New Look Hornets Establish Identity, Defeat Northville 39-23 in Season Opener
By Luke Sloan
SALINE – Hornet magic was on full display as the Hornets cruised to a 39-23 victory over the Northville Mustangs to open the new season. After the game, third year head coach Jake Fosdick stressed the importance of a strong culture as a major key to victory for the Hornets.
“Are we still Saline? Are we still the culture we built?” Fosdick questioned at the conclusion of the contest. “Tonight proved that it is culture over everything for us, the names are going to change but you are going to get the same type of basketball, the same relentless intensity.”
Saline started off the young season in a most opportune manner, with a steal on defense from Sophomore Griffin Yaklich and a three pointer on the ensuing possession from Junior Ryan Koch. Stemming from this sequence, it took less than one minute for the Hornets to revive their winning energy. The Hornets would proceed to open the game on a 9-0 scoring run, finishing up the quarter with a commanding 15-3 lead.
The second quarter brought the Hornets similar success, as Saline continued to muffle the Northville scoring attack en route to a 23-9 halftime lead. Through one half of basketball the stingy Hornet zone looked in midseason form, with Saline holding Northville to a mere three first quarter points and only six more in the second.
Out of the halftime locker room the Mustangs drew closer, briefly cutting the Hornets lead to eight points. The Hornets would then respond, closing out the third on a 7-0 run capped by an Emmett Turner buzzer beating three point basket. After three quarters the home team Hornets still held an assertive 31-16 lead.
Saline would go on to close out the game in the fourth and take home an opening night victory by a score of 39-23. The Hornets controlled the pace throughout, never trailing the Mustangs in the contest. Defense led the way to victory, which Fosdick quickly pointed out following the game.
“We held a class A program, a very good program to 23 points, I’m very happy with the way we played.”
Leading the Hornet attack was Sophomore guard Griffin Yaklich with 14 points, while Emmett Turner and Connor Terech pitched in 12 points and 8 points, respectively. Yaklich’s standout performance drew high praise from his overjoyed head coach.
“Griffin Yaklich is a heck of a ball handler, he is a floor leader with a high basketball IQ and he has good size, his length defensively helped us right off the bat with two or three steals to set the tempo, the ball will be pretty safe at Saline for the next three years.”
Despite leading his team to an impressive victory, Fosdick continued to look forward, emphasizing improvements on offense and elaborating on the Hornets new offensive strategy.
“We did not look good in the second half on offense, we have to do a better job against switching defenses and we have to shorten our passes, we made some stupid turnovers when the pressure picked up. A big thing we are doing this year is tracking the number of passes, if you make over five passes you are going to get a great shot, the guys have really bought in.”
The Hornets will next take the floor Friday night at Saline High School in a non-conference matchup against the Plymouth Wildcats.