Saline crashed the boards to beat Monroe, 41-29, Monday at Saline High School.
Five different Hornets had five rebounds or more in the contest.
“I think we won the game with rebounding,” Saline coach Leigh Ann Roehm said. “It was a total team effort. That’s what we needed with Kelsey (Alexander) out tonight.”
Freshman Ella Stemmer continued to lead the Hornet attack. She scored 13 points and had six rebounds and three assists. Asia Lindsey, Nicole Sweetland and Liz Sekerak also scored six points apiece, with Swetland adding seven rebounds and three steals, Lindsay adding three rebounds and two steals and Sekerak adding five rebounds.
Brooke Bauer scored five points and had five rebounds. Erin Reilly scored four points and had five rebounds. And Maddy Welch scored a point and grabbed five boards.
Saline started strong. Asia Lindsey dished to Erin Reilly who made a short jumper for a 2-0 lead. Seconds later, Reilly passed to Stemmer, who hit a long shot, from just inside the three-point arc. Stemmer made it 5-0 a 1:57 into the game when she made a free throw.
Things went awry for the remainder of the quarter. Kyla Stympmier got Monroe on the board. After a free throw from Ellie Sieler, McKenzie Peters hit the first of her four three-pointers on the night. Ameri Aaron followed with a field goal and then made a free throw. Monroe led 9-5 with 33 seconds to play in the quarter.
Sekerak put back a rebound to get Saline to within two at the end of the first quarter.
“I think we tried to force plays that weren’t there and we might have been taking shots where the looks weren’t there,” Roehm said. “The last three quarters, most of our looks were fantastic.”
The quarter started with Lindsey getting fouled and making one of two shots. The first three minutes were a defensive struggle. The Hornets mounted a long defensive stand during which the Trojans fired three or four shots, and found ways to get the ball back and shoot again. But the Hornets contested everything and finally won possession of the ball.
Stemmer sprinted down the court and scored to put Saline up 10-9 -- and the Hornets were never down again.
A few seconds leader, Saline got the ball back, Stemmer was fouled and she made one of two shots.
Just 21 seconds later, Reilly putback a rebound and Saline led 13-9. The points kept coming. Sweetland and Lindsey made baskets. Bauer went 2-for-2 from the line. Saline led 19-9.
After Monroe scored a point from the stripe. Sweetland scored another basket, while being fouled. Welch added a basket from the free throw line. Saline led 21-12 at halftime.
The Hornets kept the Trojans at bay in the third quarter by going 7-for-9 from the stripe.
Monroe opened the scoring with a putback by Aaron. Stemmer answered two two points from the stripe. Aaron scored again for Monroe, but again Stemmer had two points from the free throw line.
Ellie Seiler and Lindsey traded baskets. Monroe got to within six points, at 27-21, when Peters sunk another three. But Saline closed strong. Bauer went 2-for-2 from the line,
Sekerak scored on a strong move to the hoop, and Bauer added another point from the line.
Saline led 32-21 after three quarters.
Sweetland and Sekerak had Saline’s only field goals in the fourth quarter, but the Hornets never let let their lead get smaller than 10 points.
Saline Hosts Chandler Academy Tuesday.
The Saline Post 3 Stars
Ella Stemmer - The freshman continues to do it all for Saline. Her didn’t always fall, but she led the team in scoring, contributed on the boards and played good defense.
Asia Lindsey - Played one of her best games of the year. Her six points only tells part of the story. She provided great ball security throughout the night as Saline limited turnovers. “She’s got a lot of heart and she cares about this team,” Coach Roehm said. “She’s battled back from an injury that set her back a little at the start of the season.
Erin Reilly - It looked like she might have a monster game when she scored the game’s opening basket and assisted on the next one. But her big contribution came on defense. “Their guard (Ellie Sieler) is a great player and you hardly noticed her on the court today, because Erin took her out of the game,” Roehm said. “Erin is fierce competitor.”