Your Prep Sports
SOLON – A rugged conference slate has tested third-ranked Solon for most of the season.
That didn’t stop the Spartans from tossing in another big-time, late-season challenge on Saturday.
Class 3A third-ranked Solon led 4A second-ranked North Polk at the half but couldn’t keep pace over the final two quarters in a 58-44 non-conference loss in Solon.
“I think games like this show who you are, there is nothing to hide from,” Solon coach Jamie Smith said. “We aren’t going to surprise anybody or hide from anybody and if means we play teams like this at the beginning of the year or the end of the year we are going to play.”
North Polk got 21 points from senior MaKayla Boatman and had three players in double figures while improving to 14-2 on the season with its ninth straight win.
Solon had a nine-game winning streak snapped with the loss and dropped to 14-2 on the season.
“They have size, they have some guards and Boatman is the real deal,” Smith said. “We are just glad we got an opportunity to play them and I’m not a big moral victory guy but I think we compete well against a really good team.”
Solon hung with the Comets for a half.
The Spartans trailed 13-11 after one quarter and led 26-25 at the half following a 15-point second quarter.
Callie Levin had 15 of her game-high 28 points in the first half as Solon held an early edge.
“I love games like this,” Levin said. “North Polk is good, they are really good they are a state championship type team so to get to play this competition is so good for us.”
North Polk responded quickly after halftime outscoring Solon 33-18 in the second half.
Izzy McCool had eight of her 12 points in the second half and Abby Tuttle added 11 for the Comets.
“They picked it up a notch,” Smith said. “They had two or three turnovers at the beginning but they turned it up and we didn’t match it. I think they can win the whole thing and they played big girl basketball there for a couple of minutes and we didn’t match it. You can’t do that against really good teams or they will take over.”
Solon got five points from Mia Stahle and four each from Hilary Wilson and Hailey Miller.
The Spartans face another ranked team on Tuesday when they travel to 4A No. 15 Marion.
“I really like where we are at, our only two losses are to 4A ranked teams and we are just going to learn from this loss,” Levin said. “We have tough game Tuesday against Marion so we are going to have to get back up on Monday at practice and get ready but I love where we are at.”
North Polk 13 12 19 14 – 58
Solon 11 15 9 9 – 44
North Polk (58) – MaKayla Boatman 21, Izzy McCool 12, Abby Tuttle 11, Liza Schaffer 8, Becca Aaard 6
Solon (44) – Callie Levin 28, Mia Stahle 5, Hailey Miller 4, Hilary Wilson 4, Kobi Lietz 3,