SOLON– The Solon Lady Spartans snapped a four-game losing streak last week with a 66-55 home win against Independence.
Unfortunately, the home win was bookended by two road losses at Mount Vernon and Western Dubuque at Epworth.
Solon had its opportunities against Mount Vernon, the top team in the WaMaC East. The game was knotted at 21-all at the half and the Lady Spartans held a four-point lead going into the final quarter.
“I thought we put together one of our best games of the year,” Head Coach Mark Sovers said of the 49-44 loss in Mount Vernon Jan. 24.
“We had our chances at the end,” Sovers noted. “You’re never totally happy when you don’t get the ‘W,’ but I’m seeing a lot of improvement, a lot of team effort.”
Rylee Smith and Ashley Holubar each had 13 points for Solon. Holubar and Emma Rickels each had eight rebounds, while Alyssa Rickels had seven boards. The Lady Spartans out-rebounded the Mustangs 37-30, but the rest of the game’s statistics were similar for both teams. Each had 11 assists and 10 steals.
Solon responded well to the loss two days later against Independence.
It was a game rescheduled from a Jan. 20 cancellation, and the Lady Spartans made the most of their next-to-last home stand, racking up 47 rebounds.
Alyssa Rickels had 11 boards to lead the team, but eight other players had two or more for the game. Solon had 21 offensive rebounds.
Emma Rickels led the scoring with 18 points, while Smith added 14, Kristen Purdy with 12 and Holubar 10. Purdy was 2-3 from the three-point line and 2-2 at the charity stripe.
“They totally set the tone with their defense,” Sovers said of the team. “They forced our tempo and created opportunities in transition.”
By Friday, though, it was the fourth game in seven days and back on the road for a back-to-back game, and that can take its toll.
The Lady Spartans hung tough, but fell at Western Dubuque, 55-40.
Cold shooting might have had something to do with it.
Solon connected on only 16 of 64 shot attempts (25 percent), including 2-18 from behind the arc.
Western Dubuque was not exactly shooting the lights out, either, and there were a combined 91 rebounds during the game, almost evenly divided between the two teams.
Katelynn Anderson was the only Lady Spartan in double figures with 12 points. Holubar led the team with 12 rebounds.
Solon’s girls close out the season with senior night against Dyersville Beckman at home Jan. 31, and road games at Maquoketa (Feb. 3), Anamosa (Feb. 7) and Williamsburg (Feb. 9).