BASKETBALL: Saline Girls Basketball Team Wins First SEC Championship Since 2002


The Saline girls varsity basketball team clinched at least a share of the SEC Red championship Thursday, besting Huron, 69-33.

The Hornets improved to 12-1 in the SEC Red and 14-1 overall. Pioneer, 11-2, faces Ypsilanti (6-7) Saturday and Saline visits Skyline (2-10) Saturday at 2 p.m. A Pioneer loss and/or Saline win would give Saline sole possession of the conference title.

It's Saline's first conference championship since 2002.

Coach Leigh Ann Roehm and the Hornets set winning the SEC Red as one of the team goals to start the season. Roehm was happy to see it come to fruition.

"It's a testament to the work they have put in to improve over the last four years. It's really just a testament to their unity and the way they love each other," Roehm said. "It doesn't happen very often, but it happens when you have a group of strong women who decided to put the work in to improve and get to this place."


The Hornets accomplished the feat on senior night. Asking Roehm about her senior class stirred emotions in Roehm.

"This class is the class I started with. This is my fourth year as varsity coach. These are the kids who came into the program with me. We decided what we wanted this culture to be like and they have bought in, put the time in and they are the best people and best teammates you could possibly have," Roehm said.

It was the final regular-season home game for  Ella Stemmer, Emily Wilczynski, Brielle Eugeni, Reggie Duerst, Natalie Sweetland and team manager Alaina Dorset. After the game, the seniors celebrated their senior night and SEC championship with their families.


Senior Ella Stemmer led the charge with 32 points. Sophie Canen scored 15 points. Kate Stemmer scored eight points. Natalie Sweetland scored seven points. Brielle Eugeni scored five points. And Ella Dean scored two points.


Saline led 24-22 midway through the second quarter when Ella Stemmer sandwiched two three-pointers around one by her sister kate. Saline led 33-22 at halftime. Saline put Ypsilanti with an 18-point run in the third quarter.


Canen finished off the run with four straight baskets, which included a couple strong drives to the rim.

Saline plays at Skyline at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The Hornets host next week's district tournament and have a bye in the first round. Saline plays at 7 p.m., Wednesday, against the winner of Huron/Lincoln. The championship game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday.

Pictured above are (in front) Ella Dean, Kate Stemmer, Emily Wilczynski, Brielle Eugeni, Reggie Duerst and  Josie Cayen. In back are coach Leigh Ann Roehm, manager Alaina Dorset, Sophie Canen, Ella Stemmer, Taylor Kangas, Natalie Sweetland, Mallory Bohl, Beth Ann Ford and assistant coach Rachel Aulisa.

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