SOLON– The Spartans had no head coach, but they had four players in double-figures, and that helped lead to a double-digit win over Marion Friday in Solon.
Solon took a five-point lead at the end of the third quarter and stretched it out in the fourth quarter for a 77-64 win.
Nick Shelman led the Spartans’ scoring with 19 points, with help from Ethan Ahern (17 points), Emilio Villagrana (16) and Jaden Durr (12).
While Marion led most of the statistical categories, it was Solon’s shooting that gave the Spartans an edge.
Solon shot 48 percent from the field, including 8-16 from the 3-point line, en route to the win. Ahern was 6-6 from the floor and 5-7 from the free throw line, while Villagrana was 4-6 from beyond the arc.
Villagrana’s 3-pointers helped give Solon a 20-14 first quarter lead, but Marion chipped away in the second period, knotting it up at 22-all and then taking a 24-22 lead over Solon.
A 3-pointer by Shelman and a traditional 3-point play by Jacob Black gave the Spartans a 28-24 advantage, and the Spartans nursed a two-point edge at the half.
Solon came out of the gates in the second half, outscoring Marion 10-2, and kept the lead at close to 10 points through the rest of the game.
Fifteen players reached the floor for Solon and seven of them scored.
The Spartans moved to 6-1 with the win, and after facing West Delaware at home Tuesday (Jan. 14), Solon hosts Benton Community Friday, Jan. 17, and Williamsburg Tuesday, Jan. 21. The boys are back on the road Friday, Jan. 24, at Vinton-Shellsburg.
Solon varsity head coach Brad Randall was not on the court with his team when they faced the 3-5 Indians last week, and was not expected to be present when the Spartans faced West Delaware Tuesday evening.
Solon Community School District Activities Director Keith McSweeney in an email Tuesday said he could not provide any information other than a copy of a separate email sent to varsity basketball parents Friday.
In the email, McSweeney said the district is conducting an investigation “during which time, Coach Randall will not be coaching.”
Junior varsity head coach Miguel Villagrana filled in for Randall during the 77-64 win over Marion, and Villagrana was expected to coach the varsity squad Tuesday against West Delaware.
“The District investigates and reviews all personnel matters thoroughly and takes seriously its commitment to providing students and staff with a safe learning environment,” McSweeney said in his email to parents. “I understand many of you may have questions or concerns regarding this situation. Please understand that we will not be able to comment in any further detail as this is a personnel matter.”