The Saline varsity boys basketball team opened their 2019-20 season with a thud Tuesday evening, falling, 48-30 to the Perrysburg Yellowjackets. \
Perrysburg employed a 1-1-3 zone defense the entire game and it was a defensive strategy the Hornets just couldn’t figure out.
“They are a very well-coached team and they played a zone defense we won’t see again for the rest of the year,” said Saline Head Coach Jacob Fosdick. “When they get a lead, they just continue to take time off the clock and are very hard to come back against.”
One key to handling a zone defense is the ability to convert jump shots from outside, which the Hornets were not able to do all night. “We got some pretty good looks at the basket early, but we just couldn’t get the ball to go in the basket,” Fosdick said.
Saline managed to put up just three first-quarter points but played some aggressive defense of their own and trailed 10-3 at the end of one.
The second quarter was more of the same. The Hornets were stymied in their offensive zone, managing to add just five more points. Perrysburg featured Jackson Sizemore, a 6’7” center, who converted several alley-oop passes to stake the Yellowjackets to a 20-8 halftime lead. The Hornets were outrebounded in the quarter 8-3, with Perrysburg converting three offensive rebounds into points.
Coming out of the locker room, senior Griffin Yaklich helped spark the Hornets offense, picking up two assists while scoring five points. Senior forward Tyler Belskus also chipped in six of his game-high nine points and junior guard Derek Caldwell picked up three assists. The Hornets outscored Perrysburg 15-12 and trailed 32-23 heading into the final quarter.
The Hornets closed to within six points, however, there was no magic to be found in the fourth quarter as Perrysburg showed why they are perennial champions in their league as they poured in 16 points to win 48-30.
The Hornets clearly showed some opening game rust and against a quality opponent like Perrysburg, it cost them. The Hornets’ record stands at 0-1 on the season.
Saline gets back into action when they will host Woodhaven on Friday night. Tip-off time is 7 p.m.
THE SALINE POST THREE STARS:
1st Star: Tyler Belskus (8 points, 1 blocked shot & 3 rebounds)
2nd Star: Griffin Yaklich (7 points, 5 assists & 5 rebounds)
3rd Star: Anthony Ferrari (5 points, 3 offensive rebounds)
JV SQUAD DROPS SEASON OPENER 53-36
The Saline JV squad made several mistakes along the way in the season opening loss to the Perrysburg Yellowjackets 53-36. The Yellowjackets used a 20-point second quarter to put the game out of reach for the Hornets.
Like Perrsyburg’s varsity squad, the JVs used a zone defense to keep the Hornets off balance the entire night. Saline held a 12-11 lead with 3:49 left in the second quarter but the Yellowjackets put together an 8-0 run to head into the locker room at the half, up 31-20.
Saline put up a bit of a fight in the third quarter, outscoring Perrsyburg 13-11 to head into the final quarter trailing by nine, 42-33.
The Yellowjackets finished off the Hornets with stingy defense in the final quarter, limiting Saline to just four points and outscoring them by an 11-4 margin to secure the win.
Following the game, JV Head Coach Jason Pickett had this to say. “We obviously didn’t play our best game. But everything, all the mistakes we made are all fixable. We will play better on Friday.”
The JV squad will host Woodhaven on Friday evening. Game time is 5:30 p.m.
THE SALINE POST THREE STARS:
1st Star: Gavin Mesman (11 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist)
2nd Star: Evan Merillat (6 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist)
3rd Star: Romeo Love (2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists)