“Sometimes when you are not shooting well as a team, you just have to find a way to win,” said Saline Head Coach Jacob Fosdick Friday evening following his team’s sloppy 43-27 win on the road against the Monroe Trojans. The win raises the team’s record to 6-3 on the season, 2-1 in the SEC Red Division.
The team had a brilliant performance on Sunday against Bishop Catholic Foley High School from Illinois. Senior guard Trevor Arico scored 47 points, including a school record of ten three-point shots, leading his team to an impressive 76-69 win in a closely contested match.
The Hornets were firing all cylinders on Sunday.
Not so much Friday night in Monroe. The team’s offensive zone struggles were evident from the beginning, going for long stretches without scoring.
Senior guard Griffin Yaklich opened the scoring in the first minute with a hard drive to the hoop to stake Saline to a 2-0 lead.
Senior forward Tyler Belskus sank a short jumper, followed by another drive by Yaklich to give Saline a 6-2 lead. Junior forward Anthony Ferrari converted an offensive rebound to help the Hornets regain the lead, 8-7 with 3:35 left in the quarter.
Arico sank two free throws to close out the Hornets’ first quarter scoring, with the score knotted at 10-10.
“The first half was just ugly,” said Fosdick. “We didn’t feel comfortable with their zone and struggled to get good looks for our shots.”
Ugly was an apt description for the second quarter. Saline outscored the Trojans 7-2, with Arico scoring all seven Hornet points. Saline headed to the locker room with a 17-12 lead.
The Hornets started the second half committing two consecutive turnovers, the first of eight third quarter turnovers. Fortunately for the Hornets, Monroe couldn’t convert the miscues to points.
Belskus sank a three-pointer from the corner to up Saline’s lead to 21-14, with 5:52 to go in the third. Less than a minute later, Belskus sank two free throws to extend the lead to 23-14.
Junior guard Derek Caldwell sank a short jumper, followed by a three-point shot by Arico. Arico’s shot came with one second left in the quarter. The Hornets took a 28-19 lead into the final eight minutes.
Arico started the fourth quarter scoring by making two free throws in the opening minute of play. Then nearly four minutes would run off the clock before Saline would score again. Fortunately, the Trojans were not able to score either during that time.
In the final 2:26 of the game, the Hornets went to the free throw line seven times, converting 10 of 13 free throws, to pull out the 43-27 victory.
The Hornets handed their head coach a victory on his birthday. Jake Fosdick, along with assistant coach Lukas Fosdick, Jake’s twin brother, celebrated their birthday together in Monroe.
“It is the first time the team has won on my birthday,” said Fosdick. “That’s a pretty special birthday present.”
The games for the Hornets next week will be the true measuring stick for this season. They will host the Ann Arbor Huron River Rats, currently ranked #3 in the state, on Tuesday at 7 p.m. On Friday, Saline will travel to take on the Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles in another 7 p.m. tipoff.
A lot will be known about this team, and this season, by this time next week.
THE SALIINE POST THREE STARS:
1st Star: Trevor Arico (13 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist)
2nd Star: Griffin Yaklich (11 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocked shots)
3rd Star: Tyler Belskus (9 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 blocked shot)
JV SQUAD SWARMS MONROE, WINS 60-25, RECORD GOES 8-1
The Saline junior varsity squad combined a stinging defense with a high-octane offense to down the Monroe Trojans 60-25 Friday night in Monroe.
The Hornets jumped out to a 13-8 first quarter lead and never looked back. In fact, Saline never trailed in the game. With JV Head Coach Jason Pickett substituting freely throughout the game, players off the bench extended the Hornet lead to 28-17 at the half.
The Hornet defense forced the Trojans into 29 turnovers for the game, seven in each quarter, with eight in the fourth quarter.
To go with the 29 turnovers, Saline held Monroe to eight points in the second half, six in the third quarter and two over the final eight minutes.
Saline JV Head Coach Jason Pickett thought his team played a good game but still has room for improvement.
“We got a lot of shots tonight, a lot of good looks at the basket. The defense was very effective. When we limit our turnovers and keep the other team off the offensive boards, we are usually going to win.”
“We want our best game to come in game 20, not in our first game, or our fourth. We are trending in the right direction,” said Pickett.
The Hornets were led by sophomore forward Joshua Koch’s 16 points, followed by Braden LaRusso’s 12, Evan Merillt’s 8 and Romeo Love’s 6 points.
The JV squad get back into action on Tuesday when they will host the Ann Arbor Huron River Rats. Game time is 5:30 p.m.
The Saline Post Three Stars:
1st Star: Joshua Koch (16 points, 7 rebounds, including 5 offensive rebounds)
2nd Star: Braden LaRusso (12 points, 7 rebounds, including 3 offensive rebounds)
3rd Star: Evan Merillat (8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 offensive rebounds, 2 assists)
FRESHMEN HAVE STRONG SECOND HALF TO BEAT MONROE 48-35
Saline freshmen head coach Kirk Boettcher said that his team received a good scouting report about Monroe and his team executed the game plan perfectly Friday evening, beating the Monroe Trojans 48-35 on the road.
The Hornets were led by freshman forward Samuel Miller’s 17 points, with Roman Laurio adding 15.
The freshmen will host the Ann Arbor Huron River Rats on Tuesday afternoon at Saline High School. Game time is 4 p.m.
THE SALINE POST THREE STARS:
1st Star: Samuel Miller (17 points)
2nd Star: Roman Laurio (15 points)
3rd Star: Zachery Fidh (8 points)