The Saline Hornets’ varsity hoops team was roughed up last week when they lost three games on the road. Their return to the nest at Saline High School was just what the doctor ordered as the Hornets swarmed all over the Monroe Trojans Wednesday night and cruised to a 68-43 win, upping their season record to 10-8, 4-5 in the SEC Red Division.
The Trojans jumped out to a 4-0 lead when senior captain Peter Jacobsen sank one of two free throws to get the Hornets on the scoreboard. Forty second later junior guard Griffin “Lightning” Yaklich connected on a jump shot to cut the lead to 4-3.
With 3:41 left in the opening quarter, junior guard Trevor “Thunder” Arico hit his first three-pointer to give Saline a 6-3 lead. The Hornets would never again relinquish the lead in the game.
Arico, Jacobsen and senior forward Logan Evans hit consecutive three-pointers to give Saline a 15-9 lead heading into the second quarter.
To the delight of the small crowd in attendance at the game, Arico and Yaklich, ‘Thunder’ and ‘Lightning” brought the storm in the second quarter. They were joined by Evans and Jacobsen in imposing their will on the Trojans.
Arico and Yaklich opened the scoring, upping the lead to 19-13. Evans then connected on a three-pointer and converted a foul shot to up the lead to 23-17.
Yaklich scored another five and Jacobsen connected on another three-pointer as the Hornets headed to the locker room at the half leading 31-20.
Unlike games last week, there was no Hornet let down in the third quarter. They came out of the locker charged up, ready to sting.
Once again it was Arico and Jacobsen that led off the Hornet scoring, each connecting on jump shots. Sophomore Derek Caldwell, substituting for an injured Yaklich, connected on a three-point shot, giving Saline a 39-28 lead, with 3:22 left in the quarter.
Evans sank two more buckets, followed by two more from Arico. Suddenly, the Hornets were up by 18.
Sophomore forward Anthony Ferrari sank both free throws and Arico hit another three-pointer as Saline took a 53-30 lead into the final quarter.
Yaklich converted a free throw twelve seconds into the fourth quarter and then exited the game to rest his ankle. Ferrari hit a short jumper and Saline led 56-30. Arico brought more thunder when he sank two free throws and another bucket before exiting the game with 6:47 left.
Sophomore guards Jaden Pickett and Caldwell each connected on two shots to give the Hornets a 66-40 lead with 1:05 left.
Freshman guard Cooper Fairman closed out the scoring with 23 seconds remaining sealing the 68-43 win.
“We needed this,” said Saline head coach Jacob Fosdick. “Losing is always tough and last week was a tough week for the team. But we will learn from that and improve. I love the way we came out in the second half. We made some adjustments which forced Monroe to try and guard us man-for-man.”
The Trojans had no answer in trying to stop the Hornets. In a man-for-man defense, Monroe was no match for the Hornets.
Fosdick was especially proud of how sophomore guard Derek Caldwell played.
“From the start of the year to now, Caldwell might be our most improved player,” Fosdick said. “He is playing with such confidence now. He has gotten used to the speed of the play at the varsity level.”
The Hornets will get back into action on Friday when they will host the Ann Arbor Huron River Rats. Tip off time is 7 p.m.
SALINE POST 3 STARS:
1st Star: Trevor ‘Thunder’ Arico (21 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists)
2nd Star: Logan Evans (11 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 blocked shot)
3rd Star: Derek Caldwell (7 points, 2 assists & steady ball-handling)
JV SQUAD HANGS ON TO WIN 54-51, RECORD GOES TO 15-3
The Saline junior varsity team played four solid quarters of basketball to win a 54-51 decision over the Monroe Trojans Tuesday night at the Saline High School gym. The Hornets took a 7-6 lead with 4:44 left in the first quarter and never gave up the lead.
The Hornets got strong play from sophomore forward Luke Darmos who scored nine of Saline’s 17 first quarter points. Sophomores Nicholas Dils, and Zackary Mitzel each adding two points. Dils forced the Trojans into a turnover and drove the length of the court for a lay-up.
Freshman Evan Merillat sank a three-pointer which helped Saline to a 17-14 first quarter lead.
This team’s success this year has been a team success. Each game each player contributes, doing whatever Head Coach Jason Pickett asks the to do.
In the second quarter, with Dils sitting on the bench with foul trouble, sophomores Nicholas Walper and Bryce Wizner filled in to supply the offensive firepower.
Walper opened the scoring with a three-pointer. Wizner then hit two jump shots and converted a free throw to up Saline’s lead to 25-16 with 3:51 left in the half.
Sophomore forward Luke Rykard sank a short bucket as the Hornets headed to the locker room at the half leading 27-23.
Sophomore guard Benjamin Sundquist opened the scoring in the third sinking a nice basket from the corner. Thar was followed less than a minute later with Darmos grabbing an offensive rebound and putting it back up for two.
Mitzel and Sundquist each made a free throw to give Saline a 33-28 lead with 3:07 left.
Monroe had closed the lead to 33-30 when Darmos took a pass and put up a short jumper to up the lead to 35-30.
Sometimes it is not how many points you score but when you score them. Sophomore Eli Trese had three points for the game. But when he hit a three-point shot with 1:42 giving Saline a 38-30 lead. Merillat closed out the scoring to give Saline a 40-34 lead heading into the final quarter.
And what a wild fourth quarter it was. Saline would score, Monroe would answer, being tied at one point and pulling within two points with less than a minute to go.
Once again, it was timely shooting by Mitzel that carried the team.
With the score knotted at 45, Mitzel calmly hit a three-point shot giving the Hornets a 48-45 lead. A few second later, he did it again. Suddenly the score stands at 51-45.
The teams traded baskets as Darmos connects to give Saline a 53-47 lead with 1:36 left.