The Ann Arbor River Rats showed the Saline Hornets why they’re a top ranked team in the state, Friday. Saline battled throughout the night but lost 61-43 at Huron High School.
Early in the game, the Hornets’ struggled with the River Rats’ height. Huron blocked several Saline shots and had a decisive advantage in rebounds. The River Rats also knocked down several passes and created turnovers with aggressive defense
Freshman Ella Stemmer fought through the River Rat defense to score 17 points and grab five rebounds. Junior Nicole Sweetland scored 12 bounds and had five rebounds.
Erin Reilly came off the bench and scored six points. Brooke Bauer scored four points. Kelsey Alexander grabbed seven rebounds and had two points while Leeya Lawson grabbed five rebounds had had a couple points.
Sophomore Reeya Patel scored 16 points to lead Huron. 6’2 Senior Shamim Wambere scored 13 points and 6’1 junior Eden Johnson scored 11 points.
Huron got the start they wanted with a three from Michaela Glenn, a put-back by Wambere and, after a Saline turnover, a basket by Glenn.
Stemmer got Saline on the scoreboard with a point from the stripe. Sweetland followed with a basket to make it 7-3.
Huron went up 9-3 on a basket by Johnson.
Saline replied with a five-point run. Stemmer made a basket from the stripe before making a field goal.
Stemmer then sent in Reilly for a basket and Saline was down 11-8.
Huron got a point from the stripe and then Stemmer replied with a jumpshot to make it 12-10.
Patel took over with back-to-back baskets, including a three-pointer to make it 19-10.
Reilly scored to complete the scoring in the first quarter. Huron led 19-12. The River Rats out-rebounded Saline 8-3 in the first quarter.
Saline spent the rest of the game trying to catch up. After Huron opened the scoring in the second quarter, Saline got baskets from Bauer and Sweetland to cut Huron’s lead to 21-16. But fueled by three-pointers by Patel and Siena Smith, Huron went on an 11-point run to take a 32-16 lead.
Stemmer scored the final basket of the half to make it 32-18.
Stemmer opened the scoring in the third quarter, making a layup while getting fouled. But Huron responded with a nine-point run to take a 41-20 lead.
Sweetland woke the Saline offense with a three-pointer.
Lawson, Stemmer and Sweetland scored from the field later in the quarter for Saline, which trailed 46-30 after three.
Alexander opened the scoring in the fourth quarter. Huron responded with six straight points. Saline replied with an eight-point run. Stemmer started and ended the run. In between, Sweetland made a couple free throws and Bauer scored.
The Saline Post Three Stars
1. Ella Stemmer - The Saline freshman continues to pace the Hornet offense, game-in and game-out. She scored tough points in the paint Friday.
2. Nicole Sweetland - Scored points with long-range shooting, free throws and taking the ball to the hoop.
3. Erin Reilly - Sparked Saline when she came off the bench. Scored points and played tough, athletic defense.