SECOND HALF COLLAPSE-- HORNETS GET CRUSHED AT SKYLINE
Friday night’s varsity basketball game at Ann Arbor Skyline was pulled from the Charles Dickens’ novel “A Tale of Two Cities,” because for the Hornets it was the tale of two halves. Saline lost 68-40 after a dismal second half.
The Hornets played inspired ball throughout the entire first half, going to the locker room trailing Skyline by six points, 31-25. They were led by senior guard David Elms (six points), whose fiery play kept the game close and inspired the play of his teammates. Skyline would score, the Hornets would answer. Head Coach Eric Williams said that was the game plan.
“Basketball is a game that will have runs in it. We knew Skyline would have a run and score points. Our plan was to stay within our game plan, play tough defense and run our offense,” Williams said. “We are not a superior team shooting from the perimeter. We have to make cuts, drive to the basket and rebound. In the first half we did that. Our defense forced Skyline into turnovers. The execution of our plan was great.”
As in other games this season, the wheels fell off the Hornet wagon in the second half.
Skyline had a 10-0 run to start the third quarter and increased their lead to sixteen points.
“We knew Skyline would string together some points tonight. The team felt they needed to get into the ‘run and gun’ mode and started to take shots from everywhere. We got away from the plan that was successful in the first half and we committed 14 second half turnovers,” Williams said.
Saline was outscored 37-15 in the second half.
“The team has a lot of heart,” Williams said. “We play five minutes of superior basketball followed by five minutes of our worst basketball. We are learning that you have to play the full eight minutes of all four quarters to be successful.”
Saline was led by Chris Mercer’s 10 points, followed by Elms’ six. Cam Cole and Matt Rosati contributed five points. The Hornets get back into action Monday night facing the Dexter Dreadnaughts at the EMU Convocation Center on the campus of Eastern Michigan University. Game time is 7 p.m.
HORNET JV’S LOSE HEARTBREAKER at Skyline
Jim McKay hosted ABC’s Wide World of Sports from 1961-1998. And many will remember the iconic line from the opening of the show “sports – the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat”. Saline’s game against Skyline Friday night in Ann Arbor was an example of the agony of defeat as the Hornets fell 46-42, dropping their season record to 5-3.
The game kept the fans on the edge of their seats for the entire game. Trailing 27-25 at the half, Saline and Skyline exchanged leads throughout the second half. With two minutes to play and the Hornets trailing by six, Head Coach Jacob Fosdick called a time out. With Skyline inbounding the ball, the Hornets put on a full court press and forced three consecutive turnovers. Saline converted those turnovers into points. Trailing 44-42 with twelve seconds to play, Saline intercepted Skyline’s attempt to inbound the ball and immediately called a time out. “Whenever you are on the road and have a chance to win at the end of the game, you go for the win. We designed the play to get the ball into the hands of Sean Millspaug, one of our best three point shooters,” Coach Fosdick said. “The play worked perfectly. Sean got the ball, got to the top of the key, got a good look at the basket and took the shot. It looked like it was going to go in but it hit the rim and they got the rebound. I am very proud of this team. We had a little trouble controlling the ball, but we settled down, played great defense and played a great game.”
The junior Hornets were led by Millspaug’s 14 points, followed by Jason Finkbeiner’s 9 and Lance Moorer’s 7. The Hornets get back into action Monday afternoon for a 2 p.m. game against Dexter.