Girls basketball: Eagles earn first win of season

Latvala and Monson lead the way as Solon Springs leads from start to finish against Mercer.
Solon Springs’ Bailey Monson (3) drives past Hurley’s Cayden Corullo (13) in the first half of the game in Solon Springs on Tuesday, Dec. 8. (Jed Carlson /

Sophomore guard Kyra Latvala had 23 points and classmate Bailey Monson added 18 to lead Solon Springs to its first victory of the season, a 50-36 win at Mercer Friday, Dec. 11.

The Eagles (1-1), who opened the season with a 64-41 home loss to Hurley Dec. 8, jumped out to an 8-0 lead against Mercer and were up 21-11 at halftime behind Latvala’s 12 points.

“This was an important game for the girls to be able to show they are able to bounce back after a loss,” Eagles coach Adam Bielmeier said. “They started the game out fast and continued that for a majority of the first half. Our pressure defense was a little tough for Mercer to handle. Kyra Latvala had a lot of steals off of our press and fastbreak points to start the game. Her tough defense helped play into her great offensive night.”

Monson, meanwhile, helped keep Mercer at bay with 14 points in the second half. K.D. Knipp had 24 points to lead Mercer (0-3).

“The second half was much better offensively and our tough defense continued,” Bielmeier said. “With the absence of sophomore Claire Holmstrom, we needed more girls to step up and score, and they did. Bailey Monson played one of her best offensive games of her young career. Bailey is always a strong defender and is a more than capable offensive scorer, so it was fun to see her knock down some outside shots. We will need her to continue to score like that as the year goes on.”


Solon Springs plays at Hurley at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18.

“We get to see how we have improved as a team playing Hurley again after a loss last week,” Bielmeier said. “It will be a good challenge for us.”

But for now, at least the Eagles have one win in the books.

“It is always great to get that first win of the season,” Bielmeier said. “It was a game that we knew we should win and we were able to go and get it done. I am proud of every one of the girls. Having only seven girls is never easy, but they will battle every second they are on the floor. This group of girls has a great relationship with one another and it makes it easy to coach. It is fun to see how well they play with one another.”

Solon Springs 21-29—50
Mercer 11-25—36

Solon Springs — Bailey Monson 18, Izzy Molina 3, Kyra Latvala 23, Jori Gehl 2, Gretchen Hammond 4. Totals 20 3-6 50.

3-point goals — Monson 2, Molina, Latvala 4.

Mercer — Hana Joustra 5, K.D. Knipp 24, Molly Hohner 7. Totals 14 5-10 36.

3-point goals — Joustra, Knipp 2.

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