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The Gazette KCRG
Posted February 23, 2012
Kunkel, Solon block Williamsburg in overtime, 45-42

CEDAR RAPIDS — Ryan Kunkel has some room to improve offensively. He averages four points a game and hasn’t shot free throws very well this season.

But, man, can the 6-foot-6 junior change a game defensively. At least he did Thursday night.

Kunkel blocked three shots in overtime, swatting away a last-second 3-point attempt as Solon survived Williamsburg, 45-42, in a Class 3A district final thriller Thursday night at Cedar Rapids Prairie.

“His energy on defense probably changed the game for them,” said Williamsburg Coach Dave Schlabaugh. “I think we had them reeling a little bit, but he came up and made some huge plays inside.”

“He came through like a champion tonight,” said Solon Coach Brad Randall.

Solon (14-9) never trailed and was tied only twice: 2-2 and 40-40 after Mick Donohoe’s 3-pointer with eight seconds left in regulation. Turner Wentzien’s driving baseline jumper to win it was long, but he hit a pair of free throws with a minute to go in OT to put the Spartans ahead for good, 44-42.

Williamsburg (13-10) called timeout with 13.4 seconds left to try and set up another tying 3, but Donohoe missed badly on a force from out front, Kunkel altered Jackson Petz’s corner attempt after an offensive rebound and snuffed Sam Simmons at the buzzer after a second offensive rebound.

That doesn’t count the two blocks Kunkel had early in the extra period on apparently open interior shots. He finished with just three points but prevented so many more.

“After that shot in regulation, I was just trying to make sure he didn’t make a second one,” Kunkel said. “I was just making sure I contested it to the best of my ability without fouling him.”

Donohoe finished with a game-high 18 points, including four treys. Williamsburg took 24 3-pointers in the game, making eight.

Center Joe Weeks had 15 points and 15 rebounds for Solon, which built a 17-4 lead after a quarter. The Spartans beat Williamsburg last week to end the regular season, 61-46, but this one was much, much tighter.

Solon plays fourth-ranked Davenport Assumption (20-3) on Monday night at Iowa City West in a 3A substate final. It’s the eighth consecutive season the Spartans have advanced that far in the postseason.

“Great win,” Randall said. “I thought we played great defense at the end. Kunkel blocked that shot, and that was it.”

Here’s the game boxscore:


WILLIAMSBURG (42): Adam Aljets 3-5 0-1 6, Louis Cain 1-5 0-0 3, Matt Heitman 1-8 0-0 2, Mick Donohoe 6-20 2-3 18, Jackson Petz 1-5 0-0 2, Jacob Donohoe 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan McMenomy 3-5 0-0 8, Sam Simmons 1-4 0-0 3, Bryan MacDonald 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-52 2-4 45.

SOLON (45): Joe Weeks 5-12 5-8 15, Jake Morris 0-3 1-2 1, Rory Siddell 4-9 1-2 10, Turner Wentzien 4-10 2-3 11, Ethan Ahern 2-4 1-3 5, Ryan Kunkel 1-2 1-3 3, Nick Shelman 0-0 0-0 0, Emilio Villagrana 0-0 0-0 0, Austin M. Miller 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-40 11-21 45.

Halftime — Solon 23, Williamsburg 19. End of Regulation — Williamsburg 40, Solon 40. 3-point goals — Williamsburg 8-24 (Cain 1-2, M. Donohoe 4-12, Petz 0-2, McMenomy 2-4, Simmons 1-3), Solon 2-7 (Siddell 1-2, Wentzien 1-4, Ahern 0-1). Rebounds — Williamsburg 30 (McMenomy 9), Solon 34 (Weeks 15). Total fouls — Williamsburg 17, Solon 9. Fouled out — None. Turnovers — Williamsburg 7, Solon 9.


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