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Lady Spartans scalped by Indians, 74-30

Sisters on and off the court, Solon senior Jenna LaDage looks back at sister and freshman Claire LaDage for the ball, guarded by Indian freshman Regan Rice, driving into the paint during the Lady Spartans' 74-30 loss to the Marion, at home, on Tuesday, Jan. 28.

SOLON– In the first contest of a three-game week for the Lady Spartans, the visiting Marion Indians ran over Solon’s varsity basketball team, 74-30, on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at the high school. It was the second Solon loss to the Indians this season, the first coming on Jan. 3, 50-18.
Both teams showed considerable improvement from their match-up at the beginning of the month, with Marion ranked No. 2 in Class 4A.
Marion jumped out to an early lead, pounding the Lady Spartans 21-4 in the first quarter, building a seven-point lead before Solon could its first score, a field goal by senior Jenna LaDage with a little over 3:30 remaining in the first.
The second quarter proved more productive than the first with Solon scoring 11 points, however Marion poured in 22 more to lead, 43-15, going to the locker rooms at the half. Sophomore Kaia Holtkamp refused to go quietly with a driving layup at the buzzer.
“They are just so hard to guard,” Head Coach Jamie Smith commented. “They put five players on the floor that can score. They have really improved their defense. I think they are the best team in Class 4A.”
In the third, the Lady Spartans were outscored, 19-8, with Solon again putting together a final refute as Holtkamp dished it to MaKinley Levin in the final ticks to score, ending the quarter with the Indians dominating, 62-23.
A few tense moments came at the start of the fourth quarter, with a little over 5:45 remaining, as Holtkamp took an elbow to the face leaving her clutching her brow and eyes, causing an official’s timeout. After a few moments of words from Coach Smith, Holtkamp made her way, red-faced, to the bench and play resumed. The Cardinal barrage continued, Solon put seven points in to the Indians’ 12 for the 74-30 final.
The win moved the Indians to 14-0 and dropped the Lady Spartans 7-9 for the season, their second loss in a row.
Marion senior Kayba Laube led all scorers with 25 of Marion’s 74 points. Solon sophomore MaKinley Levin led the Solon scorers with 11 points while pulling down three rebounds, an offensive and two defensive, and stealing the ball once.
Coach Smith clarified his praise of the Indians.
“Their length causes some problems. They shoot it well, the drive it well and they play good defense, pretty lethal when you have all that,” he said.
His praise was not limited to just Marion.
“I thought we actually had some real good looks in the game,” he added. “I thought we executed OK. I thought the whole team played hard. Again, we were just outmatched. That is the reality of it.”
Holtkamp added eight points to Solon’s total, grabbing four from the boards, two offensive and two defensive, also recording an assist and stealing the ball once.
Jenna LaDage scored five points while sister Claire LaDage scored four points. Jenna grabbed four rebounds, three offensive and a defensive, while Claire pulled in one defensive board. Jenna as also credited with one assist.
Senior Aria Foster and sophomore Elly Holubar each contributed one point. As has become the norm, Holubar led all Lady Spartans with eight rebounds, three offensive boards and five defensive boards, while Foster had one defensive rebound and a steal.
Sophomore Jada Buffington pulled down two offensive and one defensive rebound and was credited for one assist and a steal.
Solon was just 9-39 in field goals made (23.1 percent), shooting 1-17 from beyond the arc and 11-18 from the free throw line. The Indians shot a field goal percentage of 54.7 percent (27-47), sinking 9-19 from outside the arc, and dropped 11-16 from the charity stripe.
The Lady Spartans out-rebounded the Indians with 28 total, 13 offensive and 15 defensive, to Marion’s six offensive and 18 defensive, 24 total. The Indians had 15 assists, eight steals, two blocked shots and limited themselves to just five turnovers, while Solon had just three assists, four steals, no blocked shots, and committed 19 turnovers.
Coach Smith was very direct when asked what the loss revealed about Solon’s progress this season.
“We just have to get better,” he said.
The Lady Spartans had Maquoketa visiting on Thursday, Jan. 30, for their first meeting this season, and were scheduled to trek to Beckman Catholic on Friday, Jan. 31.
Statistics courtesy of QuikstatsIowa.com and the Varsity Bound- Iowa High School Sports app on Feb. 2.