In what has become the ending of the story too many times this season, the Saline varsity hoopsters came roaring back from an eight point fourth quarter deficit to pull within two with 11 seconds to go only to see their dramatic comeback fall just short, losing 47-43 at home to the Dexter Dreadnaughts Friday night. The loss drops the Hornets record to 5-7 on the season.
Defense was the name of this game from start to finish. Saline used a man-to-man defense the entire game while Dexter remained in a zone defense, with all five guys staying packed in the paint, forcing Saline to take outside jump shots. In the first quarter junior guard Jacob Finkbeiner nailed two 3-point shots and sophomore forward Emmett Turner added a basket on a precision pass from junior forward Calder Pellerin to keep the Hornets close, down by three 14-11 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter featured more of the same stifling defense as each team scored just six points, and Dexter taking a 20-17 into the locker room at the half. The pressure by the Saline defense forced seven 2nd quarter turnovers by Dexter but the Hornets were only able to convert those turnovers into two points.
“We didn’t make shots tonight,” head coach Jacob Fosdick said after the game. “We didn’t convert on some easy shots, we got good looks at the basket but the shots weren’t going in for us tonight. You’re not going to win many games in the SEC when you only score 43 points.”
Dexter kept that three point lead throughout the third quarter-- another very even quarter with each team scoring ten points. The Hornets’ defense forced the Dreadnaughts into turnovers but again the team couldn’t convert those turnovers into points. Dexter led 30-27 going into the final quarter.
In sports, it’s not always about how much you score. Sometimes it is when you score that matters. Saline senior guard Matt Rosati came to life in the final stanza scoring all ten of his points, including two 3-point shots while Pellerin was a beast under the basket as well as from three point range that led the comeback effort. Junior guard Ryan Foley, always a force on defense, also put up five points in the wild fourth quarter but in the end it was Dexter’s ability to hit their free throw shots that made the difference. The Dreadnaughts converted on 12 of 19 free throws while Saline hit on 8 of 15. Those four extra free throws made were the difference in the game, a 47-43 win for Dexter. Saline gets back into action on Thursday when they travel to Monroe. Tip off time is 7pm.
THE SALINE POST THREE STARS:
1ST STAR: Calder Pellerin (14 points & 3 rebounds)
2nd Star: Jacob Finkbeiner (8 points & 2 rebounds)
3rd Star: Matt Rosati (10 points & 9 rebounds)