The Saline girls’ basketball team improved to 2-1 in the SEC Red after taking down Ann Arbor Pioneer 43-30 to snap a two-game losing streak Friday night.

The Hornet offense continued to struggle, but the Saline used a smothering defense to shut down Pioneer all night.

The teams were tied at 12 when Keira Roehm and Kadyn Maida hit back-to-back triples in the final 30 seconds of the period for an 18-12 lead after one.

Both teams struggled in the second, with the Hornets clinging to a 24-18 lead at the half.

“I was really proud of the way our defense carried us through our shooting slumps,” Coach Leigh Ann Roehm said. “We battled with a sense of urgency on the glass against a Pioneer team that has tons of height and puts in a ton of effort on crashing. I thought our defense was the difference.”

Pioneer continued to hold things close by outscoring Saline 12-11 in the third to cut the Hornets lead to 35-30 after three.

The Saline defense went into lockdown mode in the fourth quarter, not allowing Pioneer to score a single point in the final eight minutes.

While the defense clamped down, the Saline off continued to struggle and scored just two points in the first five and a half minutes of the fourth.

Hadley Griffin would break the cold spell with a triple with 2:30 left to push the lead to 40-30 and the Hornets would close out the game for the win.

Kate Stemmer had a big night with 13 points, eight rebounds, four steals, and three assists to lead Saline.

Roehm finished with 13 points, while Maida added 11 points and five rebounds. Griffin chipped in with four points and Ayla Stager two points and ten rebounds.

Saline improved to 7-2 overall on the season.

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