There comes a time in every season when a high school basketball team must rely on its seniors to lead the way to victory. That time came Friday night when seniors Trevor Arico, Tyler Belskus and Griffin Yaklich led the Saline Hornets to a 68-44 win over the Monroe Trojans.
With the win, Saline’s record goes to 8-6, 4-4 in the SEC Red Division.
Belskus hit for eight first quarter points, to go with Yaklich’s six and a three-pointer from Arico, to stake the Hornets to a 17-14 lead in the opening quarter.
The Hornets continued to pressure the Trojans offensively and defensively, increasing their lead to thirteen at the half, 33-20.
Junior forward Anthony Ferrari notched his first points of the game thirty seconds into the second quarter to give Saline a 19-14 lead. Forty seconds later junior guard Derek Caldwell hit a jump shot to increase the lead to 21-16.
Yaklich drove to the hoop and Arico hit two three-point shots. Defensively, the Hornet defense forced Monroe into four second quarter turnovers, and a total of twelve turnovers for the game.
The Hornets’ defense limited the Trojans to six points in the second quarter and nine in the third to help put the game out of reach. Scoring has been hard to come by for Saline in games this season. But the offense was high-flying against Monroe, scoring 17, 16, 20 and 15 points in the four quarters.
The Hornet offense is most effective when Yaklich is getting everyone involved. He dished off ten assists in the game, to go with his sixteen points and eight rebounds. Belskus scored eight of his fifteen points in the second half, including a beautiful three-point shot from the corner. Arico scored sixteen, connecting on four three-point shots.
The loud crowd watching the game roared their approval when seldom played senior guard Joshua VerWoert hit a three-point shot with thirty seconds left, securing the 68-44 victory.
Following the game, Saline Head Coach Jacob Fosdick talked about his team’s second straight win, following three consecutive losses.
“I am happy with the win. Tuesday night against Pioneer I thought the game showed a lot of growth by the team. We practiced well and it carried through to tonight’s game.”
“Belskus has been looking really sharp, his shooting has been improving,” Fosdick said. “Trevor (Arico) works hard every practice and it is showing in his game. He is shooting the ball really well.”
With the win, Saline’s record goes to 8-6, 4-4 in the SEC Red Division. The Hornets face a challenge next week when they travel to Ann Arbor Huron to take on the River Rats, the #3 ranked team in the state, and then will host Skyline on Friday.
THE SALINE POST THREE STARS:
1st Star: Griffin Yaklich (16 points, 8 rebounds, 10 assists, 1 blocked shot)
2nd Star: Tyler Belskus (15 points, 2 rebounds, 1 blocked shot)
3rd Star: Trevor Arico (16 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists)