Five Takeaways: Solon at Stow

High School

Posted On: 02/7/18 11:08 AM

An overpowering 73-51 Solon win over Stow was the 18th win of the season for the Comets. Division I’s #2 team, according to the AP State Poll, handed Stow their second-straight loss after starting the season 14-1.

Meanwhile, this undefeated Solon team put on probably the most impressive team performance we’ve seen all season. Just one night removed from a battle with a then-two-loss Brunswick team, Solon blitzed Stow on both ends of the court and ran away with the game.

With a reliable point guard in 6’0” Coryon Rice (2018) and two versatile post players, it seemed like Stow was a viable candidate to counter Solon. However, Solon’s strategy and roster construction proved to be 22-points superior. Let’s get into the specifics now with our Five Takeaways.

Is Sincere Carry the 2017-18 Mr. Basketball?

It was the way in which Carry dropped his 31 points that was most impressive last night. The West Liberty commit’s confidence is through the roof as a pull-up shooter. Defenders not meeting him two steps beyond the arch are making a mistake given the danger of his rhythm jumper. But he doesn’t force those shots. Instead, he’s looking to split defensive gaps and get to the basket, resulting in a couple elusive finishes.

Carry’s familiarity with this group leads to a noticeable comfort when he’s driving. He knows exactly where to find his shooters when the defense collapses and delivers on-target passes to the opposite side frequently.

More specifically on his candidacy for Mr. Basketball: if Solon beats Shaker and St. Edward to finish the season undefeated then it’s hard to find a stronger candidate. Although winners are almost always D-I recruits, Carry is committed to a national power at the D-II level. He also makes up for that by leading an undefeated team and putting up massive offensive numbers.

“Get up and get beat!”

The Solon sideline urged their full-court one-on-one defenders to “get up and get beat” when they were on an island. Meaning, if the Stow ball-handler gets by you, it’s all good because we want them to run at all costs. The relentless pressure led to unforced turnovers from Stow as the game went on as they showed fatigue starting in the late second quarter. Meanwhile, Solon won this game back in the offseason, when they clearly placed a priority on conditioning.

X-factor: David Marbury

Marbury is a 6’3” football recruit that plays a hybrid role for Solon. Last night when Solon is staring at twin towers, Marbury is going to be their guy defending the post. What he’s able to provide is resistance on post touches, toughness, lateral quickness/switchability, and shooting on the other end. Marbury’s postseason value against larger teams cannot be understated and last night was an example of that.

Looking ahead for Trent Williams

Williams, a 6’0” junior guard, is used on Solon as a defensive ball-pressure and shooting specialist. We weren’t accustomed to seeing him in that role, since he played as the primary ball-handler for a TNBA team this summer. His adaptability to thrive as a knock-down shooter was impressive. He was also tireless on defense — a remarkable thing considering he was sprinting with Rice up the floor and chasing him around ball-screens all night.

As he continues building film as a court general, Williams’ recruitment should pop at the NAIA and D-II level.

Evan Bainbridge can play this pace

At 20 points in the contest, most of which came on jumpers, 6’8” junior Evan Bainbridge was Stow’s most reliable offensive weapon last night. Because he’s not a vertical or powerful athlete, questions about his ability to impact a fast game like last night could surface. However, he ran the floor well, grabbed defensive boards, and played well on the perimeter. Bainbridge is confident in his quick-release jumper and makes smart passes when he’s being defended well. We would’ve liked to see more post touches given a nasty drop-step and fluid turn-around on a couple opportunities.

Bainbridge told us he wasn’t being recruited last July. There’s no chance that’s the case come next July Live Period. The kid can play.