The local weather forecast called for heavy snow and freezing cold temperatures over the weekend. Unfortunately, that chilly forecast arrived in Saline earlier than expected. The Hornet hoopsters’ shooting was ice cold Friday evening as Saline lost its second straight SEC Red Division game, this time to the Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles, 52-39, dropping their season record to 6-5, 1-2 in the SEC Red division.
The Hornets shot just 39% from the floor, one of their lowest shooting percentages of the season. The normally stingy Hornet defense was uncharacteristically soft, allowing the Eagles several easy lay-ups throughout the game. And the fans who showed up on a cold Friday night were probably puzzled by the lack of energy in the play of the entire team.
Hornet Head Coach Jacob Fosdick took responsibility for the loss and the team’s lackluster play.
“We were not ready to play and that is on me,” said Fosdick. “I didn’t like how we came out to play tonight. I have to do a better job of getting the team prepared to compete.”
It took the Hornets three minutes to get on the board. Junior forward Tyler Belskus connected on a three-point shot with 5:08 left in the quarter to give Saline a 3-2 lead. That would be the only lead the Hornets would have all evening. Senior forward Logan Evans connected on a short jumper to cut the Eagles’ lead to 7-5.
Skyline scored the final nine points of the quarter to take a 16-5 lead into the second quarter.
Freshman guard Cooper Fairman hit a three-pointer thirty seconds into the quarter, followed by a another three by junior guard Griffin Yaklich to cut Skyline’s lead to 19-11. The Eagles would score the next six and then Evans hit another short bucket to send the Hornets into the locker room trailing 25-13 at the half.
Fosdick has always used halftime to change game plans and get his young charges ready to bring the second half storm. Against Skyline, it was not to be. There would be no scoring runs, no stifling defense.
The Eagles employed a 2-3 zone defense and the Hornets never could figure out an effective way to penetrate that defense.
The Hornets got three three-point shots from Belskus, sophomore guard Derek Caldwell and Yaklich but still looked defenseless against the Skyline offense. It was Saline’s porous defense that allowed the Eagles to expand their lead to 39-24 heading into the final quarter.
Caldwell scored eight in the fourth quarter to lead the Hornets but it was way too little to change the outcome, falling 52-39.
There was very little “Lightning” tonight as Yaklich got into foul trouble early and fouled out midway through the fourth quarter. Junior guard Trevor “Thunder” Arico was shut out of scoring in the game, as Skyline pressured him all night and the shots he was able to take missed the mark.
The Hornets get back into action Tuesday night when they will host the Lansing Everett Vikings. Game time is 7 p.m.
SALINE POST 3 STARS:
1st Star: Derek Caldwell (11 points)
2nd Star: Griffin Yaklich (12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists)
3rd Star: Cooper Fairman (4 points, 2 rebounds)
JV USES STINGY DEFENSE TO BEAT SKYLINE 48-35
The Saline JV squad upped their defensive pressure against the Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles to take a 48-35 victory Friday night in their home gym. Both teams were 9-1 on the year when they faced off in Saline. With the win the Hornets are now 10-1 on the season.
The Hornets got a strong game from sophomore center Luke Darmos and sophomore forward Jack Doorlag.
Darmos scored six of his team high 15 points in the first quarter, converting two offensive rebounds into quick points. Sophomore guard Benjamin Sundquist scored his four points in the opening quarter to help stake the Hornets to a 14-11 lead.
The Hornets played intense defense in the second quarter, forcing six Eagles turnovers, and limiting their opponent to just five points, while riding three three-point shots to a 25-16 halftime lead.
Darmos led the Hornets in the third quarter, scoring eight points, with sophomore guard Nicholas Dils and Eli Trese adding four and two points respectively, to give Saline a 39-24 lead heading into the final quarter.
JV Head Coach Jason Pickett substituted freely in the final quarter, allowing other players to score. Nicholas Walper added four and Jack Doorlag two.
Doorlag’s play in the final quarter was inspired. “I told Jack (Doorlag) I wanted him to grab every ball with two hands, and that is what he did,” said Coach Pickett. Doorlag grabbed five rebounds in the fourth quarter. Four were offensive rebounds.
Coach Pickett had high praise for his team following the game. “I am so proud with how we competed tonight. We had two days of good practice and the guys came out and it showed,” said Pickett.
Pickett also had praise for his sophomore center Luke Darmos. “Luke practices very hard at every practice and he comes out and plays hard every game. It is what I have come to expect.”
Darmos finished that game with 15 points, 16 rebounds including 7 offensive rebounds, 2 assists and 4 blocked shots.
The JV squad will host Lansing Everett on Tuesday night. Tip off time is 5:30 p.m.
SALINE POST 3 STARS:
1st Star: Luke Darmos (15 points, 16 rebounds, 2 assist & 4 blocked shots)
2nd Star: Jack Doorlag (2 points, 5 rebounds including 4 offensive rebounds)
3rd Star: Nicholas Walper (6 points, 1 rebound) & Nicholas Dils (6 points, 1 rebound)
FRESHMEN HORNETS LOSE TO SKYLINE, RECORD DROPS TO 10-1
The Hornets’ freshmen squad experienced their first loss of the season when they were defeated by Ann Arbor Skyline 52-43, dropping their season record to 10-1.
Unlike all previous games this season, the Hornets were never able to get a lead against the Eagles. They trailed 15-14 at the end of one; 28-19 at the half and 36-28 at the end of the third.
The Hornets were able to get within five with 5:30 left in the game only to watch the Eagles convert their foul shots when Saline was forced to foul at the end of the game.
The team will get back into action when they will host the Lansing Everett Vikings on Tuesday night. Game time is 4:00 p.m.
SALINE POST 3 STARS:
1st Star: Gavin Messman (22 points)
2nd Star: Joshua Koch (7 points)
3rd Star: Romeo Love (7 points)