July 15, 2024 Donate

Saline, Saline Sports

Saline Claims First SEC Red Basketball Title in Over 20 Years

With a team of six sophomores, one junior, and two seniors, many thought that the Saline basketball team was a year or two away from some great things.

After the Hornets beat Ann Arbor Huron 69-60 Tuesday night for their first SEC Red title in over 20 years, it was proven that many thought wrong.

Huron had handed the Hornets its first league loss 65-52 in January, but Saline showed now fear against the state-ranked River Rats Friday night.

Jonathan Sanderson hit a three-pointer just ten seconds into the game and it ignited the Hornets from the start.

Saline would hold a 14-13 lead after one, but the Hornets would catch fire in the second.

A Lincoln Keyes basket put the Hornets on top 18-16 a the 7:00 minute mark and Saline would not trail again.

The lead was 26-23 with 4:50 left when the Hornets went on a 10-run for a 26-23 lead. Huron scored in the final seconds to make it 36-25 at the break.

Sanderson nailed a triple early in the third to push the lead to 44-29, but Huron was not done.

The River Rats went on a 17-7 run to cut the lead to 51-46 after three.

Saline struggled early in the fourth and Huron would get within one 55-54 with 3:38 left.

Sanderson hit a jumper in the key and Tommy Carr followed with a huge three-pointer to give the Hornets a 60-54 lead with 2:46 left.

Huron answered with a triple to cut the lead to 60-57 with 2:20 left, but Sanderson followed with a one-handed floater to make it 62-57.

Caleb Washington came up clutch by hitting three of four free throws in the final minute and Carr hit a pair with 24 seconds left to make it 67-57.

After a Huron triple, Sanderson took a pass from Peyton Widen that sent him in alone for tomahawk slam for the exclamation point to make the final 69-60.

Sanderson finished with 44 points to lead Saline.

Keyes added 14 points, Carr eight points, and Washington three.

Saline wins the title with a 12-2 record in the Red and improved to 17-4 overall.

Photos by Dawn McCann and Double D Image Creations