Prep Basketball

Vinton-Shellsburg avenges December defeat, ousts Solon in girls' basketball regionals

Lucy Howes-Vonstein tallies 28 to lead Vikettes in 3A regional quarterfinal

Lucy Howes-Vonstein scored 28 points in Vinton-Shellsburg's 64-55 Class 3A regional-quarterfinal girls' basketball win o
Lucy Howes-Vonstein scored 28 points in Vinton-Shellsburg’s 64-55 Class 3A regional-quarterfinal girls’ basketball win over Solon on Saturday.

SOLON — It’s official. The dark ages of girls’ basketball at Vinton-Shellsburg are over.

First-year coach Rich Haisman, veteran Lucy Howes-Vonstein and a pack of hungry youth have let the light shine once again.

Howes-Vonstein scored a career-high 28 points to lead the Vikettes past Solon, 64-55, in a Class 3A girls’ basketball regional quarterfinal Saturday night at Solon High School.

“We’ve been down for a while, and we use that for motivation,” said Howes-Vonstein, a junior. “The younger girls have the energy, and the older girls have the drive.”

And for the first time in a decade, Vinton-Shellsburg has a winning team. The Vikettes (12-10) avenged a December defeat to the Spartans (9-13), and advance to face 12th-ranked Monticello (17-5) — a 47-35 winner over Mount Vernon — in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Monticello.

“We’re hitting our stride,” said Haisman, who was coaching the eighth-grade team last year. “These girls play with heart, they play with intensity, and they play like they love each other.”

Vinton-Shellsburg led from tip to horn, but had to weather a few minor storms to finish the deal.

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Up 31-26 at halftime, the Vikettes enjoyed their largest lead, 47-33, when Howes-Vonstein nailed a 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter, then the Spartans built an 11-2 run to creep within 49-44 with plenty of time remaining.

But Kaitlin Meyer scored her only basket — on a feed from Howes-Vonstein — and Taryn Sutton hit a pair of free throws to restore the margin to nine, and it never fell below seven again.

“We’d get it to five or to seven, and they came up with a big play every time,” Solon Coach Jamie Smith said. “Whenever we’d get some momentum, they came up with a big play.”

Howes-Vonstein was cool and composed on the court. Not so much in the locker room afterward.

“I was shaking,” she said. “All the hard work we’ve done to get here ... it gave me goosebumps.”

Vinton-Shellsburg’s previous eight seasons netted a total of 22 wins.

Kayla Griffith added 12 points for the Vikettes. And a trio of freshmen who came off the bench (Alyssa Griffith, Abby Davis and Brylee Bruce) combined for 15 points and 14 rebounds.

Kaia Holtkamp led Solon with 17 points. Ava Stebral added 14, MaKinley Levin 10 points and seven assists, Ellyse Holubar nine points and 11 rebounds.

VINTON-SHELLSBURG 64, SOLON 55

3A Regional Quarterfinal, at Solon

VINTON-SHELLSBURG (64): Kayla Griffith 4-6 4-7 12, Taryn Sutton 0-4 7-8 7, Lucy Howes-Vonstein 10-22 4-4 28, Kaitlin Meyer 1-2 0-0 2, Davia Herger 0-0 0-0 0, Alyssa Griffith 3-3 2-2 8, Brylee Bruce 1-3 0-0 2, Abby Davis 2-4 0-0 5, Kyla Jeffery 0-1 0-0 0, Ashlie Meyer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-45 17-21 64.

SOLON (55): Ava Stebral 5-9 0-1 14, Kaia Holtkamp 6-15 2-2 17, MaKinley Levin 2-10 6-7 10, Jenna LaDage 1-10 2-3 5, Ellyse Holubar 2-3 5-10 9, Jada Buffington 0-1 0-0 0, Aira Foster 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-48 15-23 55.

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Halftime: Vinton-Shellsburg 31, Solon 26. 3-point goals: Vinton-Shellsburg 5-11 (Sutton 0-2, Howes-Vonstein 4-8, Davis 1-1), Solon 8-30 (Stebral 4-7, Holtkamp 3-10, Levin 0-5, LaDage 1-7, Buffington 0-1). Team fouls: Vinton-Shellsburg 20, Solon 16. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Vinton-Shellsburg 35 (A. Griffith, Bruce 6), Solon 28 (Holubar 11). Assists: Vinton-Shellsburg 13 (Herger 3), Solon 11 (Levin 7). Steals: Vinton-Shellsburg 5 (K. Griffith 2), Solon 1 (LaDage). Turnovers: Vinton-Shellsburg 10, Solon 6.

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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