On the outside, there was a cold, freezing rain and the area was coated with ice. But on the inside of the gym at Saline High School on Tuesday evening, the varsity basketball hoopsters played a disciplined game to defeat the Vikings from Lansing Everett, 74-68. The win upped Saline’s record to 7-5 on the season.
Everett was a team that played with a very unorthodox style. During the pregame warm-ups, the Vikings appeared to have no set drills to guide their warm-up. Each player on the team had a ball, randomly shooting from all over the court. A couple of players had two balls. But despite that warm-up, the Vikings started with a 6-0 run, forcing Saline Head Coach to call a time-out to settle his young charges down.
“Lansing likes to play a helter-skelter style, trying to really muck things up,” said Coach Fosdick. The Vikings employed a 2-1-2 zone press throughout the entire game. “The key to playing against this team was to consistently get the ball to the middle of the court,” Fosdick continued. “Trevor (Arico) was very good tonight at getting the ball in the center of the court and either dribbling or passing across the ten-second line.”
The ball-handling skills of senior guard Peter Jacobsen and junior guard Griffin “Lightning” Yaklich were also critical to the Hornets advancing the ball.
The Hornets committed five first quarter turnovers before they were able to consistently move the ball through the press. The turnovers were costly though as the Vikings led 18-10 at the end of the first quarter.
One of the hallmarks of this year’s varsity team is their ability to make adjustments in their huddle between quarters. Whatever Coach Fosdick said, it worked. The Hornets committed only one turnover in the second quarter, while forcing the Vikings into five.
The Hornets got very stingy on defense, aggressively contesting every shot that Lansing took. But the real story of the second quarter was the red-hot Hornet offense.
Led by junior forward Griffin Yaklich’s twelve second quarter points, Saline scored 25 in the quarter, with senior guard Peter Jacobsen contributing five and junior guard Trevor “Thunder” Arico adding five, including his first three-point shot of the game.
Saline trailed by as much as eight points at the start of the quarter but the Vikings had no answer for the storm brought by “Thunder” & “Lightning”. Arico, sophomore guard Derek Caldwell and Yaklich all scored in the final :53 seconds of the quarter to stake Saline to a 35-32 lead at the half.
The Hornets didn’t let up in the third quarter. Thirty seconds into the quarter Arico hit a three-point shot from the top of the key. Yaklich hit the front end of his free throw and senior forward Logan Evans grabbed an offensive rebound with 6:17 left in the quarter to up Saline’s lead to 41-35. Then more “Thunder” rocked the gym as Arico hit another three-point shot followed by a great play under the basket by Evans.
With 2:52 left in the quarter, the Vikings were assessed a technical foul for a player entering the game who was not in the official scorebook. Arico converted one of the two free throws, giving Saline a 47-40 lead with 2:52 left in the quarter.
After breaking through the Lansing Everett press, Arico calmly hit two more jumpers, and Evans nailed a three-pointer with :15 seconds remaining, and Saline was heading to the final quarter with a 54-46 lead.
Twenty seconds into the fourth quarter, Lansing Everett Head Coach K.C. Keyton was assessed a technical foul for verbal abuse of officials. Keyton was vocal throughout the entire game with the officials but when he said “how the @$%^& could you see that”, the referee had heard enough. Arico went to the free throw line and sank them both.
Logan dominated under the boards in the final quarter, grabbing four rebounds, including two offensive rebounds. Logan turned the offensive rebounds into points.
When you want to close out a game, teams need to convert their shots, especially foul shots. And on the cold, icy Tuesday night, the Hornets did just that.
Lansing Everett called a time out with 1:38 left. They pressed, Saline advanced the ball. Arico was fouled, and he made one of his two shots. Everett called another time out with :53 seconds left, trailing the Hornets 69-66. They fouled Arico again, and again he connected on one free throw.
With :35 seconds left, Yaklich went to the charity stripe, but missed his first shot of a 1 on 1 but Evans grabbed the rebound and converted his short shot to give Saline a 72-66 lead.
Following another Viking time out, Saline inbounded the ball and Jacobsen was sent to the foul line with :13 seconds remaining in the game. Jacobsen connected on both free throws, giving Saline the 74-68 lead, which became the final score.
The win raised the Hornets record to 7-5 on the year. They will get back into action on Friday when they travel to Monroe. Tip off time is 7 p.m.
