Prep Basketball

Cedar Rapids Xavier's Lexi Turner hops into the front seat, and turns the switch

Sophomore guard breaks it open with a pair of late drives; Saints top Solon, 52-40

CEDAR RAPIDS — Lexi Turner has been content to defer. Tom Lilly wants her in a different role.

A more aggressive role.

“She likes to take a back seat sometimes,” said Lilly, the girls’ basketball coach at Cedar Rapids Xavier. “I’d like her in the front seat, driving.”

He was talking about driving the Saints’ proverbial bus. Instead, Turner drove the lane.

With the outcome still very much in doubt, Turner drove for a pair of crucial fourth-quarter baskets, and Class 4A 14th-ranked Xavier topped 3A No. 13 Solon, 52-40, in a non-conference encounter Monday night at Ron Thillen Gymnasium.

“I know Coach wants me to step up more,” Turner said. “I’m getting more confident with it.”

A sophomore point guard, Turner made 7 of 9 shots from the floor and led all scorers with 17 points. That enabled the Saints (5-3) to snap Solon’s seven-game win streak.

The Spartans (8-3) trimmed a nine-point deficit to 41-38 with 5:43 to go. But Madi Steger scored off a feed from Aree Beckmann, then Turner drove the lane for a pair of buckets to make it 47-38.

Xavier finished with an 11-2 run.

“I knew (Solon’s Callie Levin) had four fouls, so it was a good opportunity to drive hard,” Turner said.

One of the state’s top freshmen, Levin was whistled for her third foul midway through the second quarter, with Xavier leading 16-15.

It was 24-20 at halftime, then 29-20 early in the third quarter.

“You can’t have your leading scorer on the bench,” Solon Coach Jamie Smith said. “She’ll learn from that. But we competed hard against a really good team.”

Lexi Beier added 15 points for Xavier, and Kyla Mason tallied eight of the Saints’ 14 bench points. Steger grabbed 11 rebounds.

Levin paced Solon with 12 points, eight in the first quarter. Kaia Holtkamp added 11, and Elly Holubar contributed six points and 11 boards.

CEDAR RAPIDS XAVIER 52, SOLON 40

At C.R. Xavier

SOLON (40): Kaia Holtkamp 3-10 5-8 11, MaKinley Levin 1-8 0-0 3, Callie Levin 5-11 0-0 12, Hilary Wilson 2-4 0-2 5, Elly Holubar 3-5 0-2 6, Ava Stebral 1-5 0-0 3, Claire LaDage 0-2 0-0 0, Hailey Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Jada Buffington 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-45 5-12 40.

C.R. XAVIER (52): Brielle Bastian 1-1 0-0 2, Maya Karl 0-1 0-0 0, Lexi Beier 4-11 5-6 15, Madi Steger 1-7 2-2 4, Lexi Turner 7-9 3-5 17, Aree Beckmann 2-3 0-0 4, Kyla Mason 4-7 0-0 8, Emma Arnold 1-1 0-0 2, Ava Turner 0-0 0-0 0, Bella Barretto 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-40 10-13 52.

Halftime: Xavier 24, Solon 20. 3-point goals: Solon 5-17 (Holtkamp 0-3, M. Levin 1-4, C. Levin 2-4, Wilson 1-1, Stebral 1-5), Xavier 2-5 (Beier 2-4, Mason 0-1). Team fouls: Solon 17, Xavier 11. Fouled out: M. Levin. Rebounds: Solon 28 (Holubar 11), Xavier 27 (Steger 11). Assists: Solon 7 (Holtkamp, Stebral 2), Xavier 5 (Beckmann 2). Steals: Solon 4 (four with 1), Xavier 6 (L. Turner 3). Turnovers: Solon 17, Xavier 13.

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

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