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Lady Spartans handle Vikettes

Williamsburg and Regina prove to be too much for Solon’s girls
Alex Henry drives the ball up the court for the Lady Spartans against the Vinton-Shellsburg Vikettes.

SOLON– The Solon girls are hanging tough.
Against the Vinton-Shellsburg Vikettes Friday night at home, that resulted in a 51-38 win.
Down 0-9 to start the first quarter, the Lady Spartans turned the tables in exciting fashion.
Shelby Gunnells put Solon on the board with a short jumper from outside the lane with less than 30 seconds to go in the first eight minutes, and Nichole Oberthien followed it up with a fast break reverse layup as the quarter ended.
The Lady Spartans ended up putting 21 unanswered points on the scoreboard, holding the Vikettes without a point until only two minutes remained in the half.
“The Vinton game was a game of runs,” said head coach Tony Nicol. “We had a 21-0 stretch in the second quarter and then a 12-0 stretch in the fourth. We talk a lot about consistency and that is an area we need to continue to improve both offensively and defensively.”
Solon led 24-15 at the half and outscored the Vikettes 19-11 in the fourth quarter.
For the Lady Spartans, it was a win sandwiched in the middle of two losses, although both came to high quality opponents– Williamsburg and Iowa City Regina.
Both sported only two losses on the season, and both played host to the Lady Spartans.
At Williamsburg Tuesday, Solon played the WaMaC West leaders as close as could be expected without taking home the win.
Williamsburg held a 28-25 advantage at the half, and despite extending the lead, the Lady Spartans clawed back and were within striking distance when the clock expired on a 47-44 loss.
“Against Williamsburg, the girls just stayed with it,” Nicol said. “We got down by eight twice early in the fourth quarter but the girls refused to give in and kept battling back. We ended up with 13 offensive rebounds which shows the heart of this team.”
For Solon, it was too much Paige Greiner. The Williamsburg senior scored 24 points, shooting 50 percent from the field and a perfect 8-8 at the line.
Ali Herdliska, Madi Shafer and Josie Durr each had eight points to lead Solon. Shafer was 4-4 from the free throw line. Herdliska also had seven rebounds and four steals for the Lady Spartans.
As a team, Solon shot 34 percent from the field, including 2-19 from the 3-point line.
Cold shooting played a factor again Saturday at Iowa City Regina, part of a girls/boys doubleheader.
“We just struggled to hit shots against Regina,” said Nicol. “It’s difficult to overcome a good team on the road when you are not making shots.”
After allowing Regina a 12-6 lead in the first quarter, Solon came back to close the gap to 17-14 at the half.
Another offensive spurt by the Regals in the third put the lead to double-digits, and the Lady Spartans couldn’t make it up in the fourth, losing by a 44-28 final.
Emily Capper and Durr led Solon’s scoring with six points each, while Hannah Bluder added five and Herdliska four.
The Lady Spartans shot 21 percent from the field, including 0-8 from the 3-point line, but out-rebounded Regina 30-23. Capper had seven boards to lead the team, with Herdliska (six) and Gunnells (five) helping round it out.
Solon’s girls spend this week on the road at Independence (Tuesday) and Maquoketa (Friday).
The Lady Spartans return home to host Mount Vernon Tuesday, Feb. 4.