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Double-digit wins keep Solon unbeaten

Spartans shoot lights-out in conference wins
Senior Brevin Hill hangs tough with Central DeWitt’s Max Steffens during the second quarter of Solon’s 67-45 win Dec. 8. Hill had 17 points and four steals for the Spartans. (photos by Doug Lindner)

SOLON– It’s a 4-0 start for the Solon varsity boys basketball team.
The Spartans continued the undefeated start to the season with a 67-45 win over Central DeWitt at home Dec. 8 and a 77-64 victory over Western Dubuque on the road Dec. 11.
In both games, Solon jumped out to an early lead, shot a high percentage from the floor and enjoyed a marked advantage at the free throw line.
The Spartans limited the Sabers to 13 first-half points in the Dec. 8 home win.
“We have really worked hard these first few weeks on trusting our teammates on the defensive end,” said Head Coach Jason Pershing. “So if we get beat, which will happen, we want each player to trust that his teammate will help him and have his back.”
Solon racked up 12 steals against Central DeWitt, led by five from Streeter McIlravy and four from Brevin Hill.
Streeter McIlravy led all scorers with 23 points, although Solon had two other players in double figures. Hill added 17 and Luke Ira chipped in 10. As a team, the Spartans shot 44.68 percent from the field and 68 percent from the free throw line.
Solon was 19-28 at the line, while the Sabers were sent to the charity stripe 11 times, connecting on only four.
The Spartans held a five-point lead after the first quarter, but built it into a 17-point advantage in the second period.
After a breakaway on a steal, Streeter McIlravy was fouled on the layup and made the free throw to give Solon a 20-7 lead.
The Sabers would continually try to chip away at the lead, often getting it almost under double digits, but the Spartans always had an asnwer.
Hill’s driving basket and the subsequent foul shot made it 23-11 and then Streeter McIlravy’s 3-pointer made it 26-11.
Central DeWitt outscored Solon 19-15 in the third quarter, but the Spartans put it well out of reach in the fourth.
Streeter McIlravy was 10-12 from the line and had nine rebounds and four assists, while Sterling McIlravy added seven rebounds.
The Spartans took another step forward against the Western Dubuque Bobcats later in the week.
Solon handed the Bobcats their second loss of the season, shooting an impressive 62 percent from the field (23-37).
“Today’s student-athletes are blessed to have the opportunity to watch Michigan State and Golden State and watch how they share the ball,” Perhsing said. “We have a lot of offensive weapons, we are sharing the ball very well right now.”
Streeter McIlravy again led all scorers with 30 points, including 3-4 from behind the 3-point line and 13-15 at the line.
Jacob Coons added 12 and Sterling McIlravy had 11 points.
“I want all of my players to have the confidence and know that the coaching staff has the confidence in them to shoot the ball,” Pershing noted. “We put the time in over the summer and fall, so I am pleased with our offensive shot selection.”
As a team, Solon made 30 trips to the foul line and connected with 21 of the attempts, while the Bobcats were 9-13 at the stripe.
“My guys are being aggressive offensively, at the right times and in the right situations, so when the opportunity presents it self, we attack the rim,” Pershing said. “It just worked out that way on Friday.”
The Spartans kept Western Dubuque at arm’s length throughout the game, taking a 17-10 lead after the first period nurturing the margin to 14 points by the end of the third.
Streeter McIlravy led the Solon rebounding with eight, but three players– Hill, Ira and Sterling McIlravy– each had five.
The Spartans had 15 assists on 23 made field goals, led by Ira with five. Streeter McIlravy and Hill each had four.
“We are trusting our teammates, we are making the extra pass and we are being patient and allowing the offense to develop,” said Pershing.
After hosting Anamosa Dec. 15, the Spartans head to Dyersville for a conference game against Beckman Catholic Friday, Dec. 18, and close o
ut the year Monday, Dec. 21, hosting Cedar Rapids Kennedy.