SOLON — Jared Galpin said his Solon boys’ basketball team didn’t finish in its season opener.
The Spartans let their opener with DeWitt Central earlier this week slip away late, losing 61-56.
They didn’t make the same mistake twice.
Solon led the entire first half, then saw visiting Clear Creek Amana take a 30-28 lead, scoring the first four points of the second half. However, the Spartans responded with a 12-0 run of their own to regain control and went on to post a 66-56 Wamac Conference win on Friday night.
“We didn’t finish on Monday,” Galpin said of the loss to DeWitt Central. “It was a similar situation to what we ended up having tonight. We really emphasized that all week in practice, getting out to a fast start in the third quarter, then finishing the game strong.”
The third-quarter run featured a pair of 3-point baskets from Ben Cusick and David Bluder to put the Spartans back up 40-30.
The visitors did make a couple of runs, cutting the deficit to four after three quarters. In the fourth, the Spartans were able to come up with big shots when they needed them most to keep the Clippers at bay.
“We’re better when we play inside out,” Galpin said. “Dave (Bluder) hit some big shots. Ben Cusick hit a big one and Bo (Janssen) also hit a big one. Those were all really big shots to stifle their momentum and get our momentum back.”
Carson Shive led Solon (1-1) with 18 points. Bluder finished with 15.
“I thought we grew up a lot tonight,” said Galpin, who got his first win as the Spartans head coach. “We played with confidence, were strong with the ball and maintained control of the game.”
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Friday’s game was the opener for the Clippers, a state tournament team last season. Ryan Navara led the way with 16 points while Christian Withrow added 13.
Solon’s next scheduled game is at home Tuesday night against Williamsburg. Clear Creek Amana remains on the road Tuesday, playing at Maquoketa.
CLEAR CREEK-AMANA (56): Brock Reade 3 0-0 6, Kyle Schrepfer 2 4-6 9, Christian Withrow 6 1-2 13, Mike Potter 2 6-9 10, Ryan Navara 6 3-3 16, Ben Swails 0 2-4 2, Bryce Skow 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 16-24 56.
SOLON (66): Will Noonan 1 2-5 5, Kinnick Pusteoska 4 1-1 9, Carson Shive 7 1-5 18, Ben Cusick 2 0-0 5, David Bluder 5 2-4 15, Bo Janssen 2 0-0 5, Jake Quillin 1 5-6 7, Drew Turner 1 0-0 2, Grant Derdin 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 11-21 66.
Halftime - Solon 28, CCA 26. 3-point goals: CCA 2 (Schrepfer, Navara). Solon 9 (Bluder 3, Shive 3, Janssen, Noonan, Cusick). Total fouls: CCA 18, Solon 21. Fouled out: Schrepfer, Potter. Technical fouls: none.