Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard snapped Saline’s three-game winning streak with a 57-53 overtime victory at Saline High School Thursday. Saline fell to 4-4 overall.
The loss came despite a 19-point, eight-rebound performance by senior Brooke Bauer. Freshman Ella Stemmer had another great game, scoring 16 points with four rebounds and four assists.
Saline struggled with inconsistent shooting, especially in the first and fourth quarters. But the Hornets’ biggest issue Thursday was turnovers. For most of the contest, the Hornets seemed as though they were about to take control of the game, but the scrappy opponents from Gabriel Richard kept clawing back.
But midway through the third quarter, Nicole Sweetland hit a three to break a 26-26 tie and then took a pass from Stemmer and scored for a 31-26 lead. Bauer scored two baskets and then Liz Sekerak scored to make it 37-30 late in the third.
The Hornets finally seemed to be taking control.
But Gabriel Richard answered with the final basket of the third quarter and then Erin MacDonald opened scoring in the fourth with a three-pointer to make it 37-35.
After a jumpshot for two from Alexander, Gabriel Richard responded with a basket and then another three by MacDonald. They led 40-39.
Stemmer tied the game with a free throw but the Irish took 43-40 lead when Leah Hall hit a three. Bauer traded baskets with Gabriel Richard and Saline was down 45-42. After Bauer went 1-for-2 from the line, Sweetland tied the game with a neat layup.
Saline got the ball back with a chance to win the game after a traveling call on the Irish, but the Hornets turned it over at half court. The Irish ran down the floor and missed their shot to win. The game went into overtime.
Saline opened scoring with a free throw basket by Stemmer. The Irish went ahead on a basket by Hall. After a Saline turnover, MacDonald made two free throws that put her team up for good. The Irish never looked back. Saline got a point back on a free throw by Bauer, but Hall replied with two points from the stripe, to make it 51-48. The Hornets got back to within one when Bauer passed to Stemmer, who missed her first shot, before grabbing the rebound, spinning and scoring. Bauer and an Irish player traded points from the free throw line and then Sarah Bindon put the Irish up 54-51 with a little more than a minute to play in OT.
Saline stormed back. In the chaos under the basket, Stemmer won the battle for a rebound and calmly put it back up for two points, getting Saline back to within one with 1:07 to play.
That was as close as they got as Richard added three more points from the stripe.
The Saline Post’s 3 Stars
- Brooke Bauer – Bauer had a strong game rebounding and was even better offensively. Saline seemed like they were at their best when they were feeding Bauer near the basket.
- Ella Stemmer – The fabulous freshman had another solid outing. The most impressive part of her game Thursday was the poise she showed in overtime. As the minutes get tougher, she gets better.
- Nicole Sweetland – Shooters get hot and cold. In the first half, Sweetland couldn’t find her shot. But when she was on in the third she and the Hornets nearly put the Irish away. She also had the all important basket that sent the game to overtime.