BASKETBALL: Saline Takes First Loss of the Season

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Saline senior Anna Hesse makes one of her two second-half three pointers for the Hornets.

REDFORD - Saline's shooting went cold in the Hornets first outing of 2023 and it resulted in the girls' first loss of the season. Saline started the season with seven straight wins.

Toledo Rogers defeated Saline, 49-36, Monday at Redford Westfield Prep - though the game was much closer than the score might lead one to believe as Rogers cleaned up at the free throw line in the final 90 seconds.

Saline was down 42-36 after Anna Hesse's second three-pointer with 3:06 and the Hornets came up with several big defensive stops but then couldn't get the shots to fall at the other end of the floor.

"The story of this game came down to missed open shots and 1st half rebounding. We got a ton of great looks, open layups, and just didn’t finish like we need to. In the first half we also have up too many 2nd chances on the glass," coach Roehm said.

Saline found themselves down 13-7 but then opened the second quarter with back-to-back threes by Keira Roehm to tie the game at 13. The freshman led Saline in scoring with 10 points.

"I was proud of the way we battled back after getting down early. My girls showed a lot of fight verse a physical Toledo Rogers team. We lost to a really good team tonight," Roehm said.

The Hornets spent most of the next two quarters in an intense back-and-forth game with the quick, physical and athletic Rogers team.

Kate Stemmer was fouled on the way to the hoop..

Rogers went up 15-13 and then junior Kate Stemmer drove hard to the hoop, took the foul and went 2-for-2 from the line to tie the game.

Down 17-15, Roehm was fouled as he attempted a baseline jumper. She went 1-for-2 from the line to make it a one-point game.

The Hornets pulled ahead late in the second quarter after a monster block by Taylor Kangas. 

Kadyn Maida was fouled and went 2-for-2 to give Saline an 18-17 lead.

Kate Stemmer watches her three go in.

Saline got another defensive stop and then Stemmer hit a three-pointer, giving Saline a 21-17 lead.

Saline gave up the lead in the final seconds of the quarter and the game was tied at 21 at halftime. 

Rogers got off to a good start in the second with two baskets. 

Senior Anna Hesse replied with a three-pointer to get the Hornets within one at 25-24.

The Hornets jumped back in front of Rogers when Stemmer swatted a ball loose, battled two Rogers' girls and came away with the rock, before dribbling down the floor for an uncontested layup. Saline led 26-25.

Rogers replied with two baskets and went up 29-26. 

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Hadley Griffin tied it with a three-pointer. Rogers finished the third with two baskets and took a 33-29 lead into the third.

It was a frustrating fourth quarter for the Hornets, who passed the ball around beautifully to create open looks only to find shots clang off the rim.

Rogers opened the fourth with a three-pointer for a 36-29 lead.

Beth Ann Ford replied by taking an inbound pass from Kangas and scoring, getting the Hornets to within five.

After a Rogers free throw, Hesse scored, also off an inbound pass from Kangas. The Hornets were down 37-33.

Rogers replied with two free throws and a three-pointer. 

Hesse hit her second three of the half to get Saline within six, 42-36 with 3:06 to play. Rogers took over from the free throw line in the final 1:40.

Coach Roehm felt the Hornets stood to gain from the challenge they faced Monday.

"This was a great battle for us to learn from heading into the SEC season. We are going back tomorrow to practice and get after it. This team will bounce back. I can’t wait to take the floor and compete with them again," Roehm said.

Saline plays Walled Lake Central Sunday evening at Little Caesar's Arena.

Walled Lake Central was 1-4 going into Monday's game against Livonia Clarenceville.

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