BASKETBALL: Saline Boys Fall at Skyline

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 02/03/2020 - 11:08

Sometimes, you have a game that exemplifies “Murphy’s Law” perfectly. Things that can go wrong, will and at the worst possible time.

That describes Saline’s game Friday night on the road against the Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles as the Hornets lost 63-44, in a game that really wasn’t that close. The loss drops Saline’s record to 6-5 on the season, 2-3 in the SEC Red Division.

It was the first and third quarters that doomed the team. Saline came out misfiring to start the game, struggling against the very physical Skyline defense. The Eagles’ defensive strategy included assigning a player to be Hornets’ senior guard Trevor Arico’s shadow all night. Everywhere Arico went, a Skyline player was in his face.

That strategy proved effective as Arico was limited to six points for the game, all coming from the free throw line. Arico did not connect on a single basket the entire game.

Senior guard Griffin Yaklich converted on a drive to the basket to tie the score at 6-6 with 4:41 left in the opening eight minutes. The Eagles finished the quarter with an 8-0 run to take a 14-6 lead into the second quarter.

Sixteen seconds into the second quarter, Yaklich picked up his second foul and went to the bench. While Yaklich was sitting, and Arico being smothered by defensive pressure, the Hornet offense went silent.

Yaklich returned to the floor with six minutes to go and scored Saline’s first six points of the quarter to cut Skyline’s lead to 20-12. Arico was fouled while shooting and sank four free throws to draw the Hornets within ten, 26-16.

Yaklich and senior forward Tyler Belskus closed out the Hornet scoring in the final two minutes of play to head into the locker room trailing 29-20.

The wheels fell off the Hornets’ wagon in the third quarter. Yaklich picked up his third foul and sat out the last five minutes of the quarter.

Belskus sank a short jumper twelve seconds into the quarter to cut the Eagles’ lead to 29-22. Junior guard Jaden Pickett made a jump shot and was fouled. His three-point play drew the Hornets within seven points, 32-25. With Yaklich on the bench and Arico being shadowed, the Hornets’ offense went quiet and those five points were the only points scored in the third quarter. Skyline ended the third quarter with a 16-0 run to take a 48-25 lead into the last quarter.

Despite the lop-sided score, there is a never give-up mentality about this team, which was reflected with the Hornets outscoring Skyline 17-15 in the fourth quarter. In the end, Skyline walked away with an impressive 63-44 win. The Hornets have a week to regroup and get ready when they will travel to Monroe next Friday to take on the Trojans. Tip off time is 7 p.m.


1st Star: Griffin Yaklich (14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists)

2nd Star: Tyler Belskus (12 points, 2 rebounds)

3rd Star: Nathan Holmberg (6 points, 1 assist)


The Saline Hornets Junior Varsity squad used a strong fourth quarter Friday night to surge past the Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles to a 77-66 victory, raising their season record to 9-2. The Hornets outscored Skyline 21-9 in the final eight minutes to secure the win.

The teams were close throughout the game. Skyline led 18-16 at the end of the first quarter.

Saline went into the locker room at the half leading 41-40. Skyline took a 57-56 lead into the final eight minutes.

Sophomore forward Joshua Koch played a very strong game for the Hornets. Koch scored 25 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and picked up two assists.

Sophomore guard Romeo Love notched 18 points, hauled in 5 rebounds and had 2 assists. Sophomore guard Evan Merillat scored 12 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists.

Sophomore guard Braden LaRusso and forward Gavin Mesman had 9 and 5 points respectively.

The JV team go on the road on Friday to take on Monroe. Game time is 5:30 p.m.


1st Star: Joshua Koch (25 points, 19 rebounds including 7 offensive rebounds, 2 assists)

2nd Star: Romeo Love (18 points, 5 rebounds including 3 offensive rebounds, 2 assists)

3rd Star: Evan Merillat (12 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists)


A lopsided fourth quarter, where Skyline outscored Saline 25-12 allowed the Eagles to come back from a 34-29 third quarter deficit to beat the Hornets 54-46, dropping Saline’s record to 10-1 on the year.

Saline Freshman Head Coach Kirk Boettcher said, “it was Friday night and the Skyline gym was electric-like a varsity game. I thought the guys battled through the whole game.”

The freshmen get back into action when they travel to Monroe on Friday to take on the Trojans. Game time is 4 p.m.


1st Star: Zachary Fidh (20 points)

2nd Star: Samuel Miller (12 points)

3rd Star: Roman Laurio (10 points)



Steven Sheldon's picture
Steven Sheldon