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Solon Springs boys are off to 6-0 start

The Solon Springs boys basketball team improved to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the Indianhead Conference with a 71-43 victory over South Shore Monday night in Port Wing.

South Shore kept pace with the Eagles in the first half, trailing just 26-22 at halftime, but Solon Springs scored 45 points in the second half to pull away.

“South Shore really came out and played us tough in the first half,” said Dale Rajala, Eagles head coach. “We struggled getting into a flow offensively. Once we started being more patient and showed better shot selection in the second half, we were able to put together a run.”

Adam Vandenberghe led the Eagles’ second-half surge. He scored 19 points in the second half, which included a pair of 3-pointers. The senior finished the night with 25 points. Jens Gehl scored 18 points, and Caleb Hedberg added 12.

Dallas Williams was the only Cardinal to reach double figures. He made three 3-pointers and finished with 17 points.

“I was very happy with our defensive effort,” Rajala said. “The guys have been working very hard on playing good team defense.”

The Eagles will next play in the Clayton tournament, facing Turtle Lake at 3 p.m. Monday and Prairie Farm at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Solon Springs               26                    45                    —                    71

South Shore                  22                    21                    —                    43

Solon Springs — Adam Vandenberghe 25, Jens Gehl 18, Caleb Hedberg 12, Zach Rajala 6, Corey Pajtash 4, Reid Lisson 4, Ian Klinzing 2.

3-point goals — Vandenberghe 2, Hedberg.

South Shore — Dallas Williams 17, Adam Ranta 9, Roger Branham 7, Connor Sorenson 6, Tristin Wilcox 4.

3-point goals — Williams 3, Branham.

Solon Springs 84, Bayfield 58

SOLON SPRINGS — The Solon Springs boys preserved their perfect season Thursday, Dec. 17 with an 84-58 victory over Bayfield.

The Eagles are now 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the Indianhead Conference, but head coach Dale Rajala says the record is out of mind.

“Our objective is one game at a time,” Rajala said. “I’ve been in this league long enough to know any given night, you can get beat by somebody. We just have to continue to look forward to our next game and focus on our priorities for that game.”

Against Bayfield, the Eagles braced for a fast-paced game. The Trollers entered the contest averaging 63 points of offense and wasted no time scoring Thursday.

Solon Springs won the tipoff, but Bayfield partially blocked the Eagles’ opening shot and raced the other way. Only 11 seconds had elapsed when Chet Wachsmuth knocked down a 3-pointer from the left wing to give Bayfield the early lead.

The Eagles answered nine seconds later with a layup by Caleb Hedberg, and after another quick Trollers’ shot, Adam Vandenberghe took a lob inside to give Solon Springs a 4-3 lead.

Zach Rajala closed out the first minute of play when he stole the ball near midcourt and kept it for a layup to boost the Eagles’ lead to 6-3.

The frenetic pace continued over the next five minutes as Hedberg, Vandenberghe, Rajala, Ryan Anderson and Reid Lisson all scored a basket apiece to help Solon Springs to a 17-12 lead with 12:22 to play. Darrell Murphy scored seven of Bayfield’s nine points during that span, concluding with a full-court layup.

Murphy finished with 17 points in the first half and 28 for the night. All but 10 of his points came on layups.

“He’s probably the quickest ballplayer in our conference,” Rajala said.

Solon Springs struggled to match Murphy’s speed but outmatched Bayfield with its depth.

After the Trollers closed to 19-15 at 10:52 on a 3-pointer by Dylan LaPointe, Vandenberghe scored six straight points in the paint. The senior did not score again until the final minute of the period, but Solon Springs had no lack of scoring.

Ian Klinzing stepped up first with a shot under the basket to give the Eagles a 27-15 lead. Sophomore Jens Gehl made the next basket for Solon Springs, and he added three more in the next five minutes. Also scoring during that stretch were Lisson, Zach Rajala and Corey Pajtash, as the Eagles took a 42-26 lead.

“That’s just the way our season’s going right now,” Rajala said. “If somebody is struggling, somebody else seems to be there to step up and pick up where we left off.

“We’ve got to be able to match when other teams make their runs, and we’ve been able to do that. I’m happy with the way we’ve been responding to that, because a lot of the times in the past we would break down and get after each other. We didn’t have somebody step up. All of them are on the right page now, and that’s what’s paying off for us.”

The Eagles ended the first half with a 44-29 lead and pushed their advantage to 22 points with a 7-0 run to start the second half.

Anderson scored 12 points for Solon Springs in the first eight minutes of the half, and the Trollers were never able to bring the Eagles’ lead below 19 points.

Four players scored finished in double figures for Solon Springs. Vandenberghe led with 26 points. Anderson added 16 points, Gehl had 11 and Zach Rajala had 10. The Eagles also got eight points from Hedberg, seven from Pajtash, four from Lisson and two from Klinzing.

Bayfield................................. 29    29   —        58

Solon Springs........................... 44    40   —        84

Bayfield — Darrell Murphy 28, Dylan LaPointe 8, Chet Wachsmuth 7, Quincy Bressler 6, Tim Nelis Jr. 6, Mark Defoe 3.

3-point goals — Murphy 2, LaPointe, Wachsmuth, Defoe.

Solon Springs — Adam Vandenberghe 26, Ryan Anderson 16, Jens Gehl 11, Zach Rajala 10, Caleb Hedberg 8, Corey Pajtash 7, Reid Lisson 4, Ian Klinzing 2.

3-point goals — Anderson 2, Pajtash, Vandenberghe.

Girls basketball

The South Shore girls basketball team pushed its winning streak in the Indianhead Conference to 55 games Friday with a 60-21 victory over Solon Springs.

The Cardinals (6-0, 5-0) have not lost an Indianhead Conference game since February 2012. They will play for sole possession of first place in the conference at 7:15 p.m. today when they host Bayfield (5-0, 4-0).

South Shore stifled the Eagles in the first half of Friday’s game, outscoring Solon Springs 32-9.

Alyssa Kavajecz scored 23 points, and Shauna Kavajecz scored 17 points to lead the Cardinals.

Phoenix Thomas finished with eight points to lead Solon Springs.

The Eagles are back in action today with a 7:15 p.m. game against Washburn in Solon Springs.


Solon Springs........................... 9     12   —        21

South Shore............................ 32    25   —        60

Solon Springs — Phoenix Thomas 8, Dominique Orozco 5, Karly Sutherland 4, Morgan Anderson 2, Allison Bailey 2.

South Shore — Alyssa Kavajecz 23, Shauna Kavajecz 17, Kira Waters 9, Kellie Rock 3, Heather Ranta 3, Morgan Sorenson 2, Crystal Stewart 2, Emma Ostrenga 1.