Griffin Yaklich scored 18 points and Trevor Arico added 12 as Saline defeated Monroe 57-40 in Wednesday's district semifinal at Lincoln Consolidated High School.
The Hornets advanced to the district championship game against Belleville at 7 p.m. Friday at Lincoln. Lincoln upset Ypsilanti, 60-52, in the early district game Wednesday.
Saline set the tone from the tip off. Arico, Yaklich and Connor Terech (eight points) scored to give Saline a 6-0 lead.
Monroe countered with a couple baskets, but Yaklich scored again.
After another Monroe basket, Adam Heiser (eight points) went 1-for-2 from the line.
With 56 seconds left to play, Arico scored a beauty while being fouled. Saline led 11-6.
Monroe added a basket before the buzzer. Saline led 11-8.
The Hornets took over in the second half. Terech scored on a nice feed from Peter Jacobsen (one point). Jacobsen scored a point from the stripe.
Yaklich followed with strong move to the basket to make it 16-8.
After a Monroe basket, Terech and Erik Wenning (two points) scored back-to-back baskets to make it 20-10.
After Monroe replied, Yaklich scored with a silky move along the baseline. Then he was fouled and made one shot to make it 23-12. Monroe got two points back with a basket and then Yaklich countered with two from the stripe. Monroe scored to make it 25-16.
Saline got a point from Arico at the stripe and then Ethan Friedrichsen scored two baskets to close out the half for the Hornets. Saline led 30-16.
Terech opened the quarter with basket. After a Monroe basket, Arico added another point from the stripe. Yaklich followed with a basket to make it 35-18. But from there the Trojans started making a game of it.
They hit two threes around an Emmett Turner (four points) spin-around jumper to make it 37-24.
Adam Heisler made a layup while getting fouled and then hit the free throw for his own three-point play. Monroe countered with another three-pointer.
Heisler wrapped up the third quarter scoring by rebounding his own shot and putting it back. Saline led 42-27.
Monroe struck twice early in the fourth to make it 42-31.
Arico replied with a basket. After another Monroe basket, Arico hit a three-pointer to make it 47-33.
Monroe scored consecutive baskets to cut Saline's lead to 10. After a free throw by Yaklich, Monroe hit a three-pointer, cutting Saline's lead to eight with 3:20 to play.
From there, the defense took over. Saline got points from Yaklich, Turner and Arico at the stripe, while Heisler and Yaklich scored from the field as Saline won 57-40.
Belleville, 16-5, defeated Ypsilanti, 16-3, in the other semifinal. Saline will have its hands full.
Coach Fosdick's Hornets stunned everyone last week when they defeated Ypsilanti, so it would be foolish to count them out.