On Saturday night, Saint Ignatius avoided one thing some worried about – an emotional letdown coming off a thrilling, exhausting overtime win at St. Edward on Friday night.
Taking on a disciplined Solon Comets team, Saint Ignatius had to dig deep early and often in hanging with junior guard Sincere Carry, who proved to everyone why he is a Division 1 recruit, to pull out a 90-80 win on Safety Forces Night at Sullivan Gym.
As much as Saint Ignatius tried to pull away, the Comets followed Sincere Carry’s lead in hanging around with the Wildcats. The Comets grabbed their first lead in the first quarter via a David Gulley three-pointer. Then towards the end of the first quarter, Carry started a 6-0 run with a transition layup to end the first period, giving Solon a 20-16 lead over the Wildcats.
Colin Goodfellow hit a huge three ball to start the second quarter, and then Austen Yarian hit a touchdown pass to Michael Spear, who dished it off to Matt Davet for a huge basket giving the Wildcats a 27-24 lead with 5:42 to play in the second period.
However, Carry was the lone Comet helping Solon stay in it, as his ability to drive the lane and weave his way inside, but also hit shots outside, was indomitable for the Comets.
Yet, Saint Ignatius controlled the lead for the final four minutes of the second quarter, and Devin Jackson hit a pullup jumper from the free throw line with 55 seconds left in the first half to increase their lead to seven, 43-36, at halftime.
Carry finished the second half with 14 points, and was just getting started on a career night. The junior guard hit a huge three in the third quarter to cut the lead to eight, 63-55, with 52.5 on the clock. Then sophomore guard Trent Williams hit a huge another big three to end the third quarter to make it 63-58 Wildcats, and Solon was right back in it, and had Saint Ignatius right where they wanted them.
Carry finished the third quarter with 24 points, and started the fourth quarter strong, drawing a foul with 6:46 to play after a basket and cutting the lead to 65-63. However, that would be the closest Solon would get to the smell of victory.
Spear came alive and hit two huge three’s on the left wing increased the lead back to eight making it 71-63. Then not long after, Matt Davet drew an and-1 to break the lead open to 83-73 with 1:57 left. That three-point play ended up forcing Solon to play the foul game, and allowed Austen Yarian to have himself a career night.
In the closing minute, the Comets fouled Yarian and sent him to the free throw line four times to achieve his career high for points in a game to 32, going 8-for-11 from the free throw line, and grabbing 16 total rebounds. Matt Davet also finished with an impressive 27 points, shooting 12-for-20 from the field.
The Wildcats knocked off Solon for their sixth win in a row to move to 14-4 on the year, but not after giving up a game-high 38 points to Sincere Carry, who finished 14-for-30 from the field, 2-for-10 from behind the arc, and 8-for-10 at the charity stripe. That type of performance is one you have to tip your cap to the junior phenom of Solon.
The win for Saint Ignatius is huge, getting two big wins this weekend over St. Edward and Solon, two teams that the Wildcats could very well end up meeting some point deep in the tournament just like last year at the Wolstein Center.
Saint Ignatius has four more regular season games remaining this month, and two big ones coming next Friday and Saturday once again versus Massillon Washington at Sullivan Gymnasium and on the road at Westerville South, the defending Division 1 OHSAA State Champions. Both games will be live on the SIBN.