Even Cinderella had a curfew
The Solon basketball team knew the challenge in front them facing St. Ignatius in the regional semi-final last night at Cleveland State. The Wildcats were taller, had beaten better teams, played a tougher schedule, and were a huge favorite coming into the game.
Could the underdog Comets pull yet another upset and keep this amazing tournament run going?……uh, no
St. Ignatius took advantage of a cold shooting Solon team in the first quarter, darting out to a 16-2 lead, held off every challenge from the Comets and came away with a 64-45 win last night. Bottom line was, Ignatius was just too good last night on both ends of the floor.
Many a Solon fan may say “Take away the first quarter, and we played them even”. That may be true, but it’s as true as saying “We would have had a great flight if we didn’t crash and burn at take off”
Unfortunately, the Comets DID crash and burn at take off. Showing some nerves, and uncharacteristically missing open shots, Solon ended up shooting just 1-13 in the first quarter, and had to try and play catch up the rest of the game.
In the second quarter, they did just that. Fueled by the play making of guard Sincere Carry, and the inside play of center Daryl Johnson, the Comets cut into the lead and took some momentum into halftime trailing 26-18.
It is as close as they would get
St. Ignatius would score the first six points of the third quarter, going up by fourteen, and Solon just couldn’t seem to find a way to put a sustained run together. At the end of the third quarter, the Wildcats led 42-30. The fourth quarter was more of the same. St. Ignatius is not a team that you want to dig yourself a hole against. Solon did, and just didn’t have enough to overcome that slow start. The Ignatius defense had a lot to do with that. In a quote to Cleveland.com, coach Brian Becker talked about the game plan:
We wanted to defend the (Reid) Thompson kid. He’s a real good shooter. Carry is an outstanding point guard. We wanted to go under screens with him
It worked, as Carry and Thompson, the two leading scorers for the Comets, were held to just 18 points combined.
St. Ignatius had a balanced scoring attack with four players in double figures, led by Austen Yarin with 18. Solon native Deven Stover chipped in with 10, playing against his good friends that he grew up with.
St. Ignatius moves on to the regional final, where it will take on Garfield Heights for a trip to the state final four. It will be a rematch of a regular season game where Garfield won 66-60. It should be a heck of a game.
As for Solon, an up and down regular season turned into a magical run. Being underdogs in their first three games and winning them all brought some new attention to the players, coaches and the community. The future is bright for the program as five sophomores and two freshmen saw varsity experience.
To Reid Thompson, Daryl Johnson, Dylan Perry, Jeremy Gordesky, Tim Harmody, and manager Noah Baerson….Thank you. The ride you took us on during this tournament will be remembered for a long time. It’s a standard for future Solon teams to shoot for.