The Saline varsity boys basketball squad’s record dropped to 9-2 following a 59-48 loss to Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles in front of a packed house Friday night at Saline High School.
The Hornets suffered a disastrous third quarter. Skyline outscored Saline 20-6 and blew open a close, hard-fought game. The unravelling of the game featured missed opportunities for the Hornets, turnovers and two technical fouls called on the Saline coaching staff.
The first technical was assessed to Saline head coach Jacob Fosdick for being “overly demonstrative.” Coach Fosdick threw his arms skyward, with a look of disbelief on his face over the lack of a call by the official. He never uttered a word. As a different official explained the call to the Saline bench, a second technical was called on assistant coach Lucas Fosdick and he was ejected from the game. The Eagles converted on two of the four free throws and retained possession of the ball. When all was said and done, the Eagles took a commanding 37-24 lead into the final quarter.
Coach Jacob Fosdick apologized to the huge crowd that packed the school gym.
“We had an unbelievable crowd tonight,” Coach Fosdick said following the game. “This town is important to all of us. They have stuck with our program and showed up tonight in force. It means a lot to all of us.” Fosdick went on to say, “I apologize for our poor effort in the 3rd quarter. We didn’t handle their pressure very well and obviously, I didn’t make things any better. I apologize to the crowd for tonight’s game. This team is special. Don’t give up on us. I promise we won’t disappoint you.”
Both teams played tenacious defense in the first half. From start to finish it was a very physical game. There was clutching, grabbing and an occasional elbow being thrown. The pressure being applied by Skyline forced the Hornets into uncharacteristic turnovers. Saline committed 25 turnovers in the game, a season high. In addition to the turnovers, the Hornets had trouble making their shots, both from the floor and the free throw line.
Saline rolled to a 13-8 first quarter lead, thanks to the play of the “Dynamic Duo” senior guards Ryan Foley and Jacob Finkbeiner. The Hornets raced out to a 6-0 lead before the Eagles got on the board. A steal by Foley, who then drove the length of the court and scored on an uncontested lay-up brought the quarter to a close. Finkbeiner opened the scoring in the second quarter with another drive to the basket. The teams traded baskets, forcing turnovers and playing each other very evenly. Saline headed to the locker room up 18-17 at the half.
“Live ball turnovers are never good for us,” Coach Fosdick said. “We need to set up our defense to be most effective. When you don’t make your shots and commit turnovers, you are caught playing in a transition game and that hurt us tonight.”
The Eagles applied full court pressure which rattled the Hornets. Saline committed six third quarter turnovers which helped Skyline put the game away.
The Hornets, encouraged by a large and loud home crowd, made a valiant effort in the fourth quarter but it was too little too late. Saline outscored Skyline 24-22 in the final quarter.
“It is important to understand how your team responds to the highs of a season. And now that we’ve had this loss, it is important to see how we handle this disappointment,” Fosdick said. “We have six days to prepare for our game against Ann Arbor Huron. Huron plays a style very similar to Skyline bringing pressure, pressure, pressure.”
Saline’s record drops to 9-2 on the season, 4-1 in the SEC. They get back into action next Friday when they host the Ann Arbor Huron River Rats. Tip off time is 7pm.
THREE STARS OF THE GAME:
1st Star: Emmett “The Beast” Turner (17 points, 7 rebounds & 1 assist)
2nd Star: Justin “Juice” Zylstra (12 points & 2 rebounds)
3rd Star: Ryan Foley (6 points, 4 rebounds & 2 assists)
JV SQUAD LOSES TO AA SKYLINE 53-43, RECORD DROPS TO 9-2
The Skyline Eagles outscored Saline 29-18 in the second half, including 14-7 in the fourth quarter, to defeat the Hornets 53-43 Friday night at Saline High School. The game was back and forth throughout the first half, with the Eagles leading 17-14 at the end of one, and Saline holding a 25-24 lead at the half. It was a poor shooting second half that did the young Hornets in.
“Who knew that a 2-3 zone defense would pose so many problems for us tonight,” Head Coach Jason Pickett said. “You have to give them credit, they came and executed their game plan well and we didn’t. I liked how the team fought until the end, didn’t quit or get down on themselves. We battled them to the end.”
The Hornet attack was paced by sophomore forward Ryan Koch’s 14 points and 3 rebounds. The Hornets get back into action on Friday night when they will host the Ann Arbor River Rats. Tip off time is 5:30pm.
THREE STARS OF THE GAME:
1st Star: Ryan Koch (14 points, 3 rebounds)
2nd Star: Ethan Friedrichsen (9 points & 4 rebounds)
3rd Star: Peter Jacobsen (6 points, 7 rebounds & 2 assists)
FRESHMAN SQUAD DOWNS SKYLINE 45-42 IN OT
The Saline High School freshman team upped its record to 5-6 with a thrilling 45-42 win in overtime against Ann Arbor Skyline at Saline High School. The freshmen will host the Ann Arbor Huron River Rats on Friday. Tip off time is 4pm.
THREE STAR OF THE GAME:
1st Star: Josh Finn (19 points)
2nd Star: Jason Head (11 points)
3rd Star: Matt Herrin (4 points)