Your Prep Sports
Solon held off a late rally from Mount Vernon, snapping a four-game losing streak with a 57-54 win in the Spartans’ final game of 2018.
Carson Shive and Carson Yakish came off the bench to lead the Spartans in scoring with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Yakish hit two of his three triples in the second half as Solon built a 55-47 lead with three minutes remaining.
“I saw that they helped back side and I just had to exploit that, hit some shots and get in rhythym,” Yakish said. “We’ve been striving to get on a roll again and this is big for us going into break, having some confidence for the next game.”
Solon's lead dwindled to two, but the Spartan defense held during Mount Vernon's final possessions and Cam Miller’s free throws iced the game.
“We just wanted to make sure that we stayed aggressive,” Coach Jason Pershing said.
“I don’t want my guys to overthink, they just have to stay aggressive and shoot the shot that we’re supposed to take.”
It was the fourth straight game decided by six points or less for the Spartans.
“That’s what we’ve been doing, literally, for half our practice, the end of game stuff,” Pershing said. “Tonight was just the fruition of what we’ve done the last week in practice.”
In the first quarter, Pershing decided to leave Shive in the game after the sophomore had picked up his second foul. The move paid off immediately as Shive knocked down a corner 3-pointer to give Solon a 12-11 lead.
Shive, who had just three career makes from outside, matched that total in the first half and finished with four.
“The key was keeping the ball moving and getting the defense out of position,” Shive said. “That really helped to get those flare screens open and get them open in the corner.”
The Mustangs’ largest lead of the day came in the second quarter at 26-20, but Solon answered with an 8-0 run capped by a three from Yakish.
A.J. Coons also finished in double-figures with 10. Miller scored seven and had 10 rebounds as well.
Solon had some foul trouble early in the game and put the Mustangs in the bonus late in the first quarter, but the Spartans didn’t alter the defensive plan.
“There wasn’t a ton of change, our effort level was so high,” Pershing said.
“It was more like just maybe one guy sliding over. It was just us adjusting to the officiating, which I think the guys did a fantastic job of.”
“In six games, we’ve matured. That would have been a struggle earlier. We’re making huge strides.”