BASKETBALL: Saline Digs Early Hole, Can't Climb Out Against Huron

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 01/28/2020 - 23:02

The Saline Hornets hosted the third-ranked team in Michigan, and one of the top teams in the Southeastern Conference on Tuesday evening, and came away with a 61-45 loss to the Ann Arbor Huron River Rats. The loss drops the Hornets record to 6-4, 2-2 in the SEC Red.

The Hornets allowed the River Rats to go on an 11-0 run early in the first quarter to open a 13-3 lead before Saline Head Coach Jacob Fosdick called a time-out to try to settle his team down.

“We had a rough start to the game,” said Fosdick. “When you go down by ten points against a team like Huron, it is a very tough hole to climb out of.”

The River Rats features a starting roster that can score three-pointers and can dunk the ball. They did both against Saline Tuesday night. A lot.

Following the time out, the Hornets outscored Huron 12-7 but the damage was already done. Saline’s seniors, Trevor Arico, Griffin Yaklich and Tyler Belskus scored all the points for the Hornets.  Arico scored five, Yaklich four and Belskus three in the first quarter.

The Hornets battled Huron more evenly in the second quarter. Yaklich got things started sinking one of two free throws to cut the lead to 20-13.

Junior forward Anthony Ferrari played his strongest game of the year, scoring ten points and grabbing eleven rebounds. Ferrari grabbed an offensive rebound which brought the score to 23-15. A minute later he hit a short jump shot to cut the River Rats’ lead to 26-17.

A few seconds later, Arico was fouled while taking a three-point shot. Stepping to the charity stripe, Arico calmly converted on all three free throws. Ferrari closed out Saline’s first half scoring by converting another offensive rebound into two points. Saline headed to the locker room at the half down 30-22.

The River Rats came out of the half with a 7-0 run which essentially put the game out of reach. Arico and Yaklich scored all eleven of the Hornets’ third quarter points, with Yaklich driving the length of the court and hitting a jumper with :04 seconds left. Saline was down 48-33 heading into the final quarter of play.

Ferrari started the fourth quarter by receiving a pass from Yaklich and making a lay-up. Thirty seconds later, he made another bucket from under the basket. Yaklich drove hard to the basket and made the shot but missed the free throw to make the score 51-39, with 6:15 left.

Junior guard Derek Caldwell hit a jumper with 3:12 left and Saline down by 13, 55-42. Arico closed out the Hornet scoring hitting a three-pointer with less than a minute to go. In the end, the River Rats walked away with a hard fought 61-45 win to remain undefeated on the season.

“I thought we fought hard the entire game,” Coach Fosdick said following the game. “This game just shows we have to execute better. Everything is fixable. It isn’t going to get any easier when we play Skyline on Friday.”

Saline’s record drops to 6-4 on the season, 2-2 in the SEC Red Division. The Hornets travel to play Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles on Friday. Tipoff time is 7 p.m.


1st Star: Anthony Ferrari (10 points, 11 rebounds including 3 offensive rebounds, 1 assist)

2nd Star: Trevor Arico (18 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist)

3rd Star: Griffin Yaklich (12 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists)



The junior varsity teams from Saline and Ann Arbor Huron are two very even teams. They battled for thirty-two minutes Tuesday evening in Saline with the River Rats pulling out a 60-54 victory.

The two teams played very well. They competed evenly the entire game. There was one glaring difference between the two teams. Saline played with five players on the court. Huron had five players dressed in their green uniforms, but sometimes it seemed as if Huron had an extra player or two on the court with them.

The extra players were dressed in black and white striped shirts.

For the game, Huron took forty foul shots, Saline took nine.

Both teams played very aggressively on offense and defense. Both teams played their hearts out. 40 – 9.

Saline’s first foul shot of the game came with 6:03 to play in the third quarter. It takes an extraordinary team to overcome that kind of advantage.

The JV squad fell behind 14-11 at the end of the opening quarter. They came back in the second quarter, outscoring the River Rats 14-10 to take a 25-24 lead into the locker room at the half.

The fourteen second quarter points were scored by seven different players. Sophomores Tyler Thibeault, Braden LaRusso, Nicholas Boettger, Love, Mesman, Joshua Koch and freshman Garrett Baldwin each scored two.

The River Rats outscored the Hornets 17-13 in the third quarter to take a 41-38 lead into the final eight minutes of play.

Saline managed to tie the game at 52-52 with 1:29 left in the game. LaRusso scored the Hornets’ last bucket with :34 seconds left to cut the Huron lead to 56-54. And then the parade to the free throw line took place.

“Sometimes you gotta fight through adversity in a game,” said JV Head Coach Jason Pickett. “I thought we competed very well, kept fighting hard until the end. We will get better and we will be ready when we play this team again in Ann Arbor.”

The JV team will travel to Ann Arbor Skyline on Friday to take on the Eagles. Game time is 5:30 p.m.


1st Star: Joshua Koch (15 points, 14 rebounds including 5 offensive rebounds, 1 assist)

2nd Star: Romeo Love (11 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists)

3rd Star: Gavin Mesman (11 points, 8 rebounds including 4 offensive rebounds, 1 assist)



“I said to the team that we needed to start fast against Huron. They did,” said Saline freshmen coach Kirk Boettcher. The young Hornets jumped out to a 21-2 first quarter lead and cruised to a 40-27 win.

The team increased their lead to 31-12 at the half and 39-18 at the end of three quarters of play.

The freshmen travel to Ann Arbor Skyline on Friday. Game time is 4 p.m.



1st Star: Roman Laurio (14 points)

2nd Star: Zachary Fidh (12 points)

3rd Star: Jackson Muir (4 points)




Steven Sheldon's picture
Steven Sheldon