By Pat Harty
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – Too much Austin Ash and not enough offense proved costly for the Solon boys basketball team against Mount Vernon on Friday.
Ash made five 3-point baskets and scored 30 points, while Solon only scored seven points in the fourth quarter as Mount Vernon rolled to a 60-40 victory at the Solon gymnasium.
The Spartans only trailed 28-23 at halftime and were led in scoring in the first half by 6-foot-4 senior center Jacob Coons with 12 points.
The second half was an entirely different story as Coons was held scoreless and didn’t even attempt a shot.
“Our offense just wasn’t very good towards the end,” said Coons, who is part of the Iowa football team’s 2017 recruiting class as a tight end. “We sort of got in a rush.
“Mount Vernon played great defense. They did a really good job of halftime adjustments. We just needed to work better on offense, get more fluid motion.”
Mount Vernon improved to 8-2 overall, while Solon fell to 6-3.
Coons caused problems for Mount Vernon in the first half with his large frame. He scored on several nifty moves in the paint, while also making all five of his free three attempts.
His basket gave Solon a 17-14 lead with 4 minutes 45 seconds left in the second quarter, but the 6-2 Ash responded by making two free throws just a few seconds later, trimming the lead to one point.
Ash’s free throws were the start of a 14-6 scoring run for Mount Vernon to close the second quarter.
Solon only made one field goal in the final 4:45 of the second quarter.
Coons scored his final four points on free throws with 4:24 and 2:14 left in the second quarter.
The Spartans made back-to-back 3-point baskets to start the third quarter. The second trey was made by Coons’ younger brother, A.J. Coons, cutting the deficit to 32-29.
Solon only made five baskets after that, including just three in the fourth quarter.
“I just think we got in a hurry and we don’t play well, I mean nobody really does,” said Solon coach Jason Pershing. “But we just didn’t play very well being in a rush. It’s the first time it’s happened all season, so it’s fine.”
Both teams took a lot of perimeter shots, but that’s a major part of the Mount Vernon offense. Solon appeared to force some shots from the perimeter and for the most part abandoned its inside game in the second half.
“We were just in a rush, which you start pressing a little bit,” Pershing said. “But I don’t think it was as much them. It was much more between our ears.”
Ash showed incredible range as a shooter with two of his treys coming from about 25 feet. The Spartans knew what to expect after playing against Ash before. But stopping the future preferred walk-on at the University of Iowa is easier said than done.”
“It super hard, you just don’t know when he’s going to shoot it,” Coons said. :He’s just super hard to guard.”
Pershing knows Ash’s game inside and out after coaching him as a freshman at Mount Vernon.
“He’s a nice player,” Pershing said. “I’ve known him forever. You know how it is, a shooter, once they see a shot go down, it gets a little bit easier.”
Mount Vernon 14 14 17 15 – 60
Solon 12 11 10 7 – 40
Mount Vernon (60) – Drew Adams 3-7 6-6 13, Austin Ash 10-19 5-6 30, Zach Krogman 3-4 0-0 6, Nick Leopold 2-6 0-0 6, Jeremy Krogman 2-6 1-1 5m Cale Snedden 0-2 0-0 0, Blake Booth 0-30-0 0, Trent Baty 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-47 12-15 60.
Solon (40) – Ben Krutzfeldt 1-3 1-2 3, Jacob Coons 3-5 5-5 12, Sterling McIlravy 2-8 1-2 6, Luke Ira 1-8 0-0 3, Zach Cusick 3-4 0-1 7, A.J. Coons 3-8 0-0 7, Luke Schaekenbach 0-0 0-0 0, Andrew Steffens 0-1 0-0 0, Ryan Ladage 1-2 0-0 2, Jack Stahle 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 14-40 6-10 40.
3-point goals – Mount Vernon 8 (Ash 5, Leopold 2, Adams); Solon 5 (J. Coons, A.J. Coons, McIlravy, Cusick, Ira). Fouls – Mount Vernon 14, Solon – 15.