BASKETBALL: Stemmer's 28 Points Paces Saline to 9th Straight Victory
Coach Leigh Ann Roehm and the Saline varsity girls basketball team are front runners now.
They went to the regional final last year. They've beat every team they've faced this season.
"Everyone's going to be gunning for us all year," said Roehm after Saline's 70-26 win over Skyline at Saline High School Tuesday.
The Hornets are the new measuring stick in the SEC Red. And for about six minutes, Skyline played with the Hornets. They were down 15-13.
Skyline went full out. They caused a couple of turnovers. They made some nice drives.
But then Ella Stemmer stepped up and hit back-to-back threes to end the first quarter. And that was it for the Eagles.
Stemmer scored 15 of her game-high 28 points in that first quarter. She also had nine rebounds, five steals and three assists.
Watching Stemmer hit those threes and sink free throws so easily, it was hard not to take a moment and appreciate the "Ella Stemmer Era" of Saline basketball. This is the final year, after all. Coach Roehm described her star shooter.
"These are crazy numbers. Ella Stemmer is averaging 25 points on 14 shots a game. The only way to do that is to do what she's doing. She's shooting 47 percent from three (range), 58 percent from two, and 92 percent from the free-throw line," Roehm said. "That's efficiency. There's nobody in high school that's doing that."
Watch the Ella Stemmer show before it's over. Players like her don't come around often.
Here's the rest of the stat line:
- Sophie Canen - 12 Points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals
- Mallory Bohl - 10 points, 8 rebounds
- Kate Stemmer - 8 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 assists
- Emily Wilczynski - 5 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists
- Ella Dean - 3 points
- Natalie Sweetland - 2 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists
- Beth Ann Ford - 2 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists
- Brielle Eugeni - 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist
- Taylor Kangas - 3 rebounds, 1 steal
- Reggie Duerst - 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assists
- Josie Cayen - 1 assist
An interesting development lately surrounds Mallory Bohl, the 6'3 freshman who Roehm's been working into the games more and more. Roehm hit 10 points and eight rebounds. Bohl is primarily a volleyball player and already generating interest from college coaches. She hadn't played basketball since seventh grade but decided she wanted to be a part of it.
"I just wanted to play in high school. I love the team, the girls and coaches," Bohl said.
She's keenly aware of her advantage on the court.
"I'm just trying to get as many rebounds as I can and holding the ball above everyone and put it back up," Bohl said.
Bohl is one of two freshmen on varsity. Kate Stemmer, a defensive demon, had another strong game offensively.
Coach Roehm took time from her post-game interview to single out the contributions of sophomore Beth Ann Ford. Despite being a sophomore, Ford is a returning varsity player, having contributed to last year's deep run.
"She might not always get double figures and score a lot of points, but if you break down film and you're a coach, you want Beth Ann Ford on your team. The energy she gives is truly tremendous - the offensive rebounds, the passing, the steals, she outlets well," Roehm said. "She works her tail off on defense and closes out so well on the perimeter. She's invaluable. It's not always the flash play, but that kid is a rock."
Here are our post-game interviews: