By Pat Harty
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – With she and her team both struggling to score points and facing a double-digit deficit, Solon senior Josie Durr did what a star player is supposed to do.
Durr scored 20 or her game-high 27 points in the second half as Solon overcame an 11-point deficit in the third quarter to defeat West Delaware 47-42 on Friday.
With Solon trailing 27-16, Durr made her only 3-point basket in the game with 3 minutes, 52 seconds left in the third quarter. Her basket triggered a 12-3 scoring run that Solon used to close the third quarter, trimming the deficit to 30-28 heading into the fourth quarter.
Durr was just getting started.
The University Iowa soccer recruit then scored 17 of her team’s 19 points in the fourth quarter as Solon improved to 4-7 overall and 2-0 for the week after pounding Williamsburg 54-30 on Tuesday.
“She did take that game over,” Solon coach Lisa Bishop said of Durr, a 5-foot-9 guard. “She is just a warrior out there. I think she gets it in her head, she’s a competitor, and she got the ball tonight with some confidence.
“I think she’s been struggling a little bit with her confidence, and I think tonight, she went out there and gave it one-hundred percent. Her shots were falling in that second half, so that always makes it easier.”
Durr’s shots hadn’t been falling much before she made the pivotal trey with slightly less than 4 minutes remaining in the third quarter. She only made 2-of-11 field-goal attempts in the first half, which ended with Solon trailing 20-13 at halftime. The Spartans only made 3-of-25 field-goal attempts in the first two quarters.
Durr's performance, along with her team’s performance, both shifted dramatically after she made her only 3-point basket. Solon outscored West Delaware 31-15 from that point on in the third quarter.
“I knew we weren’t down by much at halftime, so we tried to be more aggressive and attack the rim and we knew we’d get to the free throw line and we knew that we’d be able to make our shots,” Durr said.
West Delaware used multiple defenders on Durr, but she overwhelmed all of them with her quickness and penetration.
“She’s unlike almost anyone else in state because she’s got such a quick first step and she’s tall,” Bishop said.
Sophomore Taylor Ryan provided a spark off the bench by making a 3-point basket right before the buzzer to end third quarter, trimming the deficit to 30-28. Senior Julia DeValk also made baskets on back-to-back possessions for Solon in the third quarter.
Solon improved to 4-7 with Friday’s victory and now has some momentum after winning two games this week.
“We’ve been trying really hard to look at the process of a whole season and trusting that process, if we win or whether we lose and grow from those losses,” Bishop said. “And I’m really proud of this team because I feel like they’ve grown from each one of the losses that we’ve had.”
Junior Brianna Smith was the only other player for Solon to score in the fourth quarter, but her layup in which she sliced past two defenders was huge in the win as it expanded Solon’s lead to 42-36 midway trhough the fourth quarter.
Durr than made steal and a layup, expanding the lead to 44-36 with 3 minutes remaining.
Both teams lived at the free throw line in a game in which both teams combined for 35 fouls and 47 free throw attempts.
West Delaware actually made more free throws (17) than baskets (11) while falling to 4-6 on the season.
West Delaware 9 11 10 12 – 42
Solon 8 5 15 19 – 47
West Delaware (42) – Jamie Glanz 0-2 0-2 0, Haley Lyness 5-13 2-2 14, Brooke O’Connell 1-1 0-1 2, Allison Collier 1-4 7-9 9, Annie Cassutt 2-7 6-8 11, Abby McGrane 0-2 1-2 1, Kendra Offerman 2-8 1-3 5, Kaylee Muller 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-37 17-27 42.
Solon (47) – Josie Durr 9-20 8-12 27, Brianna Smith 2-6 1-2 6, Gabby Marty 0-5 2-2 2, Alli Prybil 0-2 0-0 0, Bryn Hanrahan 1-5 1 3, Julia DeValk 2-5 0-0 4, Bryce Hinkel 1-1 0-1 2, Lexi Stebral 0-1 0-0 0, Taylor Ryan 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 16-47 12-18 47.
3-point goals – West Delaware 3 (Haley Lyness 2, Annie Cassutt); Solon 3 (Josie Durr, Brianna Smith, Taylor Ryan). Fouls – West Delaware 19, Solon 16.