The Saline varsity basketball squad heads into the holiday break with a 5 – 1 record following a 46–34 victory over the Southgate Anderson Titans. Saline Head Coach Jacob Fosdick said all he wanted this year for Christmas was to be 6–0 at the break. The Hornets have played the way you would expect a young team to play so far this season. Sometimes they are a well-oiled machine, sometimes they find a way to win ugly. But they have managed to win.
Friday night’s game against the Titans was like the Charles Dickens’ novel “A Tale of Two Cities”, except it was the tale of two halves. The Titans knew they would not be able to run with the Hornets. So they did everything they could to slow the game down. Fosdick described the first half as both teams “slogging through the mud”. “Give Southgate credit,” Fosdick said, “they played the first half to keep the score as close as possible. That, combined with the small crowd, there just wasn’t very much energy tonight.” Fosdick continued, “with a young team, you wonder whether the kids will be thinking about what they will get for Christmas, what they can do on their break, anything but thinking about the team they will be playing.”
It is in games like this where it really helps to have a senior nicknamed The Beast. Senior forward Emmett “The Beast” Turner scored eight of the team’s 13 first quarter points, grabbed three rebounds, including two offensive rebounds which he converted to points to lead Saline to a 13–9 first quarter lead.
In the second quarter, there was a total of nine points scored. Six by Saline, three by Southgate. Turner, along with sophomore sensation Griffin Yaklich and senior guard Erik Wenning each netted two points to post Saline to a 19 – 14 lead at the half.
The Titans began the third quarter with a seven-point run to jump out to a 21–19 lead.
Following a Saline time out, junior guard Ryan Koch notched the Hornets’ first points of the second half by driving to the basket, making his shot, getting fouled and converting on that shot to put Saline up 22 – 21, a lead they would never again relinquish. Those points started the Hornets on their own 13-point run, which featured a full court press that forced eight turnovers by the Titans, which were quickly converted into points by Yaklich.
When the buzzer sounded to end the third quarter the Hornets were leading 35 – 23.
Connor “The Junior Beast” Terech fouled out with five minutes left in the game. With the game firmly in hand, Fosdick substituted freely giving starters Turner, Yaklich, Wennig and Koch a well deserved rest. Following the game, Fosdick spoke of his gratitude in being the coach of this year’s team.
“I never will take for granted being the head coach of this basketball program. Tonight, this team found a way to win. They came in feeling pretty high on themselves and then realized they were in a dog fight. They got mad, and the senior leadership of Turner and Wenning got the team moving,” he said.
Fosdick continued, “and what can you say about Yaklich? He makes some mistakes because he is new to the varsity level but he handles the ball so well and has such a good view of the whole court.”
You know if Griffin Yaklich grew his hair longer, he truly would resemble “Pistol" Pete Marovich.
The Hornets will get back into game action on Tuesday, 1/09/18 against Bloomfield Hills High School. Tip off time is 7 p.m. at Saline High School.
SALINE POST THREE STARS:
1st Star: Emmett “The Beast” Turner (15 points, 14 rebounds & 1 assist)
2nd Star: Griffin Yaklich (16 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists)
3rd Star: Erik “Baywatch” Wenning (5 points, 3 rebounds & 2 assists) &
Ryan Koch (5 points, 2 rebounds & 1 assist)
Open Letter to Santa Claus:
I am writing this on behalf of the coaches and seniors who are a part of this year’s Saline High School basketball program. As you make your rounds this Christmas Eve, please consider these gifts for a group that is very special to our school and our town.
- For Head Coach Jake Fosdick, please let his enthusiasm for the game, for coaching and his ability to motivate young people forever remain in his heart
- For JV Head Coach Jason Pickett, please let the wisdom of his words find the ears of young people who need the counsel of a kind, and wise man
- For freshman Coach Brian Whitley, please let the smile on his face while coaching young people always remain; and may Virginia Commonwealth University return to the final four in 2018
- For Emmet Turner, may you always find the fun in athletic competition, and when you are ready to move on to what comes next, may the sun always be smiling on your face and the wind be at your back
- For Erik Wenning, please let the quiet leadership you show on the court be how you treat everyone as you move onto whatever comes next for you
- For Adam Heiser, may you always remember that hard work does pay off and that being a part of something greater than yourself is one of life’s greatest pleasures
- For Zach Drevno & Jayden Belskus, may you someday enjoy your moment in the spotlight and understand that all you give has been worth it
Thanks for listening Santa-
A SHS Alum
High Flying JV Team Rout Southgate, Head Into Break 5 – 1
Here is the stat of the game for Head Coach Jason Pickett’s JV team: For the final 15 minutes of the second half, they allowed their opponents exactly ZERO points. They outscored the Titans 34 – 6 in the second half, including 26 unanswered points.
“We have been working on creating our own tempo, working on improving our looks on offense and that paid off tonight,” said Coach Pickett. The JV squad was led by sophomore guard Jaden Pickett’s 19 points, including four from three-point range.
“It was a great team effort tonight, and we have been really working hard on that in practice,” Pickett said. “We pride our self on playing tough defense, and did a really good job tonight.”
The JV squad moves into the holiday break with a 5 – 1 record. They will next get into action when they host Bloomfield Hills. Game time is 5:30 p.m.
SALINE POST THREE STARS:
1st Star: Jaden Pickett (19 points, 0 rebounds & 3 assists)
2nd Star: Nathan Holmberg (14 points, 4 rebounds & 1 assist)
3rd Star: Tyler Belskus (12 points, 4 rebounds)
Freshman Beat Southgate 44 – 24, Ups Season Record to 4 – 2
The Saline High School freshman team never trailed in the game, jumping out to a 7 – 3 first quarter lead. The Hornets outscored the Titans in all four quarters, leading 15 – 7 at the half, and 29 – 1 6 at the end of three.
Saline was led by freshman guard Brayden Stavros’ 12 points.
The freshmen team head into the holiday break 4 – 2 and will get back into action on Tuesday, 1-09-18 when they will host Bloomfield Hills. Tip off time is 5:30 p.m.
SALINE POST THREE STARS:
1st Star: Brayden Stavros (12 points)
2nd Star: Luke Darmos (10 points)
3rd Star: John Barnett (6 points)