Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – There is really no good time for a basketball team to have a poor shooting night, get off to a slow start or be without a regular starter.
Solon couldn’t have picked a much worse time to have all three of those things happen.
The Spartans fell into a 13-2 first-quarter hole and went 2-of-24 from 3-point range all while playing without junior point guard Cam Miller on Friday against Class 3A top-ranked Maquoketa.
Combine those three things and the end result was an emphatic 82-49 Maquoketa win that kept the Cardinals unbeaten and snapped a three-game Solon winning streak.
“The element of all of those factors coming together was a lot,” Solon coach Jason Pershing said. “All of those things just can’t happen at the same time against a team that good.”
Abe Becker led four Maquoketa players in double figures with a game-high 22 points as the Cardinals improved to 12-0 and 11-0 in WAMAC action.
Solon (4-6) sputtered out of the gate, going 3-of-15 from the floor in the opening quarter and was never able to gain any traction in its first loss since December 18.
That’s the game of basketball. It’s a game of runs, it’s a game of momentum and obviously made shots,” Pershing said. “In the first half I don’t think they shot it extremely well we just didn’t shoot it well at all and then all of a sudden we are clawing back.”
Sophomore Carson Shive led Solon with 16 points and Coons had 12 points and 10 rebounds but it wasn’t nearly enough as Solon struggled to get going offensively.
Solon averaged nearly nine made 3-pointers a game during its three-game winning streak but connected on a season-low two triples on Friday.
“We’ve been hitting shots lately and to have them not fall is a big deal for us because that’s what we rely on mostly,” Shive said. “I think what we have to do is start getting to the rim. We aren’t always going to hit shots and when we don’t hit shots it’s tough for us to win games.”
Maquoketa closed the first quarter on a 19-5 run that spanned more than six minutes as Solon missed 12 of its final 14 field goal attempts in the opening quarter.
After AJ Coons started the scoring with a jumper 51 seconds into the game but Maquoketa scored the next 13 points holding the Spartans scoreless for nearly five minutes.
Solon was 0-for-7 from 3-point range in the first quarter.
“Usually we come out firing, usually we come out making shots but today was different,” Shive said. “I don’t know why but we didn’t hit shots and that slowed us down a little early and kind of affected us.”
The Spartans scored four quick points to open the second quarter and cut the lead to 19-11 on a steal and layup by Coons.
Maquoketa responded with an 8-0 run that pushed the lead back to 16.
Solon shot 22 percent from the floor in the first half, including 1-of-14 from 3-point range while falling into a 35-17 halftime hole.
“I’m going to look back at tape but I’m pretty sure that most of those shots were good looks,” Pershing said. “A couple of kickouts, a couple out of our offense but after that we started rushing a little bit.”
Nicholas Ehlinger had 16 points, Caiden Atienza had 11 and Connor Becker had 10 for Maquoketa while Macklin Shanahan added nine to go with 22 from Abe Becker.
“They had some guys step up,” Pershing said. “Their studs did what they normally do but they had some guys step up that made a difference. They play really hard. You are going to be in every game if you play hard like that so I have to give them credit they play really hard.”
Solon (49) – Nathan Steffans 0-1 0-0 0, Luke Van Roekel 0-1 0-0 0, Joe Stahle 1-2 2-3 4, Nico Longo 0-1 0-0 0, Kale Altman 0-1 0-0 0, AJ Coons 4-14 4-6 12, Ben Cusick 1-1 0-0 2, Carson Shive 4-9 8-8 16, David Bluder 2-11 1-2 5, Bo Jansen 1-3 0-0 3, Carson Yakish 1-5 0-0 3, Clay Gerdin 2-5 0-0 4, Totals 16-54 15-19 49.
Maquoketa (82) – Kane Kopp 1-4 2-2 5, Connor Becker 1-5 8-11 10, Nicholas Ehlinger 5-9 3-4 16, Macklin Shanahan 3-4 3-4 9, Caiden Atienza 3-6 5-8 11, Chase Gruenwald 0-1 0-0 0, Abe Becker 6-10 5-5 22, Clayton Widel 1-2 1-2 3, Benjamin Wagner 1-1 0-0 3, Kaiden Scott 0-2 0-0 0, Nathan Watters 1-1 1-1 3, Quentyn Huebbe 0-2 0-0 0, Totals 22-47 28-37 82.
3-point field goals – SOL 2-24 (Steffans 0-1, Longo 0-1, Coons 0-7, Shive 0-3, Bluder 0-5, Jansen 1-2, Yakish 1-5), MAQ 10-26 (Kopp 1-4, C. Becker 0-2, Ehlinger 3-5, Atienza 0-1, Gruenwald 0-1, A. Becker 5-8, Wagner 1-1, Scott 0-2, Huebbe 0-1). Rebounds – SOL 33 (Coons 10), MAQ 40 (Atienza 8). Turnovers – SOL 13, MAQ 10. Total fouls – SOL 21, MAQ 17. Fouled out – SOL (Coons). Technical fouls – None.