Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
TIFFIN – The 3-point shot can be a blessing or a curse and Solon junior Cam Miller doesn't need to be reminded about that.
He entered Friday’s game against Clear Creek Amana having made just 8-of-40 3-point field-goal attempts for the season, but he made three treys in the first half and another 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter as the Spartans rolled to an 88-70 victory.
“I really haven’t been playing my best basketball this year because I’ve been focusing on other things, but now I’m just trying to focus on basketball,” Miller said. “I’ve just stopped thinking and just try to play to the best of my ability.”
Miller is a multi-sport star for the Spartans and has spent part of the winter attending baseball camps where he is a talented pitcher.
He also starts at quarterback for the Solon football team, but his main focus for the next few weeks will be on basketball, and that showed on Thursday as the Spartans finished with a season-high in points while improving to 8-9 overall and 8-7 in the WaMaC Conference.
Miller was among four players for Solon who scored in double figures on Friday.
Junior A.J. Coons led the way with 19 points, including 16 in the second half, while Miller finished with 18 points.
Sophomore David Bluder, who is the son of Iowa women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder, scored 17 points and senior Carson Yakish came off the bench to score 15 points.
“When we’re shooting it well, we’re a tough team to beat I feel,” Coons said. “We struggled shooting throughout the year, but I think we’re starting to click now.
“We lost some games in a row here, but we’ve had some meetings together just to try and figure it out and I think we’re on the right path.”
It sure looked that way in Friday's game as the Spartans made 12 3-point baskets and scored 37 more points than their previous game, which was a 79-51 loss at Mount Vernon on Monday.
The adverse weather has certainly made it more difficult to stay focused and in a rhythm, but Coons still feels optimistic about the stretch drive.
Solon's leading scorer has confidence in his teammates and knows that he doesn’t have to force the issue on offense. Coons only took four shots in the first half of Friday's game.
“I was just trying to move the ball a lot,” Coons said. “Coach preaches we just take whatever shot anybody gets. There is not a single guy trying to create shots.
“We just tried to play together in this game and I thought we did a good job of that.”
Solon led 40-32 at halftime and then expanded the lead to 14 points (57-43) on a basket by Yakish late in the third quarter.
Coons made six consecutive free throws during the final 3:37 of the game to help secure the victory.
The Spartans also made 33-of-49 field-goal attempts overall.
Clear Creek Senior Nolan Schwarting did all he could to keep the score close on Senior Night by making six of his team’s 12 3-point baskets, including five in the second half.
He led the Clippers with 24 points, including 17 in the second half.
Sophomore Christian Withrow and junior Tyler Schrepfer also scored in double figures for the Clippers with 18 and 12 points, respectively.
Clear Creek fell to 10-7 overall and 8-7 in conference play.
Solon 17 23 20 28 – 88
Clear Creek Amana 15 17 17 21 – 70
Solon (88) – Luke Van Roekel 1-1 0-0 3, A.J Coons 6-10 7-7 19, David Bluder 8-12 0-0 17, Cam Miller 7-14 0-0 18, Clayton Gerdin 1-2 0-2 2, Ben Cusick 0-0 0-3 0, Bo Janssen 1-2 0-0 2, Carson Yakish 6-10 0-0 15, Carson Shive 2-7 5-6 9, Joe Stahle 0-0 0-0 0, Nathan Steffens 1-1 0-0 3, Westen Stiegelmeyer 0-0 0-0- 0, Nicolas Longo 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 33-49 12-18 88.
Clear Creek Amana (70) – Kaden McAreavy 1-3 1-2 3, Nick O’Connor 2-10 0-0 6, Tyler Schrepfer 4-13 0-0 12, Christian Withrow 9-6 1-2 19, T.J. Bollers 1-6 4-6 6, Nolan Schwarting 8-16 2-2 24, Mike Potter 0-0 0-0 0, Rahabot Habte 0-1 0-0 0, Zach Kabbage 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-66 8-12 70.
3-point goals – Solon 12 (Cam Miller 4, Carson Yakish 3, A.J. Coons 2, Luke Van Roekel, David Bluder, Nathan Steffens); Clear Creek Amana 12 (Nolan Schwarting 6, Tyler Shrepfer 4, Nick O’Connor 2). Fouls – Solon 14, Clear Creek Amana 13.