Saline Routs Pioneer for Share of SEC Red Title
Photo from Saline Athletics
The Saline girls' basketball team used a "total team effort" to leave no doubt that they deserved a share of the SEC Red title after a 51-17 throttling of Ann Arbor Pioneer Tuesday night.
"In a game with so much pressure on the line, it could be easy to play not to lose instead of playing to win. Instead of folding under the pressure, we really played to win tonight," COach Leigh Ann Roehm said. "We stepped up on the glass and at the defensive end. To hold a team with a variety of weapons to 17 total points says so much about how we are defending right now. At the offensive end we shared the ball with amazing efficiency and had another double digit night for 3 point makes as a team in the game."
The Hornets struggled some in the first half, but their smothering defense held Pioneer to just 11 first-half points and they built a 21-11 halftime lead.
The second half was all Saline as they held Pioneer to just six second-half points and the offense caught fire from the outside as they outscored them 30-6 in the second half to pull away for the rout.
"I can't give enough credit to this entire team. They have invested in playing team basketball at both ends of the ball and really play for each other," Roehms said. "These players put in so much time in the off season to build their skill set and committed to player development year round. I am so proud of the time they put in and the way they invested in the team."
The scorebook shows a total team effort with ten Hornets scoring and only one in double figures.
Kate Stemmer led Saline with 13 points and three assists, while Hadley Griffin added nine points.
Taylor Kangas was a force all over the court with seven points, five rebounds, five steals, five assists, and three blocks. Anna Hesse was strong in the paint with seven points, five rebounds, three blocks, and two steals, while Keira Roehm had three points, four rebounds, and three assists. Kadyn Maida finished with three points and two steals, Beth Ann Ford two points and five rebounds, Payton Maloney two points and two rebounds, and Leigh Ann Farrell two points.
The win improved Saline to 19-3 overall heading into next weeks districts. The 19 wins is a regular season record for the Hornets.
The Hornets finished the regular season with a school record 171 three-pointers which puts them in the MHSAA record books as a team.
"In our program, our mantra is "It's all about the 'ships." It's the relationships and fiercely united nature that lays the foundation for greatness," Roehm said. "If we build on relationships, championships will follow. I am so proud of every player on the team for investing in us. They deserve this moment of pride. I truly love this group of women. They are something special."