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Solon girls rout Canton McKinley to reach basketball regional final

Freshman Dee Bekelja scored 11 points and dished out 7 ssists
Freshman Dee Bekelja scored 11 points and dished out 7 ssistswww.cleveland.com

The goal for the Solon girls basketball team coming into the year was to play at least one more game that what they had the previous three seasons. After three straight "Elite 8" appearances, the Comets wanted the chance to get down to Columbus and play in the state's final four.

Maybe the fourth time will be the charm

It what only can be called a dominant performance, Solon burst out to a 18 point lead after the first quarter, and never looked back. They will get a fourth chance to get to Columbus, as they played maybe their best game of the season, running and shooting their way to a rather surprising 74-51 win over Canton McKinley. The Comets will advance to the Canton Regional Championship, where they will play the winner of the game between rival Twinsburg and North Canton Hoover Saturday night at the Canton Civic Center.

On paper, it looked like a game between two extremely good defensive teams. Solon is known for it's high pressure man-to man defense, and so is McKinley. Matter of fact, McKinley has been downright scary have good they have been in the tournament. In their three games coming into the game against Solon, they had given up just 17, 18, and 26 points. The 26 points were to a Stow team that at one time had been ranked in the state's top ten.

Solon got 29 in the first quarter

With freshman Dee Bekelja dishing out four assists, and senior Kristen Confroy bombing away from three point range, the Comets may have played their best quarter of the season. Seven assists to only one turnover, and over 70 percent shooting led to a 29-11 lead after one quarter.

There would be no getting back in the game for McKinley

With Alexis Gray controlling the glass, Solon kept the pressure on in the second quarter. McKinley was having trouble scoring, and Solon kept the pressure on, stretching the lead to 41-21 at the half.

The second half was just a formality

Solon got contributions from everywhere and everyone. Junior guard Jordan Bekelja led the Comets with 18 points. Confroy, despite being double teamed most of the game, finished with 15 points and 5 assists.

We knew coming into this game that they were going to get after us and try and get us sped up, but we did a great job of playing within ourselves and getting easy baskets....Solon's Kristen Confroy

Freshman Alexis Stover added 14 points. Senior center Alexis Gray scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and freshman Dee Bekelja added 11 points and 7 assists

It was a total team effort by a team that has been overlooked by AP voters all year. This despite beating three current top ten teams, including at the time, top ranked Wadsworth. Beating top ten teams are great, but the Solon girls have bigger goals than that:

We are hungry to get to Columbus. I have been to the regional finals every year of my high school career, and I just wanted to come back and get a win. We are excited to be back and to be able to share this experience with my sister makes it better. However, we are determined to make it farther, and making it to state is our goal.....Solon's Jordan Bekelja

Solon will be looking for a trip to the final four Saturday night at 7.30 p.m. at the Canton Civic Center. They are a team that is easy to root for. They play defense, they share the ball, and it seems like they really enjoy playing with each other.

So come on Solon fans, show some support and make it down to Canton on Saturday night