After a three-week break, the Saline varsity girls basketball team returned to action and beat Skyline, 44-22, at Saline High School Friday.
Playing without Sydney Jarvela, injured during a practice, the Hornets improved to 6-3 overall and 4-0 in the SEC Red. Huron edged Pioneer, 43-39, Friday, to improve to 4-0. Huron visits Saline at 7 p.m. next Friday in a battle of the SEC Red’s two unbeaten teams.
“The thing I’m impressed with about our girls is that even though we won, they know we weren’t at our best tonight,” Saline head coach Jeff Waltz said. “Now we’ve a week to prepare for Huron. It’s going to be a challenge and we look forward to it.”
Abbey Bowen fought through tough coverage in a physical game and scored 12 points to lead the Hornets. Sophomore Kelsey Alexander also had a couple tough baskets and scored eight points.
Bowen scored seven of her 12 points in the first quarter as Saline built an 11-4 lead. Skyline got to within four points before Olivia Darmos hit a three-pointer for the corner. Alexander completed the first-quarter scoring with a drive through the key. Saline led 16-7.
The second quarter was a ramble-scramble. Both teams missed shots and turned the ball over a little too much. But the Hornet defense suffocated the Eagles. Skyline didn’t score a point in the quarter. Saline’s offense didn’t set the world on fire either. The Hornets were scoreless for 5:30. Alexander stole a ball at midcourt and sent Bowen in for the layup. Alexander added a point from the stripe. Saline led 19-7.
“It wasn’t our best basketball, but I was very impressed with our defensive effort,” Waltz said.
With Jarvela out and Asia Lindsey in early foul trouble, Waltz turned to Emma Brownsberger at guard.
“We needed someone to step up and Emma did what a senior does. She came in and played great for us, especially defensively,” Waltz said.
Brownsberger finished the game with three points.
Saline took control of the affair in the third quarter. Bowen started things off with a three-pointer. Shannon Reilly put back her own rebound while drawing a foul. She hit her shot for the three-point play. Saline led 25-9. Lindsey and Alexander also hit three-pointers during the quarter. Darmos and Lindsey each scored baskets and Maddy Welch picked up a point from the stripe. Saline led 36-16 after three quarters.
With a 20-point lead the Hornets were content to pass the ball around the perimeter in the fourth quarter. Alexander and Brooke Bauer each scored baskets. Bauer, Sarah Brannan, Welch and Brownsberger added points from the stripe.
Saline Post 3 Stars
- Abbey Bowen – Bowen did most of her damage in the first quarter but kept the Skyline defense on its heels by constantly attacking the basket and battling for every inch in the paint.
- Kelsey Alexander – Like Bowen, she fearlessly went to the tough areas of the floor to make things happen.
- Emma Brownsberger and Olivia Darmos – With Jarvela out, the Hornets got important contributions from the depth. Brownsberger (3 points) started and played well and Darmos (5 points) provided important minutes and some offense off the bench.