BASKETBALL: Saline Varsity Falls to Lincoln, JV and Freshman Netters Win

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Jake Fosdick, Head Coach of the Saline varsity hoops squad, said there were three keys to handling the Lincoln Railsplitters Thursday evening:

  1. “Take care of the ball” – (meaning no turnovers)
  2. “Keep them out of the paint” -- (meaning keep them away from the basket)
  3. “Keep them off the boards” – (meaning limit their rebounds)

And for the better parts of a half, they executed the coach’s plan well. However, an offensive and defensive let-down in the second quarter dug too deep of a hole that the Hornets could not overcome.

Lincoln applied full-court pressure throughout the entire game which Saline solved much of the time. However, that pressure also forced the Hornets into 16 turnovers for the game. The teams were evenly matched in the opening quarter. Junior Cooper “Broadway” Fairman opened the scoring by driving the lane and sinking a short shot and converting the foul shot to put Saline in a 3-2 lead.

Less than a minute later, Fairman grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back up for another two points. As the Hornets were running their motion offense, senior guard Derek Caldwell found Anthony Ferrari open and Saline went back on top 7-6 with 3:46 left. Juniors Romeo Love and Braden LaRusso scored the final four points with Saline taking a 12-11 lead into the second quarter.

The second quarter was not kind to the Hornets. Broadway Fairman picked up his second foul early in the quarter and headed to the bench. The offense sputtered with him out of the game. Caldwell hit a jumper from the top of the key thirty seconds into the quarter, followed twenty seconds later by a drive by junior forward Joshua Koch to give Saline a 16-11 lead with 8:15 left. The Railsplitters tied it at 16-16 when senior guard Jaden Pickett hit a jump shot to give the Hornets a two-point lead, 18-16.

Lincoln then went on a ten-point run to take a 26-16 lead. Caldwell ended the scoring in the quarter for Saline by converting a three-point shot to send Saline to the locker room down 30-21.

Both teams missed open shots in the third but with Broadway Fairman back in the line-up, the Hornets offense was starting to pick up some steam. Fairman scored two points but picked up three assists in the quarter. His ball-handling and passing, along with Caldwell, kept the Hornets in the game. Saline outscored Lincoln 11-8 to trail 38-32 heading into the final eight minutes.

The Saline starting line-up, Fairman, Ferrari, Pickett, Caldwell and junior forward Tyler Thibeault understood the challenge before them. Push the Railsplitter pressure aside, run the offense, score points and play tenacious defense. However, Lincoln started the fourth quarter on a 5-0 run to up their lead to 43-32.

And then Saline’s invisible man, Jaden Pickett asked for the ball and delivered. He hit a three-pointer with 5:28 left to cut the deficit to 43-35. The Hornets forced the Railsplitters into a turnover, found Pickett alone in the corner, another three. 43-38.

Lincoln star, 6’7 Jaylen Broyles took a jump shot to up Lincoln’s lead to 45-38. Caldwell fed a pass to Pickett who put up another two points. Saline was down by five, 45-40 with four minutes left. But that was as close as Saline would get.

Pickett scored six more points to end the game with a team-high 16. Following the game, Coach Fosdick said he saw some good things his team did in the game.

“I was really pleased how we played in the second half. We just can’t get behind a good team by nine points and expect to win,” Fosdick said after the game. “Cooper (Fairman) has turned into a very good rebounder and a cog in our offense.”

“It was good to see Jaden (Pickett) get some of his shots to start to drop,” Fosdick continued. “There some really good things we did in tonight’s game. With three games against the Ann Arbor teams next, it doesn’t get any easier.”

With the loss, the Hornets’ record drops to 7-5, 6-4 in the SEC Red.

THE SALINE POST THREE STARS OF THE GAME:

1st
Star: Jaden Pickett (16 points, 3 rebounds- 1 offensive rebound)

2nd
Star: Derek Caldwell (11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, handled pressure defense well)

3rd
Star: Cooper Fairman (7 points, 7 rebounds, 3 offensive rebounds, 3 assists)

JV TEAM BEATS LINCOLN 64-50, RECORD IS A PERFECT 11-0

It is a challenge for any team to have to play with their best player not in the game. For the JV squad, that is what they did when freshman forward Dylan Messman picked up his second foul with 4:36 left in the first quarter and headed to the bench, where he remained for the rest of the first half.

But the junior Hornets did what Heads Coach Jason Pickett asks of his players for every game. “I ask all players to always be ready,” Pickett said after the game. “You never know when you are going to have to go in the game and take over for someone. When that happened, be ready.”

And that is what his team did. Saline was leading 8-5 when Messman headed to the bench. Sophomore guard Garrett Baldwin hit a shot seconds later to give Saline a 10-9 lead. Freshman CJ Carr and Jason Muir on an offensive rebound to increase Saline’s advantage to 14-9,

Sophomore Zachary Fidh scored the final five points of the half to send the Hornets to the locker room tied at 29-29.

Messman returned to the line-up to start the second half and the Hornets then started to romp over Lincoln. Led by Carr and Baldwin, the Hornets outscored the Railsplitters 17-7 to take a 46-36 lead into the final quarter.

Baldwin hit a jumper :45 seconds into the quarter, to up the lead to 48=37. Fidh added five, sophomore Roman Laurio scored six, Baldwin 2 and Messman another five. In the end, the Hornets walked off the court with a 64-50 victory. With the win, Saline’s record goes to 11-0.

THE SALINE POST THREE STARS OF THE GAME:

1st
Star: Zachary Fidh (20 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist)

2nd Star: Garrett Baldwin (17 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist)

3rd
Star: Dylan Messman (9 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists)

FRESHMEN SQUAD DOWNS LINCOLN 47-41, RECORD GOES TO 10-1

Freshmen Head Coach Kirk Boettcher’s team rolled to their tenth straight win with a 47-41 victory over the Lincoln Railsplitters on the road Thursday evening. Boettcher said it was his team’s tenth win in a row.

“I thought we played with toughness tonight,” Boettcher said following the victory. “We came into Lincoln and played tough basketball for four quarters. I am proud of the team.”

The Hornet scoring was led by Harrison Rogers’ 12 points, Bradley Leventhal had 11 and Reed Muir 10.

THE SALINE POST THREE STARS OF THE GAME:

1st
Star: Harrison Rogers (12 points)

2nd
Star: Bradley Leventhal (11 points)

3rd
Star: Reed Muir (10 points)

The basketball teams head into their final week of their regular season next week. The schedule includes:

Monday, 3/15/21 vs Pioneer at SHS

Thursday, 3/18/21 @ Ann Arbor Huron

Saturday, 3/20/21 vs Skyline at SHS

The Monday and @Thursday game times are 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m. & 7 p.m.

The Saturday game times are 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. & 2 p.m.

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