Photo by Rob Howe
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – Matt Lesan liked the fight from his team on Monday.
The first-year Solon head coach liked what he saw in a fiery second quarter and furious fourth quarter flurry.
It was the final score that was tough for Lesan to swallow.
Solon battled back from a 14-point first half deficit but couldn’t quite get over the hump in a 62-60 loss to West Delaware in a WAMAC East Division makeup game reschedule following Friday’s winter storm.
“That was exactly my message to them after was the effort, I’m absolutely proud of the effort,” Lesan said. “You can’t throw the ball out with the bathwater, it’s not all doom and gloom there are definitely things we can work on but there are things that we are getting better at. It’s a learning process.”
West Delaware (4-6) got a game-high 25 points from Kyle Kelley and never trailed on Monday but had to survive a late Solon rally to survive.
Solon (2-7) fell into a 17-4 hole seven minutes into the game and trailed by as many as 14 in the second quarter.
Down by seven with under a minute to play Solon battled back and had back-to-back possessions with a chance to tie or take the lead in the final 13 seconds but couldn’t take advantage dropping its fifth straight game.
“We were in a position to win the game, we had multiple looks there and I’ve said it before but I’ll take any of these guys to battle with all day,” Lesan said. “I’m proud of the effort we just have to come up with those plays there at the end.”
Kelley scored 10 of his 25 points during a 15-2 West Delaware first quarter run.
The second triple of the quarter for the 6-foot-3 junior put West Delaware up 17-4 seven minutes into the game.
“I thought we were a step slow, we were moving when the pass was being caught not when it was in the air,” Lesan said. “Our communication wasn’t very good, it was something where we had a great week of practice leading up to this and we came out tonight and did a couple of things that we hadn’t done for a while and took a step back but we responded.”
Solon used a 10-0 run of its own to cut a 14-point lead to 26-22 and trailed 34-28 at the half.
The Spartans trailed 49-39 after three quarters but mounted several fourth quarter rallies to stay alive.
Junior guard Will Noonan hit three 3-pointers in a span of less than three minutes as Solon closed to within 53-50 with under four minutes to play.
Noonan finished 4-of-6 from 3-point range and finished with 12 points.
“We talk about roles a lot and his role is to come into the game and hit those shots,” Lesan said. “You talk about a kid fulfilling a role to the best of his ability he did that tonight.”
West Delaware appeared to take control with a 5-0 spurt that pushed the lead to 59-52 with 1:16 left but Solon had one final run.
The Spartans cut the lead to 61-57 on a David Bluder 3-pointer with 54 seconds left and after Logan Woellert missed a pair of free throws Cam Miller hit a 3-pointer from the corner to cut the lead to 61-60.
Solon had a chance to take the lead when Blake DeMoss missed two free throws and Kelley was called for a foul on the rebound with 12.7 left.
Ben Cusick had the front end of a one-and-one rattle out and Eric Salow rebounded and converted 1-of-2 free throws for West Delaware.
The Spartans had one final chance but a jumper at the buzzer by Cusick wouldn’t fall.
Bluder finished with 21 points and eight rebounds for Solon while Cusick had 12 points and five rebounds.
Woellert had 14 points and Salow added 10 for West Delaware.
“You have to give them a lot of credit they made some tough plays down the stretch to find the open guys,” Lesan said. “They made plays when they had to.”
Solon (60) – Cam Miller 1-6 0-0 3, Jacob Quillin 1-2 0-0 2, Brady Jeworrek 0-3 0-0 0, Will Noonan 4-6 0-0 12, Carson Shive 0-0 0-2 0, Ben Cusick 5-6 2-4 12, David Bluder 7-13 5-8 21, Bo Janssen 1-2 0-0 2, Kinnick Pusteoska 2-5 2-2 6, Drew Turner 1-3 0-0 2, Team 22-46 9-16 60.
West Delaware (62) – Blake DeMoss 1-4 0-3 3, Kyle Kelley 9-17 5-8 25, Jamison Smith 0-0 1-2 1, Logan Woellert 5-7 4-7 14, Gavin Tucker 0-0 2-2 2, Raub Loecke 0-1 0-0 0, Eric Salow 4-4 1-2 10, Mitchell Krogmann 3-5 1-2 7, Team 22-38 14-26 62.
3-point field goals – SOL 7-18 (Miller 1-6, Quillin 0-1, Jeworrek 0-1, Noonan 4-6, Bluder 2-4), WD 4-13 (DeMoss 1-3, Kelley 2-8, Loecke 0-1, Salow 1-1). Rebounds – SOL 29 (Bluder 8), WD (Kelley 5). Turnovers – SOL 18, WD 17. Total fouls – SOL 25, WD 17. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None.
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