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Solon girls snap three-game skid

MORE PHOTOS Ali Herdliska has her layup blocked during Solon's 61-54 win over Beckman Jan. 11.

SOLON– Bouncing back from three straight road losses, the Lady Spartans needed a little home cooking.
They got it against Dyersville Beckman Friday night.
Solon’s girls defeated Beckman, 61-54, to snap a three game losing streak, all of them coming in visitor’s uniforms.
The Lady Spartans had chalked up narrow defeats to Western Dubuque and non-divisional WaMaC foe Clear Creek Amana before a 50-39 loss at Mount Vernon last Tuesday, Jan. 8.
Solon had some opportunities, but cold shooting put the Lady Spartans in a bit of a hole against the Mustangs.
“The girls played very hard against a good Mount Vernon team,” said head coach Tony Nicol. “We could just could not make the shots when we needed it.”
The Lady Spartans shot 32 percent from the field, including 15 percent from beyond the arc. Solon went 5-9 from the free throw line.
Solon narrowed the gap to a single point early in the second quarter, but that was as close as they would get. The Mustangs outscored the Lady Spartans 12-5 to close the half with a 23-15 lead.
Karly Kramer and Rylee Smith helped Solon trim the lead to 25-20 midway through the third quarter, but the Mustangs again responded, building the lead back up to 11 points. Solon threatened again in the fourth, trimming the lead to 41-33 in the closing minutes.
Kristen Purdy led the Lady Spartans in scoring with 10 points. Smith added 9, while Kramer and Emma Rickels each added 8 points. Rickels led the Solon rebounding with six.
The Mustangs won the rebounding battle, 30-23, shot 48 percent from the field and had 19 trips to the free throw line, connecting on 11.
The Lady Spartans rebounded at home Friday night, but had to overcome some shuffling feet and the traveling calls that accompanied.
Despite a high number of first-half turnovers, Solon built a 27-19 halftime lead against Beckman and were able to keep it up for a 61-54 win.
“I believe that the traveling calls against Beckman were due to the effort that the girls were putting forth,” Nicol commented. “We are struggling with consistent hard effort and really wanted to come out hard against Beckman.
“I think the girls were pushing a bit too much and were playing at a speed that was a little much,” he continued. “Once they got into the flow of the game they did much better.”
Kristen Purdy and Rylee Smith provided a spark offensively and defensively, scoring 18 and 17 points respectively, and accounting for seven of the team’s 17 steals. Purdy shot 50 percent from the floor, including 5-7 from the 3-point line.
Solon also got to the line more in this game, going 19-30 (63 percent) to help the cause. Smith was 7-11 from the stripe, while Kristen Purdy, Rachel Purdy and Emma Rickels were each 3-4.
Shelby Gunnells led the team in rebounding with seven, and added three steals. Emily Capper added three steals and 6 points, going 3-5 from the field.
The win brought the Lady Spartans’ record up to 7-5 overall.
It’s back on the road for the girls this week, first to Anamosa Tuesday, Jan. 15, and then to Maquoketa Friday, Jan. 18. The Lady Spartans return to home court Saturday, Jan. 19, as Solon hosts a boys/girls doubleheader with Iowa City Regina.