Saline shot out the lights in the first and third quarter and defeated Plymouth, 51-39, at home Friday night. Saline used its highest offensive output of the young season to even its record at 2.
Senior Abbey Bowen led the Hornet attack with 19 points. Glory Ford scored nine points and grabbed nine rebounds.
After a tough outing against one of the state’s top teams Tuesday at Northville, Saline went right to work.
Senior Sydney Jarvela (6 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists) opened the scoring with a three-point shot. The Hornets never looked back and held the lead the rest of the way. Ford made it 5-0 with a layup. Plymouth got its own three pointer back, but Saline replied with a three-pointer by Bowen and then a field goal by Jarvela. Saline led 10-3.
“I really liked the way we came out in the first quarter. We played with intensity and we made our shots. I think it was our best quarter of the season,” coach Jeff Waltz said.
The Hornets kept coming. Bowen made it 12-5 with a 10-foot jumper. She then made it 14-6 with a couple of free throws.
Saline got a mid-court steal that sent Kelsey Alexander (2 points, 5 rebounds) in on a layup to make it 16-7. Maddy Welch (4 points) sank a free throw and Brooke Bauer took a great pass from Jarvela and laid it in for two points.
Saline led 19-8 at the end of the quarter. The Hornets shot 7-for-10 from the field and were 3-for-4 from the line.
Saline’s shooting wasn’t as good in the second quarter. The Wildcats scored the first four points of the quarter.
Asia Lindsey (seven points) provided some offense. She drove to the hoop, made her shot, picked up the foul and made her shot for a 22-12 lead. Plymouth went on a five-point run to get within five points, but Jarvela drew a foul and made a basket. Jarvela then fed Ford underneath for a layup. Saline led 25-17 at halftime.
Lindsey opened the third quarter with another nice move to the basket for two points.
Plymouth got to within seven points when Bowen took over. She sliced through the defense for two points. She stole a ball at midcourt and passed to Ford, who gave it right back to Bowen for another basket. Then Kelsey Alexander stole a ball and sent Bowen in for an uncontested lay-up. Moments later she was on the attack again. This time, when the guard took the outside lane away, she spun around and hit a short jumper.
When Bowen’s assault was over, Saline led 35-20.
“She’s become a scorer. She picks her spot to drive. She can hit the outside shot. She’s really worked on her shot and her game,” Waltz said. “It’s a testament to how hard she’s worked. She knew we were going to be relying in her for offense. She finds ways to score the basketball. I’m incredibly proud of her and her effort.”
Ford added a free throw, Maddy Welch hit a three-pointer and Brooke Bauer (4 points, 4 rebounds) went 2-fo-2 from the line before the end of the quarter. Saline led 41-26.
The fourth opened with a basket by Ford. After Plymouth bucket, Saline came down the court and Ford put back a rebound for two more points and a 45-28 lead.
Ford came one point and one rebound away from a double-double.
“Glory was a monster for us tonight. She dominated in the paint and she gave us a lot of second and third looks,” Waltz said.
After Plymouth cut into the lead a little bit, Bowen and Lindsey each scored to make it 49-34.
Plymouth cut the lead to 10 with 1:12 to play, but Bowen capped the scoring with a couple of free throws.
“We had some great individual performances today, but a lot of girls contributed to this win,” Waltz said. “It was a total team effort.”
Saline hosts Pioneer to open the league schedule Tuesday at 5:30.
The Saline Post 3 Stars
- Abbey Bowen – The Saline senior is developing into a go-to girl on offense. She helped kick start the Hornets in the first quarter and then, when Plymouth started to close the gap, she took over the game.
- Glory Ford – Ford had her way with the Plymouth opponents under the basket. She outmuscled them, outleaped them, and outhustled them.
- Sydney Jarvela – Jarvela got the Hornets started with 5 points just 3:08 into the game. Her offensive aggressiveness tailed off as the game went on, but she also did a nice job distributing the ball to Ford and Bauer underneath the hoop.