Saline's SEC Title Hopes Dashed at Skyline

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 02/18/2017 - 03:15
Saline junior Emmett Turner was a beast underneath the basket all night long. He also hit a three-pointer in the third quarter when it looked like Saline might run away with the game.


The Saline Hornets dropped a close 51-46 decision to the Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles Friday night at Skyline. The loss dropped the Hornets’ season record to 13-5, 6-3 in the SEC Red Division. The win upped Skyline’s record to 8-1 in the SEC, clinching the division title.

Saline played well enough to win, and if you subtract about five minutes of playing time that saw the Eagles outscore Saline by a 10-2 margin, the Hornets would have won. For those Saline fans on hand to watch the game, and there was a large contingent at Skyline to cheer on the team, they left thinking Saline could have won. Maybe even should have won. Each quarter has eight minutes and teams must play tough defense for all eight minutes to be successful in the SEC. For just a few minutes, the Hornets’ defense had no answer for Skyline junior guards Brandon Wade and Jack Ammerman, who scored 18 and 17 points, respectively.

Saline had only four players score in the game, which is unusual for the team. Saline Head Coach Jacob Fosdick said following his team’s loss that he was proud of his team and their effort but also credited Skyline for being a very good team.

“I thought the team handled the game atmosphere very well. They battled tonight every minute of every quarter.” Fosdick said. “We handled the pressure better tonight than we did in our first game against Skyline. We had a couple of spots where we committed turnovers when pressured by the Eagles but for the most part I thought we handled their pressure well.”

Junior forward Emmett “The Beast” Turner turned in a huge game for Saline. He led all scorers in the game with 24 points while grabbing 11 rebounds. And Turner was a beast around the basket. He was asked to compare basketball to football, as he is also a wide receiver on the highly successful Hornet football team.

“I think I like football a little better,” Turner said last week. “I like going up to catch a pass and hanging onto the ball while others try to tackle you. In basketball, going up for rebounds is like that. I really like going up to grab rebounds and fighting off any attempt for someone to try and take the ball away from me.”

Coach Fosdick said Turner had a huge game.

“Emmett had a huge game for us. Our ball movement created mismatches on defense which Emmett took advantage of. He had a huge game tonight.”

Turner produced balanced scoring, netting 4-7-7 and 6 points in the game. The Eagles, like so many other opponents this year, played around the basket was rough. The officials in large part let the players play the game. There were times where Skyline had three players on Turner and he still made his shots. Eagle players grabbed at his arms, grabbed his jersey, slapped at his hands, left bruises on his arms but The Beast just kept playing.

There was never a point in the game where the Hornets were out of it. Turner led off the scoring in the first quarter, with Justin “Juice” Zylstra adding a three to keep Saline close 13-7 at the end of the opening quarter.

The Hornets outscored Skyline 13-11 in the second quarter, with Turner getting 7 of the 13 points. Turner made an easy layup off a pass from senior guard Ryan Foley. He added two more when ball movement by the Hornet offense left the Skyline defense confused and Turner appeared under the basket all alone. At the 5:39 mark of the quarter, senior guard Jacob Finkbeiner took a pass from senior forward Calder Pellerin, dribbled the length of the floor to convert on a contested layup.

Turner added four more points grabbing offensive rebounds and putting in the easy shot under the basket. In the final seconds of the half, the Eagles grabbed a loose ball in their defensive zone, took one dribble and then made a 65-foot shot to send the teams to the locker room with Skyline leading 24-18.

The third quarter Saline was buzzing and outscored Skyline 13-2 in the first five minutes of the quarter.

Then the Hornets went on 6-2 run and were up on the Eagles 37-29 with 1:02 left in the quarter. The Eagles applied full court pressure and forced Saline into three turnovers in the final minute, which were converted into eight unanswered points and the teams tied at 37-37 heading into the final eight minutes of action.

Foley, Finkbeiner, Zylstra and Pellerin were working hard to break through the Skyline pressure. When they did break through, they got the ball to Turner who scored the first six points of the quarter. But some of the Hornet shots hit off the rim and rebounds were grabbed by Skyline. Pellerin hit a three-point shot in the final seconds giving him 14 points for the game. But that ended the scoring for the night as the team watched the final seconds tick off with the clock and the scoreboard reading Skyline 51- Saline 46.

Saline will travel to Ann Arbor Huron High School next Friday night to take on the River Rats in their final SEC Red Division game of the year. Game time is 7pm.


1st Star: Emmett “The Beast” Turner (24 points, 11 rebounds, including 4 offensive rebounds & 1 blocked shot)

2nd Star: Calder Pellerin (14 points, 4 rebounds & 1 blocked shot)

3rd Star: Justin “Juice” Zylstra (6 points, 3 rebounds & 2 blocked shots)


The Saline JV team dropped a 59-32 decision to Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles Friday night at Skyline, dropping their season record to 14-4. Skyline got off to a 7-0 start and were never threatened after that. Head Coach Jason Pickett said that his team missed some shots, Skyline made shots they fell behind and they never really got on track. “We missed shots early, they made shots and we were behind. We were behind 7-0, started to make mistakes and were behind 29-7. It is hard to battle back from that far behind.”

Pickett praised his team’s effort in the second half and for not giving up. “That’s what I like about this team, they don’t quit.”

The JV squad will travel to Ann Arbor Huron next Friday to take on the River Rats. Tip off time is 5:30pm.


1st Star: Trevor Arico (8 points)

2nd Star: Brad Wisniewski (8 points)

3rd Star: Ryan Koch (5 points)


The Saline freshmen hoops team downed Ann Arbor Skyline Friday night on the road 46-42. The Hornets used balanced scoring in all four quarters to secure the win. The freshmen will travel to Ann Arbor Huron to take on the River Rats next Friday. Tip off time is 4pm.


1st Star: Josh Finn (17 points)

2nd Star: Tyler Belskus (13 points)

3rd Star: Ben Stack (8 points)


Steven Sheldon's picture
Steven Sheldon