How many times have you seen your team come out and play flat following a strong performance in a previous game? The Hornets played a strong game against Detroit Douglas on Saturday, the fifth-ranked team in the state, losing 63-55.
Saline defeated opened SEC Red play Tuesday, defeating Bedford, 69-61, in front of the home fans at Saline High School. But it didn’t look so promising early. The Hornets started sluggishly, allowing the Bedford Kicking Mules to sink five three-point shots in the opening eight minutes and trailed 21-12 at the end of the first quarter. I
Saline Head Coach Jacob Fosdick called a time out with his team trailing 11-2. Coach Fosdick was animated during the time out. His team used those words of encouragement to get their sputtering offense going.
Senior forward Trevor “Thunder” Arico scored ten of Saline’s 12 first-quarter points, including two of his seven three-point shots in the game.
The Hornets rode on the back of their duo threat seniors, “Thunder” Arico and Griffin “Lightning” Yaklich, who scored 19 of Saline’s 21 second-quarter points to put the Hornets on top 33-27 heading into the half.
Every shot that left Arico’s hand went in. As he was hitting shot after shot, he got the loud student section attending the game on their feet, roaring their approval.
Junior guard Jaden Pickett led off the scoring with a 12-foot jump shot. A minute later “Thunder” struck, cutting the Bedford lead to 21-16. Arico sank one of two free throws to add another point.
With 4:35 left in the half, Arico hit a three, the lead was 21-20 for the Kicking Mules. Twenty seconds later, another Arico three-point shot put the Hornets on top 23-21.
Less than two minutes later, Arico hit an off-balance two-point shot, followed seconds later with yet another three-pointer, staking the Hornets to a 28-26 lead.
Arico hit his fourth three-pointer with 1:02 left to up Saline’s lead to 31-26. A nifty basket by Yaklich with 28 seconds left in the half sent the Hornets to the locker room with a 33-26 lead.
Arico had scored an amazing 25 first-half points.
Bedford captured the lead briefly in the third quarter, hitting a three-pointer of their own to take a 40-39 lead. But Arico and Yaklich scored Saline’s final seven points of the quarter to put the Hornets on top 46-44 heading into the final quarter.
Saline started the final quarter with an 8-0 run to put the Hornets up 54-44. Saline went into cruise control and matched the Kicking Mules, point for point, until all the Saline starters were cheering their teammates on from the bench.
Bedford managed to score their final ten points after falling behind by a lot. In the end, Saline walked away with an impressive 69-61 victory, upping their season record to 4-2, 1-0 in the SEC Red Division.
Watching Arico this season harkens back to the days of another electrifying shooting guard, known throughout the land by his nickname, “Pistol Pete” Maravich. There was no place that Maravich wouldn’t shoot from. The same goes for Arico.
Arico and Yaklich present a defensive challenge for all SEC Red teams. And as other players on the team are growing into their roles on the team, the Hornets’ season holds a lot of promise.
“This was a crazy game,” said Saline Head Coach Jacob Fosdick said. “We knew they had a zone, but we were surprised they started with their zone defense. But Trevor (Arico) is the best zone buster in the conference.”
Saline hosts the Ann Arbor Pioneers on Friday. Tip-off time is 7 p.m.
THE SALINE POST THREE STARS:
1st Star: Trevor Arico (34 points, 8 rebounds -career best, 3 assists)
2nd Star: Griffin Yaklich (16 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists)
3rd Star: Derek Caldwell (5 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist & two tremendous defensive plays)
JV SQUAD SWARM BEDFORD, WIN 68-35, RECORD GOES TO 5-1
The Hornet junior varsity squad used an 18-4 game-opening run to put the game out of reach. Saline never trailed, combining tough defense with an efficient offensive performance to cruise to an easy 68-35 win.
Saline was led by sophomore forward Joshua Koch, who scored 18 points and grabbed 5 rebounds, including three offensive rebounds and picked up 4 assists.
Following the game, JV Head Coach Jason Pickett was told that his team out-rebounded Bedford 28-13, including 15 offensive rebounds.
Coach Pickett, laughed and said, “that just tells me we missed a lot of shots.”
Pickett went on to praise his team’s defensive effort. “We defended really well,” Pickett said. “We have put together three games in a row where we have played really good team defense. As I always tell the guys, our offense will come from our defense. Tonight, was a good example of that.”
With the victory, the JV team’s record goes to 5-1 on the year. The JV squad will get back into action when they host the Ann Arbor Pioneers on Friday. Game time is 5:30 p.m.
THE SALINE POST THREE STARS:
1st Star: Joshua Koch (18 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists)
2nd Star: Gavin Mesman (14 points, 7 rebounds including 5 offensive rebounds, 2 assists)
3rd Star: Garrett Baldwin (8 points, 2 rebounds)
FRESHMEN WIN IN A LOW SCORING GAME, 29-25, UP RECORD TO 5-1
Saline and Bedford combined to score seven points in the first and fourth quarters, with the Hornets prevailing in the end by a 29-25.
The Hornets trailed 5-2 at the end of the first quarter, with both teams struggling to score points. Saline outscored Bedford 12-10 in the second quarter, to go into the locker room down 15-14.
The Hornets managed to put up 11 points in the third quarter to take a 25-22 lead into the final eight minutes.
“They say defenses wins championships, so my defense won the championship for me tonight,” said Saline freshmen head coach Kirk Boettcher.
The freshmen will take on the Ann Arbor Pioneers at Saline High School on Friday. Game time is 4:00 p.m.
THE SALINE POST THREE STARS:
1st Star: Zachary Fidh (11 points)
2nd Star: Samuel Miller (6 points)
3rd Star: Roman Laurio (6 points)