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Your Prep Sports
MUSCATINE – Solon entered its Class 3A substate final an experienced team with a senior laden backcourt riding a winning streak and peaking at the right time.
The Spartans met their match in a Mount Pleasant squad following the exact same formula.
Senior guards Brady Sartorius and Jordan Magnani combined for 33 points as top-ranked Mount Pleasant (21-3) returned to the state tournament for the second straight season with a 68-47 win over Solon (16-8) in the 3A, Substate 5 title game at Muscatine High School on Monday.
The win was the 11th straight for Mount Pleasant and snapped a five-game losing skid for Solon.
“They play really well in the postseason and they have that experience,” Solon senior Ben Krutzfeldt said. “They play very well as a team, they are well coached so hats off to them they deserve all the credit.”
Mount Pleasant never trailed on Monday, taking advantage of three early Solon turnovers while building a 12-2 lead just four minutes into the game.
Sartorius connected on three 3-pointers in the opening four minutes to give the Panthers a 10-point lead that would never be seriously challenged.
“They did a really good job of coming out and executing and we didn’t,” Solon coach Jason Pershing said. “We got sped up a little bit and had some early turnovers.”
Mount Pleasant had five of its seven made 3-pointers in the first quarter and shot 58 percent in the first half while building a 19-point halftime lead.
Meanwhile Solon struggled to 33 percent shooting in the opening two quarters while digging itself a hole that proved too deep to climb out of.
“It took us out of it early and got up by 10 and I just think we’ve been down like that and this time we couldn’t come back,” Solon sophomore AJ Coons said. “It wasn’t from a lack of effort I think we kept playing hard the whole game we just didn’t execute very well.”
Solon made a run shortly after halftime, scoring 9-0 unanswered points to cut the lead to 41-28 on a Coons bucket.
The Spartans held Mount Pleasant scoreless for more than four minutes before the Panthers closed the quarter with a 5-0 run.
“I think once we did go into our press they got sped up a little bit but they made shots,” Krutzfeldt said. “They played great.”
Krutzfeldt scored a team-high 17 points in his final game in a Solon uniform while Coons added 15 and senior Luke Ira had 10.
Sartorius had a game-high 22 points to lead Mount Pleasant while senior Kieran Kohorst had 18 on perfect 8-of-8 shooting and Magnani added 11 points.
“I thought we had a good game plan coming into tonight but I think some stuff got to us and it made us play a different way,” Krutzfeldt said. “Hats off to them they played a great game.”
Three-year starters Ira and Krutzfeldt join Jack Stahle and Luke Schaeckenbach as seniors that helped the Spartans to their highest win total in four seasons under Pershing.
“They are the ones that are leaving that legacy,” Pershing said. “They did a lot of the coaching. They were the ones running the stuff in the summer and the spring and the fall. All of the underclassmen that are accountable it’s all because of them, it’s nothing that I’ve done it’s all because of them. The program is in such a good spot because those young kids were excited about these guys. They wanted to come watch these guys.”
Solon 8 10 10 19 – 47
Mount Pleasant 18 19 9 22 – 68
Solon (47) – Ben Krutzfeldt 7-15 1-2 17, Jack Stahle 2-5 1-2 5, Luke Schaeckenbach 0-2 0-0 0, AJ Coons 7-12 0-0 15, Cam Miller 0-2 0-0 0, Clay Gerdin 0-1 0-0 0, Luke Ira 4-7 2-2 10, Team 20-44 4-6 47.
Mount Pleasant (68) – Tucker Johnson 0-2 0-0 0, Colin Mulford 3-8 0-0 8, Brady Sartorius 6-14 7-8 22, Jordan Magnani 3-9 4-6 11, Jonathan Ita 4-5 0-1 9, Kieran Kohorst 8-8 2-4 18, Team 24-46 13-19 68.
3-point field goals – SOL 3-11 (Krutzfeldt 2-5, Stahle 0-2, Coons 1-1, Miller 0-1, Ira 0-2); MP 7-20 (Johnson 0-1, Mulford 2-6, Sartorius 3-6, Magnani 1-5, Ita 1-2). Rebounds – SOL 22 (Stahle, Ira 6); MP 29 (Mulford 8). Turnovers – SOL 12, MP 11. Total fouls – SOL 17; MP 13. Fouled out – SOL (Schaeckenbach). Technical fouls – None.