BASKETBALL: Saline Boys Head Into Holidays on 2-Game Streak

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 12/20/2019 - 10:48
Jaden Pickett scored 13 points at Southgate Thursday.

The Saline varsity basketball team head into the holiday break with a two-game winning streak following a 72-33 win on the road over the Southgate Titans Thursday night. The Hornets raced out to a 27-6 first quarter lead and never looked back.

Saline Head Coach Jacob Fosdick heaped high praise on his team following the lopsided victory.

“I was disappointed in our defensive play in the second quarter and asked the team to intensify their defensive effort and hold the Titans to single digits in the third quarter,” Fosdick said.

The Hornets heard their coach and responded. They outscored Southgate 23-7, forcing the Titans into six third quarter turnovers.

The Hornets were led once again by seniors Trevor “Thunder” Arico and Griffin “Lightning” Yaklich. The pair combined 27 points, with . Yaklich was a true field general on the court, making precision passes and picking up seven assists for the game.

Junior forward Nathan Holmberg (12 points) and guard Jaden Pickett (13 points) were also singled out by Coach Fosdick for their contributions coming off the bench,

“Both Pickett and Holmberg scored career highs tonight coming off the bench,” Fosdick said. “It will be very important going into SEC play to have multiple players able to hit threes from outside. Pickett and Holmberg made huge shots while the starters were on the bench.. I can’t stress enough how important it is for everyone to step up when on the court. To be successful in SEC Red play, it has to be a total team effort.”

Senior forward Tyler Belskus led the scoring in the first quarter, netting seven. Yaklich and Arico each scored six and Pickett added five.

The Hornets let up on the defensive pressure in the second quarter, after forcing four first quarter turnovers, produced only two in the second. The Titans outscored Saline 16-13 and headed into the locker room trailing, 40-22.

Saline came out to start the third quarter with a 7-0 run and put the game away with their intense defensive pressure. The Hornet defense produced 10 second half turnovers, which they converted into twenty points.

Following the game Coach Fosdick was asked about the holiday break.

“We are taking a week off, giving the players time to be with their families, travel and relax,” Fosdick said. “Then it will be like training camp all over again getting ready for SEC play. We have tough opponents, including a one-game showcase game on Saturday, Jan. 11, n Belleville.”

The Hornets head into the holiday break at 2-1 on the year. They will next get back into action on Thursday, Jan. 9, against Jackson High School. Game time is 7 p.m. at Saline High School.


1st Star: Jaden Pickett (13 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist) and Nathan Holmberg (12 points, 1 rebound)

2nd Star: Trevor “Thunder” Arico (18 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists)

3rd Star: Griffin “Lightning” Yaklich (9 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists) and Tyler Belskus (8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 offensive rebounds)


The Saline junior varsity made their first road trip of the season on Friday night traveling to Southgate Anderson High School. The squad shook off a sluggish first quarter to rout the Southgate Titans 72-37.

The Hornets knotted the score at 10-10 with 2:56 left in the opening quarter. Sophomore forward Gavin Mesman sank a short jumper to put the Hornets up 12-10, a lead Saline would never relinquish. Sophomore Joshua Koch led all scorers in the opening quarter, netting six points, three rebounds, including an offensive rebound. The Hornets led 18-16 at the end of one.

Saline JV Coach Jason Pickett gathered his team together between the quarters and asked them to step up their defensive effort.

“I said to the guys that we needed to have a single-digit quarter. I wanted the opponent to be held to points in the single digits,” Pickett said. “I asked them to bring the defensive effort that they showed in practice.”

His players, heard. And responded. For the rest of the game, they kept responding.

Saline outscored the Titans 13-7 in the second quarter, 24-8 in the third and 17-6 in the fourth.

“I absolutely loved the defense,” a smiling Pickett said after the game. “We have talked about how our offense will come from our defensive effort.”

The Hornets were also very effective at moving the ball around on offense. That too is a part of the Pickett message.

“I tell the guys to give up a shot for a better shot. If they do that, I guarantee they will get the ball back,” Pickett said.

Sophomore guard Evan Merillat was especially effective in passing the ball, picking up five assists in the game.

With the victory, the JV squad’s record goes to 2-1 on the season. They will take time off for the holidays and get back into action on Thursday, 1-9-20 when they will host Jackson. Tip-off time is 5:30 p.m.


1st Star: Joshua Koch (13 points, 8 rebounds, 3 offensive rebounds, 1 blocked shot)

2nd Star: Gavin Mesman (12 points, 9 rebounds, 3 offensive rebounds, 2 blocked shots)

3rd Star: Evan Merillat (6 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists) and Nicholas Boettger (6 points, 7 rebounds, 2 offensive rebounds)



The Saline freshmen squad never trailed in their contest against the Southgate Anderson Titans Friday night in Southgate. The Hornets roared out to an 11-2 first quarter lead.

They topped that in the second quarter, outscoring Southgate 23-5, to take a 34-7 halftime lead.

Freshmen Head Coach Kirk Boettcher was very pleased with the performance of his team. “Coming right before a holiday break, you never really know what kind of effort you are going to get. You can’t be sure whether some of the kids have already started their break.”

“They weren’t on break and they played very hard,” Boettcher continued.

The Hornets outscored the Titans 25-18 in the second half to win the contest 59-25, raising their record to 2-1 on the year.

The freshmen will get back into action when they host Jackson on Thursday, 1-9-20. Game time is 4 p.m.


1st Star: Samuel Miller (19 points)

2nd Star: Roman Laurio (17 points)

3rd Star: Zachery Fidh (7 points)



Steven Sheldon's picture
Steven Sheldon