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Spartans roar out of gate

SOLON– You can’t ask for a much better start if you’re Solon head boys’ basketball coach Brad Randall.
The Spartans have made short work of two WaMaC West opponents.
Short as in the Solon team has run up double-digit leads in the first quarter against both Waterloo Columbus and Benton Community, and forced continuous clocks in both games.
Randall couldn’t remember the last time that happened.
“The down side is we haven’t played a complete game yet,” he said.
Tests against Maquoketa, which defeated Solon twice last year, and an improved Anamosa squad will be coming this week.
For now, however, the Spartans are on a roll.
Against Waterloo Columbus at home Nov. 27, Solon roared out to a 22-4 first quarter lead, and held a 35-10 advantage at the half. Only Joe Weeks was in double-figures with 11 points to pace Solon, but 12 Spartans scored, and all 16 players saw action of the floor in the 61-22 win.
“From last year to this year, I can see a lot of improvement from just about everybody,” Randall said of his squad, which lost senior starters Turner Wentzien and Jake Morris to graduation.
Taking over at point guard is sophomore Emilio Villagrana, who so far has not missed from the 3-point arc, going 5-5 over two games. He finished with 8 points and four assists against Waterloo Columbus, and had 17 points and five assists at Benton Community Friday.
The Spartans put 24 points up in the first quarter against the Bobcats in Van Horne and held a 50-18 lead at half.
Senior Austin Miller had 12 points while Weeks added 10. Weeks also had seven rebounds to pace the team in the 84-50 blowout.
Randall said he hopes to play a lot of kids this year, having invested time in implementing more presses than ever before, as well as an up-tempo offense that pushes fastbreak opportunities.
“We’re going to try and keep the game fast,” he noted.