At first glance you might not know the Saline Hornets put together four solid quarters of basketball Friday night at the home of the Ann Arbor Huron River Rats. At the end, the scoreboard showed the Rats with a 64-41 win, but the Hornets played the SEC Red Division champs tough. The Hornets’ season record dropped to 3-12 but head coach Eric Williams overall was impressed with the way his team played.
“Overall, we played with great effort and we played hard. We had a fantastic first half,” Williams said after the game. “Huron has been good for so long, they just keep coming at you and wear you down. (Saline senior guard) David Elms had a fantastic game tonight. He made hard drives to the basket, made shots from outside, he played the kind of basketball we knew he could play, and he provided the team with a spark several times tonight," Williams added.
The Hornets played probably their finest quarter of basketball of the season in the second quarter. Down 20-10 at the end of the first quarter, Elms scored 6 of his game high 20 points in the second quarter, to help match the River Rats point for point. On both sides of the court, the Hornets played inspired basketball, forcing the River Rats into five second quarter turnovers.
But the River Rats hoops machine took the game over in the second half pulling away by outscoring the Hornets 32-16 in the second half to ice the game. Saline committed 18 turnovers in the game yet were able to easily handle Huron’s press and zone trap defenses quite easily. Elms, junior guard Matt Rosati and the team calmly passed their way through the defensive pressure but were not able to finish by making their shots. And once again, the Hornets had trouble from the foul line making only 3 of 12 shots.
In the end, the strength of the Huron team proved to be too much for the Hornets. Saline was led by Elms’ 20 points, followed by Brett Nearing’s 8 points and 4 rebounds. Matt Rosati scored five points and David Strobbe added four points.
The team will get right back into action Tuesday night when they host Belleville. Game time is 7 p.m.