Basketball: Saline Turns Up the Intensity in 2nd Half in Come-From-Behind Win Over Dexter

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 01/31/2018 - 00:31
Griffin Yaklich hits one of three third-quarter three-pointers, which helped Saline come from behind to defeat Dexter Tuesday.

Saline basketball fans must have thought that the Saline varsity hoops team was hibernating through the cold winter weather as the team scored a total of six baskets over the last four quarters. They converted three baskets in the first half Tuesday night at home hosting the Dexter Dreadnanughts. But they made just three baskets in the last half of their game last Friday against the Huron River Rats.

Fortunately, it was a different outcome Tuesday night at home as the Hornets came roaring back in the second half to take a 38-30 victory over Dexter, upping their season record to 9-4 on the year.



Saline and Dexter slogged through a slow first quarter, with both teams firing and missing shots. It took the Hornets more than five minutes to score their first points. Sophomore guard Trevor “Thunder” Arico hit a three pointer to give Saline a 3-0 lead with 2:42 to go in the quarter.



Senior forward Emmett Turner hit two free throws with a little under two minutes left to give Saline a 5-3 lead. The quarter ended with the teams knotted at 5-5.

Saline’s shooting in the second quarter went ice cold.



Arico opened the scoring with a short jumper thirty seconds into the quarter.



It would be a full seven minutes before senior captain Erik Wenning hit a three-point shot to end a 10-0 Dexter run to cut the lead to 18-10. The Dreadnaughts headed into the locker room at the half leading 21-10.

At halftime, the Hornets rallied around a demand for more aggressive play.

 “I’d like to say that it was my coaching that produced this win tonight but that wouldn’t be accurate. In the locker room at the half, the coaches, and then the players both said that the team needed to be more aggressive,” coach Jacob Fosdick said. “Emmett Turner got the players together at the start of the second half and told the players it was time to start playing like Saline basketball.”



Sophomore guard Griffin “Lightning” Yaklich got things rolling by hitting a three-point shot at the 6:49 mark to cut the Dexter lead to 21-13.



That was followed by a short jumper by junior forward Connor Terech and another three by Yaklich. Suddenly the Hornets were down 23-18.

Yaklich hit one of two free throws, followed by yet another three and suddenly the Hornets trailed by only three, 25-22.



Turner connected on another free throw and Saline was heading into the fourth quarter trailing by two, 25-23.

Saline continued to roll in the fourth. Arico got Saline two within two points with a three-pointer.



Jacobsen's three-pointer put the Hornets up for good, at 31-28.



There is nothing like a good old-fashioned thunder storm to rouse a sleeping bear. Watching Saline’s sophomore duo ‘Thunder’ and ‘Lightning,” Arico & Yaklich, Tuesday night in the Saline High School gym, was like watching a storm front crossing Lake Michigan on a cold winter’s night. Thunder and Lightning scored ten of the Hornets’ 15 fourth quarter points to give Saline a 38-30 victory.

Griifin Yaklich acknowledged that points had become harder to get recently for Saline.

“Coach Fosdick talked about playing harder in the second half. We were struggling offensively and he told us to go aggressively to the basket. We were going to take the play to Dexter and make them stop us,” Yaklich said.

Yaklich was asked by a reporter what it felt like to hit that first three-point shot to get things going.

He replied, “it felt great. And that really got things going for us.”

Yaklich said he really enjoys playing with his partner Trevor Arico. Both Yaklich and Arico have parents who coach in the men’s and women’s basketball program for The University of Michigan. He said they frequently go together to watch both programs play ball and said “we learn a lot about the game watching both the men and women play. They both can really play the game well.”

Fosdick said he was very pleased with the way his team responded in the second half, and for the way his assistant coaches helped with developing the game strategy.

“I have great assistants. They said I needed to stop coaching passively and let the team start taking it to Dexter. The players responded and played with great intensity,” Fosdick said.

He went on to compliment his standout guard Griffin Yaklich.

“The kid is sophomore but plays with the court vision of a senior. He loves playing the game and loves the pressure that comes with close games,” he said

Saline’s Thunder and Lightning pair scored a combined 25 points, 15 for Yaklich (all in the second half) and 10 for Arico.

The Hornets get back into action Friday night when they travel to Ann Arbor to take on the Pioneers. Game time is 7 p.m.


1st Star: Griffin Yaklich (15 points, 2 rebounds & 5 assists)

2nd Star: Trevor Arico (10 points, 2 rebounds & 1 assist)

3rd Star: Emmett Turner (3 points & 15 rebounds)


The Saline JV squad upped their season record to 7 - 5 by defeating the Dexter Dreadnaughts 46-39 Tuesday night in Saline. The Hornets had a balanced scoring attack, being led by sophomore Josh Finn’s 12 points, junior forward Jason Head added 9, while freshman forwards Anthony Ferrari and Luke Darmos chipped in 7.

Saline jumped in front of the Dreadnaughts with 1:32 to go in the first quarter and never again lost the lead. JV Head Coach Jason Pickett said he was proud of how his team played following two tough losses last week.

“I told the guys in practice to play ‘selfless’ team basketball. Play for the team. And they did. I thought they played with great energy tonight and we got contributions from everyone who played.”

The JV squad will travel to Ann Arbor Pioneer on Friday.  Tip off time is 5:30 p.m.


1st Star: Josh Finn (12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists)

2nd Star: Jason Head (9 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist)

3rd Star: Anthony Ferrari (7 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist)






Dexter outscored the Hornet freshman team 16-8 in the first quarter and never relinquished the lead, beating Saline 44-37 Tuesday night in Saline. Freshman coach Brian Whitley said his team just could not overcome that first quarter.

“You can’t give a team a huge advantage in the first quarter and expect to dig your way out of that hole. That first quarter was the difference in the game.”

The loss drops the freshman team’s season record to 9-4. They will get back into action Friday afternoon when they travel to Ann Arbor to battle the Pioneers. Game time is 4:00 p.m.



1st Star: Eli Trece (11 points)

2nd Star: Brayden Stavros (5 points)

3rd Star: Zach Socha (5 points)

Steven Sheldon's picture
Steven Sheldon