BASKETBALL: Skyline Pulls Away in Final Moments as Saline Drops 2nd Straight

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ANN ARBOR - Skyline outscored Saline 11-3 in the final moments of a seesaw affair to win, 57-51, at Skyline High School Tuesday night.

Saline fell to 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the SEC Red. Saline visits Monroe Friday.

Junior Dylan Mesman and freshman Jonathan Sanderson each scored 16 points to lead Saline. Senior Zach Fidh had a season-best 14 for Saline.

Saline coach Mike Marek liked the effort, but after the Hornets came up short in a winnable game for the second straight game, it was clear he was also a little frustrated by the loss.

"I'm proud of the way we played. We competed. We played hard. But we've got to find a way to win those games," Marek said. "All these games in the SEC are going to be tough, especially against the Ann Arbor schools. We've got to find a way to pull these out."

Marek said the Hornets have a young team that's growing.

"But, no excuses, we've got to pull that game out," Marek said.

Very late in the third-quarter it looked like Saline might have Skyline on the ropes. Sanderson hit a three-pointer to give the Hornets an eight-point lead with only a few seconds left in the stanza. The Hornets had gone on an 11-2 run to build the biggest lead any team had enjoyed all game. A Skyline player was called for a technical. Their student section was melting down.

Perhaps a more veteran team would have seized on the moment.

But Ben Stille (19 points) gave the Eagles life with a buzzer-beating three to end the quarter and Saline led 39-34. The Eagles started the second with back-to-back baskets to cut the lead down to one. After a basket by Mesman, Sam Koelling knocked down a three-pointer and the game was tied at 41.

Zach Fidh replied with his third three-pointer of the game to give Saline a 44-41 lead. Skyline replied with a field goal that was matched by a basket from Garrett Baldwin. But Pete Roebach hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 46.

Moments later, Sanderson made two free throws to put Saline up, 48-46. It was the last lead they'd hold. Roebach hit another three to give Saline a 49-48 lead.

The Hornets failed to score on their next possession and Skyline made good on theirs to make it 51-48. The Eagles went up by four after a point from the stripe.

With 36 seconds left, Sanderson hit another three-pointer to get Saline within one. Skyline replied by inbounding the ball, quickly moving the ball up the floor and then then scoring on a dunk by Koelling. The Eagles were up by 2.

Saline got two shots to tie it. Sanderson launched what looked like a perfect shot, but the ball rimmed out. Saline got the ball back with seven seconds left on a travel call, but the inbound pass was intercepted and Skyline added late points to pull away.

View photos from the game here.

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