Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
Boys Basketball: Mount Pleasant Storms Back To Beat Solon
By Jason Brummond and Scott Saville, Reporters
IOWA CITY, Iowa Solon went into halftime with a healthy lead, confidence and a lot of momentum.
But like that, it was gone.
The Spartans couldn't make a bucket after the break including a tough two-point third quarter and Mount Pleasant finally hit some outside shots in a stunning, 51-33, win in a Class 3A substate final last night at Iowa City West.
"It's one of the tougher losses I've had in a 20-year career here," Solon coach Brad Randall said. "It makes you not want to do it anymore. It's very dejecting. I love the kids. They played hard. It just seemed like it was just so many obstacles in the second half."
The Spartans (19-5) missed the state tournament for the third straight year despite reaching the play-in game for the ninth consecutive time.
Senior Ryan Kunkel led the Spartans with nine points and 10 rebounds.
Defending state champion Mount Pleasant missed all 15 of its 3-point attempts in the first half, and then caught fire with four 3s in that big third quarter when the Panthers outscored Solon 16-2.
The Spartans weren't much better in the fourth quarter, managing one field goal and five free throws.
"We got a little flat-footed, but we kind of wore out in the third quarter," Randall said. "Because you make those trips down the floor each time and you come up empty every time, eventually you just don't have the energy to play that kind of defense. They did and they made the run and that was the game."
Mount Pleasant's Cameron Frank's free throws tied the game at 24 with 4:40 left in the third quarter.
The Panthers took their first lead of the game 17 seconds later when they converted a turnover into a Frank layup.