SALINE POST 3 STARS:
1st Star: Trevor “Thunder” Arico (22 points, 4 rebounds, including 2 offensive rebounds)
2nd Star: Griffin “Lightning” Yaklich (20 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists)
3rd Star: Logan Evans (17 points, 7 rebounds, including 2 offensive rebounds, 2 blocked shots)
Honorable Mention: Peter Jacobsen (10 points, 2 offensive rebounds, 5 assists)
JV SQUAD SQUEAKS BY LANSING EVERETT, RECORD GOES TO 11-1
The Hornet junior varsity squad rode a strong third quarter to a thrilling 48-46 win over the Lansing Everett Vikings to raise their season record to 11-1. The win didn’t come easy.
The Hornets got scoring from five different players in the opening quarter and staked themselves to a 13-10 lead. Three-pointers from sophomore guards Eli Trese and Nicholas Walper and a short jump shot from sophomore Benjamin Sundquist closed out the scoring for the Hornets in the opening quarter.
Saline felt the pressure of the Everett press, committing seven turnovers in the second quarter and were outscored 14-9, and trailed 24-22 at the half.
Sophomore forward Luke Darmos opened the scoring in the third quarter hitting a jump shot. Then Sundquist nailed a three-pointer and a minute later put up an offensive rebound to up Saline’s lead to 29-24.
Sophomore Zackary Mitzel sank another three-pointer to give Saline a 32-24 lead with 4:08 left. Sophomore forward Nicholas Dils hit a jump shot, followed by Darmos and Saline headed into the final quarter with a 37-30 lead.
The fourth quarter was intense. The Hornets committed three turnovers, which led to Viking points.
Sundquist broke through the Everett press to sink another basket. Then Everett went on a 11-0 run to take a 44-39 lead.
And just like that, Darmos hit another three-pointer and a minute later freshman guard Evan Merillat sank another three-pointer and just like that, Saline held a 45-44 lead with 1:45 left.
Darmos grabbed a rebound and the Hornets broke the Viking’s full court press and found Dils under the basket to give Saline a 47-44 lead with 1:21 left.
Lansing Everett scored on their ensuing possession to cut the lead to 47-46. The Vikings pressed and forced a Hornet turnover. With Everett looking to take the lead with :5.3 seconds left, the Vikings raced down the court. The Vikings were trying to get the ball to sophomore guard Mikeise May but Saline Head Coach Jason Pickett designed a defensive play to deny him the ball.
The ball ended up in the hands of a Viking forward who was immediately stripped of the ball. Darmos was fouled and he sank the front end of his two shots to up Saline’s lead to 48-46.
The Vikings inbounded the ball with 0:01.1 seconds left. They threw up a Hail Mary shot that was no where near the basket and the Hornets walked off with a hard fought 48-46 win.
The Hornets upped their season record to 11-1. They will travel to Monroe on Friday. Game time is 5:30 p.m.
Saline Head Coach Jason Pickett was pleased with the team’s win. “We toughed one out tonight. We had a ton of energy early but then it was just sucked out of the gym when people left. We got it going in the second half again.”
“We stuck together, played as a team and kept getting the ball to the open man who got good looks at the basket. I like how this team sticks together, no matter what is going on,” Pickett said.
SALINE POST 3 STARS:
1st Star: Luke Darmos (16 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocked shots)
2nd Star: Benjamin Sundquist (8 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists)
3rd Star: Nicholas Walper (7 points, 3 rebounds, including 2 offensive rebounds)
DIASASTROUS FIRST QUARTER SINKS FRESHMAN, RECORD DROPS TO 10-2
The Saline Hornets freshman team gave up a 16-0 run at the start of their game against Lansing Everett on Tuesday evening and spent the remainder of the game clawing their way out from that huge hole. The Hornets outscored the Vikings 55-47 the rest of the way but that initial deficit was too much to overcome.
Saline Freshman Head Coach Zach Fosdick said that his team didn’t come out ready to play. “We came out flat, just not ready to play. We needed more effort.”
The loss drops the freshman season record to 10-2. They will get back into action on Friday when they will travel to Monroe. Game time is 4 p.m.
SALINE POST 3 STARS:
1st Star: Eric Wood (18 points)
2nd Star: Romeo Love (11 points)
3rd Star: Joshua Koch (6 points)