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Lady Spartans win two, lose two in busy week of action

Senior Dakota Doyle and sophomore Brianna Smith battle Regina’s Megan Wick for a rebound on Saturday, Jan. 23, in Iowa City. The Lady Spartans lost, 61-33, to Regina. (photo by Jeff Hess)

MOUNT PLEASANT– In a week that featured two sets of back-to-back games, the Solon varsity girls basketball team managed a .500 record.
The Lady Spartans defeated Mount Pleasant and Central DeWitt before falling to Western Dubuque and Iowa City Regina.
The Lady Spartans started off the week flat in a makeup game from the first week of January. Making the trek south to Mount Pleasant Jan. 18, the Lady Spartans met the Panthers in a game where rhythm seemed foreign, the girls appeared uncomfortable and it seemed as if the varsity players lacked the familiar anticipation of their teammates. Solon outscored Mount Pleasant in the opening two quarters, 16-12 and 9-7 and barely held on in the third and fourth, being outscored, 10-9 and 9-7 respectively. The Lady Spartans dug down and put it together in the final minute to beat the Panthers by three points, 41-38.
Hannah Bluder and Josie Durr led the Solon scorers with 11 points apiece, followed by Nichole Oberthien (7), Sydney Lawson (5), Taylor Ryan (4) and Dakota Doyle (3). Bluder came up with five rebounds and three steals while Durr amassed two rebounds, an assist and six steals. Oberthien had two rebounds, an assist and two steals, Lawson grabbed three rebounds with two assists, Ryan contributed a rebound and a steal, and Doyle added three rebounds, three assists and a steal.

In the second of the four-game stretch, the Lady Spartans met the Central Clinton Sabers from DeWitt Jan. 19 in the awaited rematch of the 43-40 loss in week three, a loss dealt to Solon by a 3-point shot in the final seconds of a very hard fought game.
The girls kept it interesting with a defensive 5-3 at the end of the first period, but only scored two points in the second period, and trailed at the half, 12-7. By the end of the third quarter, Solon was only trailing by two. The Lady Spartans were catapulted into overtime by an impressive last-minute surge by Josie Durr, who scored on a free throw and stole the ball on the ensuing trip up the court by the Sabers, making the score 23-23 at the end of regulation. In the four-minute overtime, Durr and Bluder took leadership roles in guiding the Lady Spartans to a revenge win, defeating the Sabers, 29-27.
Bluder led the team scoring 10 points. She was followed by Durr (7), Lawson (5), Doyle (3), and Oberthien and Ryan with two apiece. Bluder grabbed three rebounds, Durr had one rebound and three steals, Lawson collected five rebounds and an assist, Doyle added seven rebounds, Oberthien had eight rebounds and two steals, and Ryan contributed two rebounds, a steal and an assist.

The Lady Spartans loaded the bus for their second of three travel games for the week to meet the Western Dubuque Bobcats, who served the Spartans a 42-33 home loss on Dec. 11. The team had labeled its week “Upset Week” and the Jan. 22 game seemed to have the potential to fulfill the motto as the Lady Spartans matched the Bobcats 6-6 in the opening quarter and trailed by six at the half, 19-13. Western Dubuque imposed its will on Solon in third period, holding the Lady Spartans to five points to make the score 32-18. Solon found some shooting success in final quarter but as the horn sounded, the Bobcats won, 48-37.
Durr led the scoring for Solon with 13, followed by Doyle (9), Oberthien (8), Bluder (5), and Lawson (2). Durr assembled a rebound, an assist, and two steals, Doyle grabbed six rebounds with two assists and three steals, Oberthien snatched six rebounds with a steal, Bluder collected a rebound and a steal, and Lawson added a rebound and a steal.

Accustomed to packing their bags, the junior varsity (JV) and varsity Lady Spartans loaded the buses, with the boys teams, and traveled to Regina Catholic High School Jan. 23 to meet the “Runnin’ Regals” in a day of boys and girls basketball.
The Lady Spartan squads did not fair well against the Regals. The JV squad was defeated, 40-27, and the varsity girls fell, 61-33.
The JV squad was led in scoring by Brianna Smith with eight points, followed by Sophie Nicol (7), Madysen Hess (4), and Gabby Marty, Erin Kerkhoff, Abby Smith, and Julia DeValk, all with two points each. Brianna Smith amassed two assists, five rebounds, and a steal, Nicol had two rebounds and four steals, Hess stole the ball three times, Marty grabbed six rebounds and had an assist, Kerkhoff pulled down two rebounds and also had an assist, and DeValk came away with four rebounds.
The Lady Spartans varsity team got out to an early lead, 7-4, on a 3-point shot by Oberthien with 4:41 remaining in the first quarter, but Regina struck back to take the lead, 9-7, with a little over 3:40 remaining. Time expired in the first period with Regina leading, 15-12. The Regals went on a 13-point offensive tear, holding the Lady Spartans scoreless until a free throw with a little under 4:30 remaining in the half. The horn sounded the end of the half, sending the Lady Spartans to the locker room to regroup, lagging behind the Regals, 38-19.
The Lady Spartans tried desperately in the final two quarters to generate offense, driving into the lane and attempting to move the ball around to loosen the defense, but it just was not meant to be. It appeared as if Regina did its research, limiting only one Lady Spartan to double digit scoring. At the end of three periods, the Lady Spartans held the Regals to just nine points, but trailed the Regals, 47-25, and at the end of four, the Lady Spartans fell, 61-33.
Bluder led the Lady Spartans with 11 points, followed by Oberthien (5), Lawson and Brianna Smith (4 each), Durr (3), and Ryan, Bryce Hinkel, and Sophie Nicol (2 each). Bluder was limited to two rebounds, Oberthien grabbed four with two assists and three steals, Lawson had an assist and a steal, Smith snatched four rebounds, Durr collected five rebounds, an assist and three steals, Ryan pulled down two rebounds, and Hinkel collected four rebounds.
Solon moved to 8-7 on the season. They faced Anamosa on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at home, which they defeated in December, 42-32. The Lady Spartans follow that up with a trip to Dyserville to meet Beckman on Friday, Jan. 29, after defeating them 68-29 in December. Solon’s last home game, Senior Night, will be held Tuesday, Feb. 2, against West Delaware. They finish the last two scheduled games on the road, visiting Mount Vernon on Tuesday, Feb. 9, to face the Mustangs and Manchester to challenge West Delaware. All game will have a JV match-up starting at 6 p.m. followed by the varsity game at 7:30 p.m.