Hornets Lose Game, 47-41, Gain Respect
ADRIAN -- There is a common belief that when young people participate in team sports they will be provided with opportunities for growth. The Saline varsity hoops team was provided with a huge growth opportunity in their game Friday night in Adrian, losing 47-41. Saline lost the game on the scoreboard but to many watching the game:
- The Hornets were the better team on the court
- The Hornets demonstrated they have a huge heart
- And mostly, this group of players respect the game of basketball and play the game with class
For the second game in a row, not only did the Hornets have to compete against a rival team, at times it appeared they had to also battle the officials. Against the Dreadnaughts, Dexter went to the free throw line 20 times and the Hornets once. Well, OK. It can’t possibly get any worse than that. The team simply moved on and got ready to play the next game. Friday night in Adrian, it did get worse. The Adrian Maples took 36 free throws, making 19 while Saline was awarded six. 36-6. Giving a team that much of an advantage becomes insurmountable. To the credit of coach Eric Williams’ team, throughout the entire game the players never uttered one word of complaint to the officials.
“I don’t know what to say,” Williams responded when asked what about his team’s play created such a difference in fouls. “I thought we played with great intensity. We executed well and made some great plays. David Elms and Matt Rosati played outstanding tonight. I don’t have too much to say tonight. Obviously I am disappointed for my players because I thought they played a great game tonight.”
The Hornets started out fast shooting their way to a 12-8 first quarter lead. They played defense with intensity, forcing the Maples into four first quarter turnovers, leading to six of their first twelve points. As the officials started to pile up the foul calls against the Hornets, the points started to get harder to get and the team went into the locker room with a 19-17 lead.
During the third quarter the Hornets found the points harder to come by. And by the six minute mark of the third quarter, Hornet fouls were piling up and Adrian was taking free throws on almost every possession. By the start of the fourth quarter, Saline had been tagged with ten fouls allowing Adrian to get two foul shots for every foul called, while only two fouls were called against Adrian. There were 36 fouls called in a 32 minute game. At one point the Saline fans gave the game officials a standing ovation when they called the first foul of the second half against Adrian.
The results of this game will soon be forgotten. How these young men handled themselves under very difficult circumstances will live on for a long time to come.
Saline was led by senior guard David Elms’ 19 points, followed by Matt Rosati with 9. Brent and Brett Nearing each chipped in four. Saline next goes into action on Friday hosting Tecumseh. Tip-off is 7 p.m..
JV Squad Crushes Adrian 73-48
The Saline junior varsity squad roared out to a 39-18 half time lead and never looked back enroute to an easy 73-48 win over the Adrian Maples. Head Coach Jacob Fosdick substituted freely throughout the entire game allowing every Hornet on the roster to get into the scoring column. “This was a game where players who don’t always get a lot of playing time got to contribute,” Coach Fosdick said following the game. “It was great to see players like (Juston) Zylstra and (Jacob) Finkbeiner on the bench cheering baskets being made by (Noah) Terech and (Nick) Herrin. This was a great total team effort”
The junior Hornets applied full court pressure and forced the Maples into multiple turnovers. At times, the defensive pressure was so effective that Adrian couldn’t even get the ball into Saline territory to run an offensive play.
The starting players of the JV team were used sparingly in the 3rd quarter and not at all in the fourth giving other players valuable playing time. Employing that same full court pressure, the JV squad forced five 3rd quarter turnovers and turned them into six points.
The Hornets were led by sophomore Jacob Finbeiner’s 13 points, Calder Pellerin with 12, Sean Millspaugh 11, and Blake Stringer’s 9. Also scoring for the Hornets were Lance Moorer with 8, Kyle Nouhan 5, Nate Gresser 4, Justin Zylstra 3, Nick Herrin 2, Ryan Foley 2, Noah Terech 2 and Adam Heisler with 1.
Coach Fosdick was asked if his team could have put a hundred points on the board and he responded with a smile. “Easily”, he said. “If we had played our starters more in the second half, and if we kept our full court press on, we could have scored a lot more.” But Coach Fosdick believed giving playing time and game experience to all players will help this team far more than scoring a lot of points in one game.
The junior Hornets will host Tecumseh on Friday, Jan. 30. Game time is schedule for 5:30 p.m..