By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – Worrying about the offensive production in the first game following a 17-day layoff can keep a coach up at night.
Lisa Bishop watched that very nightmare play out for her Solon squad on Monday night.
Solon (2-7) shot 24 percent from the field and was 5-of-17 from the free throw line in a 47-35 loss to Mount Pleasant.
“That’s what you worry about,” Bishop said. “We’ve been focusing on it in practice and we’ve been hitting shots in practice I don’t know if it’s game jitters, I feel like I our shot selection was good they just weren’t going in.”
Solon made just one of its first 11 field goal attempts and managed just four points in the first quarter in its first game since December 16.
The Spartans forced Mount Pleasant (4-4) into 30 turnovers and grabbed 22 offensive rebounds but couldn’t get a shot to fall in its fifth straight loss.
Solon had put back attempts, layups in transition and open jump shots from the perimeter.
Nothing seemed to go for the Spartans.
“We had good looks, we had the defense plays, we had the steals that set up good shots we just didn’t put the ball in the basket,” Solon senior Alli Prybil said. “We just need to work pass up the good shot to get the great shot.”
Even with its offensive struggles Solon had plenty of chances.
The Spartans trailed 7-4 after the opening quarter but pulled even at 11 and later tied the score at 15-all on four straight points by Josie Durr.
Mount Pleasant grabbed the momentum before halftime scoring the final five points of the half, all in the final 17 seconds to take a 20-15 halftime lead.
“That was huge for them,” Prybil said. “We want to start the half 0-0, that’s what we were thinking in our heads is its 0-0 and when you allow that quick shot for them that gave them that edge coming into the second half.”
Solon had the ball with a chance to take the lead but a turnover led to a Sarah Moffett basket in the paint to put Mount Pleasant up 17-15.
After a Solon turnover on the ensuing possession Rylee Amos beat the halftime buzzer with a 3-pointer to make it 20-15.
“Credit to them they took advantage of our errors,” Bishop said. “We turned the ball over twice, we didn’t value the ball and they took advantage of it and that was a big one.”
Solon cut the lead to 26-24 after three quarters, closing the third quarter with its own 5-0 run capped by a Durr steal and bucket.
It was the defense that kept Solon in the game.
The Spartans trapping half-court zone defense forced 30 turnovers and held Mount Pleasant to 31 percent shooting through three quarters.
Maddie Williamson hit a 3-pointer just 36 seconds into the fourth quarter to put the Panthers up 29-24 and Solon never got closer than three points the rest of the way as Mount Pleasant made 7-of-9 field goals in the final eight quarter
“There were lots of really good defensive possessions where I thought we looked right on, everyone was moving, our hands were up but then there were a couple of possessions where we relaxed,” Bishop said. “We just have to be consistent throughout the entire game offensive and defensively.”
Durr led Solon with 13 points and nine steals.
The state leader in steals, Durr now has 79 steals in nine games.
Gabby Marty had nine points and seven rebounds for Solon while Bryce Hinkel grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.
Moffett led Mount Pleasant with 12 points and 12 rebounds while Amos and Kalynn Batey each had nine points.
Solon returns to action on Tuesday when it travels to Williamsburg (3-7).
“I feel like we have not even come close to peaking yet,” Bishop said. “I still believe that this team is way better than we have shown so far this year and I have the faith that it’s going to be next game. It’s going to be tomorrow.”
Mount Pleasant 7 13 6 21 – 47
Solon 4 11 9 11 – 35
Mount Pleasant (47) – Kirsten Smith 0-2 0-2 0, Rylee Amos 3-5 1-4 9, Brianna Shelman 1-6 4-4 6, Kalynn Batey 4-8 0-0 9, Maddie Williamson 2-4 1-3 6, Taylor Murray 0-2 0-0 0, Sarah Moffett 5-7 2-5 12, Abbie Liechty 0-3 0-0 0, Bailey Johnson 2-4 1-2 5, Team 17-41 9-20 47.
Solon (35) – Alli Prybil 1-5 0-0 2, Bryn Hanrahan 1-5 0-0 2, Taylor Ryan 1-9 0-2 3, Bryce Hinkel 0-4 0-0 0, Gabby Marty 3-5 3-7 9, Brianna Smith 2-7 0-1 4, Erin Kerkhoff 0-3 0-0 0, Julia DeValk 1-1 0-0 2, Josie Durr 5-19 2-3 13, Lexi Stebral 0-0 0-4 0, Team 14-58 5-17 35.
3-point field goals – SOL 2-17 (Prybil 0-3, Hanrahan 0-2, Ryan 1-6, B. Smith 0-2, Durr 1-4), MP 4-11 (Smith 0-2, Amos 2-3, Shelman 0-3, Batey 1-2, Williamson 1-1). Rebounds – SOL 35 (Hinkel 10), MP 42 (Moffett, Liechty 12). Turnovers – SOL 23, MP 30. Total fouls – SOL 20, MP 17. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None.