Solon Gets Senior Night Win Over Rival Mount Vernon

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Jeff Yoder Photo / iagameday.smugmug.com

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

SOLON – A win on senior night is always memorable.

Considering the circumstances, Solon’s senior night victory on Tuesday was closer to unforgettable.

Solon rallied from a halftime deficit to snap a three-game losing skid to rival Mount Vernon with a 67-62 win in the WAMAC East Division finale for both teams in Solon.

The win was the second straight and fourth in the last five games for Solon (13-7, 9-5 WAMAC) and avenged a 63-61 last second loss to the Mustangs last month.

“Senior night, against Mount Vernon our rival and after the way we lost at their place, it’s huge,” Solon senior Jack Stahle said. “It was a special night. I’ll remember it forever.”  

Sophomore AJ Coons had a game-high 24 points and nine rebounds but this night belonged to the 10 Solon seniors.

Senior Ben Krutzfeldt had 16 points and classmate Luke Ira added 11 as seniors scored 42 of the Spartans’ 62 points.

Stahle added eight points and senior Luke Schaeckenbach had seven as Solon won for the first time against Mount Vernon since a substate final win in 2016.

“I think I’ve only beat them one time in my high school career so to beat them on our senior night after they beat us earlier this year it’s nice,” Krutzfeldt said. “They are a good team and you have to give credit to them they are well coached and very disciplined so that makes it a really good win for us.”

Mount Vernon led by as many as five in the second quarter courtesy of a 10-0 run fueled by eight points from sharpshooting freshman Keaton Kutcher.

Solon trailed just 32-31 at the half despite 61 percent shooting from the Mustangs in the opening two quarters.

The Spartans used a defensive adjustment to take control in the third quarter.

Solon switched out of its traditional man-to-man defense to zone and it paid dividends against a patient Mount Vernon offense.

We switched to one of our zones that we have been running and I don’t think they were ready for it,” Krutzfeldt said. “They turned the ball over a lot to start the second half and we kind of used that as momentum to carry over to offense.

After allowing 32 points and forcing three turnovers in the opening half, Solon held Mount Vernon to eight third-quarter points while forcing the Mustangs into five turnovers.

Solon used an 8-0 run midway through the third quarter to take a lead it would never give up.

Ira and Stahle hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to cap the spurt that put Solon up 41-36 with 3:39 left in the third quarter.

 “We just bonded together, we knew that they were hitting some shots and we weren’t going to let that get to us,” Ira said. “We stuck with it and got some stops late.”

Mount Vernon got as close as 41-40 but Solon scored five unanswered points in the final 67 seconds of the quarter as Ira drilled his second 3-pointer of the third quarter with 35 seconds left.

“It means everything to get a win in this game,” Ira said. “This is the fourth time I’ve played on a senior night and I’ve seen how much it means to everyone and now being my senior year I see how much it means to me so it’s awesome to win on senior night.”

Coons scored 10 of his game-high 24 in the fourth quarter to help Solon hang on.

Mount Vernon cut an 11-point lead to two on back-to-back Drew Adams’ triples with 2:14 left.

Coons answered with 18-footer and following a Mount Vernon miss Ira found a wide open Krutzfeldt for a backdoor layup that put Solon up 63-57 with 1:19 left.

“We put in a ton of time together so it was good to finally beat Mount Vernon here because our seniors hadn’t done that,” Coons said. “It was good to get a win in a rivalry game like that for those guys.”

Solon shot 50 percent from the field and was 13-of-26 from 3-point range and 8-of-10 from the free throw line in the win.

The Spartans had just 10 turnovers and only four in the final three quarters.

“This is my first class that has been here with me the whole way through since they were freshman,” Solon coach Jason Pershing said. “They’ve been with me through the whole grind so it’s special.”

Nick Leopold and Kutcher each had 16 points to lead Mount Vernon which lost for the sixth time in eight games.

Solon                        21  10  15 21  –  67

Mount Vernon           17  15   8  22  –  62

Solon (67) – Ben Krutzfeldt 5-10 2-2 16, Jack Stahle 3-6 0-0 8, Luke Schaeckenbach 3-4 1-1 7, AJ Coons 8-17 4-5 24, Cam Miller 0-3 1-2 1, Luke Ira 4-6 0-0 11, Team 23-46 8-10 67.

Mount Vernon (62) – Nolan Brand 1-2 0-0 2, Cale Snedden 3-6 0-0 6, Drew Adams 6-7 0-0 15, Garrett Welch 1-3 0-0 2, Blake Booth 0-1 0-0 0, Camden Butterbaugh 1-2 1-2 3, Nick Leopold 7-14 1-1 16, Keaton Kutcher 6-13 0-0 16, Noah Erikson 1-1 0-0 2, Team 26-49 2-3 62.

3-point field goals – SOL 13-26 (Krutzfeldt 4-8, Stahle 2-4, Coons 4-8, Miller 0-2, Ira 3-4); MV (Snedden 0-1, Adams 3-4, Booth 0-1, Butterbaugh 0-1, Leopold 1-4, Kutcher 4-10). Rebounds – SOL 23 (Coons 9); MV 26 (Snedden, Adams 5). Turnovers – SOL 10; MV 12. Total fouls – SOL 9; MV 15. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None.