BASKETBALL: 3 Hornets Score 11 as Saline Wins On Opening Night at Birmingham Seaholm
A quick-tempo defense and balanced scoring led Saline to a 47-33 opening-night victory at Birmingham Seaholm Tuesday night.
Senior Kate Stemmer, Junior Kadyn Maida and sophomore Ayla Stager each scored 11 points to lead Saline.
Saline survived a cold first-quarter shooting in the victory.
“We got off to a slow start. We had some first-game jitters but I felt like we really settled in in the second half. That’s a tough team, that’s well coached, that played hard. They made shots that pushed us,” coach Leigh Ann Roehm said. “So it feels great to get a win that made us have to step up and make plays.”
Stager, in her varsity debut, also had a team-high 12 rebounds and three steals. She opened the game with the game’s first two baskets.
“It definitely helped her gain confidence, but also the team. And then later she stepped up and made a three. Ayla Stager is going to be a huge piece of what we do,” Roehm said. “I’m so happy that game went the way it did for her. Big things are ahead.”
Stemmer had four rebounds and three steals and Maida grabbed six rebounds and three steals.
Both played key roles in the victory. Stemmer took over in the second half and Maida put Seaholm on their heels all game with her fearless play in the paint.
Keira Roehm added seven points and three rebounds. Hadley Griffin had three points, three rebounds and two steals. Bailey Burt scored two points, grabbed three rebounds and had three steals.
Through two minutes, there was no scoring. The Hornets went up 4-0 on two baskets by Stager, the second a putback. After a three-pointer and a basket, Seaholm had a 5-4 lead. Saline finished the quarter with a basket by Roehm, a free-throw by Maida and a three-pointer by Roehm. Saine led 10-5 after the first quarter.
The second quarter began with Maida putting back a rebound to make it 12-5. After a basket by Seaholm, the Hornets got baskets by Stager and Maida to make it 14-7 Hornets. Seaholm scored to make it a five-point game and Saline replied with baskets by Maida and Stemmer.
After a bucket by Seaholm, Stager put back a rebound to make it 19-11 and then she drained a three-pointer to make it 20-11.
Seaholm scored a three to close the gap to six at halftime.
Early in the third, Seaholm closed the gap to five points when Stemmer hit back-to-back threes to make it 28-17. Seaholm closed the gap to three when Saline went on an eight-point run that gave Saline a 36-25. First, Maida went 1-for-2 from the line. Burt scored on a drive through the paint. Stager made a layup and then Stemmer hit a three-pointer. Saline led 36-25 going into the fourth.
Saline’s stifling defense kept Seaholm at bay long enough to let the shooters find their groove.
“Defense will always be our calling card. When the shots aren’t falling, our D gets it done and it keeps it close,” Roehm said.
Stemmer and Griffin hit threes in the fourth quarter, Maida made a layup and went 1-for-2 from the line, and Roehm went 2-for-2 from the line to account for Saline’s late stanza scoring.
Roehm was happy with how Stager and Megan Sweet, both sophomores, and the rest of the Hornets handled the rebounding.
“They were a long team, and we handled the glass well. Our effort was there and we boxed out hard,” Roehm said.
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