BASKETBALL: Saline Defeats Pioneer to Advance in District Tournament

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YPSILANTI - Saline defeated Pioneer, 47-42, to advance to the semifinals of the MHSAA District Tournament held at Ypsilanti Lincoln. The Hornets (14-7) will face Belleville at 7 p.m., Thursday. Huron will face Lincoln in the other semifinal. Lincoln defeated Ypsilanti, 55-37, Monday in the other round one contest.

Saline won its 14th game of the season - the most for a Saline varsity boys' basketball team since 2006. The Hornets and Pioneers split their regular season matchups.

Saline took a 21-16 lead into halftime after Cooper Fairman's buzzer-beating three pointer.

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The Hornets grew that lead early in the third quarter to 27-19 after two layups by Dylan Mesman and one by Josh Koch.

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Pioneer went on a 9-point run to take a 28-27 lead. Romeo Love ended their run with a 3-pointer.

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The Pioneers replied with a field goal to tie the game at 30 before the end of the third.

Mesman and Koch opened the fourth with layups for a 34-30 lead.

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Pioneer responded with a basket and then two free throws after a foul by Mesman. The game was tied at 34 and Saline's leading scorer, Mesman, was headed to the bench in foul trouble. Nick Boettker entered the game. He took a pass from Love and then made a layup while getting fouled and then hit his free throw. Saline led 37-34. The Hornets didn't know it at the time - but the Hornets never gave up that lead.

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Pioneer responded with a basket to make it a one point game. And then it was the Romeo Love show. Love scored two baskets on drives through the paint. On the second one, he was fouled. He made the free throw for the three-point play. Saline led 42-36.

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Down the stretch, Braden LaRusso and Koch each had 2-for-2 trips to the free throw line and Koch added one more point from the stripe.

Points

  • Romeo Love 12
  • Dylan Mesman 12
  • Josh Koch 8
  • Cooper Fairman 5
  • Braden LaRusso 4
  • Garrett Baldwin 3
  • Nick Boettger 3
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