two free throws on an intentional foul call in the closing seconds.
Three-pointers by sophomore Jake Quillan and Noonan cut into the lead and junior Ben Cusick’s traditional three-point play on a put-back and foul tied the game up at 27.
The Spartans took the lead on free throws by Quillan and then built a lead with a layup by Bluder and two shots at the free throw line by Janssen. When Bluder drained his last three-pointer of the half, it put Solon up 36-33.
But the fouls were mounting. Solon racked up 10 fouls with over six minutes remaining in the half, and ended the game with 24. The Mustangs ended up with a few more trips to the charity stripe, but cashed in on only 55.1 percent (16-29) while the Spartans made 15 of their 23 free throw attempts (65.2 percent).
Mount Vernon hounded Solon’s ball handlers.
“They did a nice job not only with the on ball pressure, but making it tough to make the pass to the wing,” Lesan said. “They made us work for everything we got, but I was pleased with the growth we have made in this area as well. We ended the first half with five turnovers and against an aggressive team like Mount Vernon that is very effective basketball.”
The Mustangs took a 51-54 lead at the end of the third period and the Spartans ended up one bucket short.
Bluder led the team with 19 points on 7-11 shooting from the field, including 4-4 from deep. Janssen added 15 points off the bench, going 4-4 from the field (including 2-2 from three) and 5-6 at the free throw line. Cusick and Noonan each added eight points, with seven from junior Carson Shive.
As a team, Solon shot 51.1 percent from the field and a blistering 56.2 percent from deep. The Spartans collected 19 assists on 22 made baskets, led by Janssen and senior Cam Miller, each with four.
“It was a back and forth game all night and I was proud of all of the guys,” Lesan added.