District 26-A: Belleville and Saline Advance


Posted On: 03/6/18 2:59 PM


At 6:30PM, the gym was quiet as Belleville finished their dismantling of a game Bedford squad. While Bedford put up a valiant fight, Belleville was too deep and too athletic. They rolled to a lopsided win in the district quarterfinals. Immediately following that game, there was an energy in the Lincoln gym as the hometown team prepared for a game against Saline.

The two teams worked off the nerves as both opened up the night with turnovers. Trevor Arico (2020, G, Saline) opened the scoring with a three. Saline ran off 5 straight before Amari Frye (2019, G, Lincoln) countered with back-to-back deep triples. The first quarter was a battle that ended in a 10-10 tie. In the 2nd quarter the Saline defense stepped up and held Lincoln to 5 points. Arico stayed hot for Saline, while Griffin Yaklich (2020, G, Saline) racked up 7 2nd quarter points. Saline led 21-15 at the half.

The 3rd quarter gained intensity as Tahj Chatman (2019, G, Lincoln) and Frye scored quick buckets and cut the lead to 2. Then Arico took over for the Hornets. He scored 11 of the first 14 2nd half Saline points. At the end of the 3rd quarter Saline led 41-34. Emmett Turner (2018, F, Saline) and Adam Heisler (2018, F, Saline) continued to make their presence felt in the 2nd half by dominating on the glass and finishing in the post when opportunities arose. Arico and Yaklich continued to carry Saline through the 4th quarter. Chatman, Frye, and Jalen Fisher (2019, G, Lincoln) were up to the challenge and fought to keep Lincoln close throughout. Arico’s shooting proved to be too much as Saline won 60-48.

5 Key Questions

Can anyone slow down Gabe Brown?

This young man is just at a different level. I’m talking NBA potential. MSU fans are absolutely going to love this kid. Is there anything that Ypsilanti, Saline, or Monroe do to slow him down?

Is Belleville one of the deepest teams in Michigan?

They might just be. They have 5 seniors who are amongst the best in the state in the 2018 class.  (Gabe Brown, Devin Alverson, Davion Williams, Kaevon Williams, and Cameron Smiley). Not to mention Connor Bush (2020, 6-4, F). In two years we’ll be talking about him being one of the top players in Michigan. He’s a high motor player who is never outworked.

College coaches……Have you seen Trevor Arico (2020, G, Saline) play?

After scoring 29 points against Lincoln, I’d say if you haven’t, you should. He is one of the best pure shooters I’ve seen this season. He’s an undersized player who still hasn’t the ability to find looks at the hoop from deep. As he develops his ability to get to the bucket and finish at the rim, the sky is the limit.

How good can Lincoln be next year?

VERY good. They have a trio of junior guards (Jalen Fisher, Amari Frye, and Tahj Chatman) who can all play the game. The three guards have a nice mixture of skill sets that allows them to play well together. Chatman is solid defensively, Fisher is a great floor general, and Frye can be an elite scorer.

Saline vs. Lincoln was a battle of backcourts. What was another factor in Saline’s win?

I would say that the difference in this game was Emmett Turner (2018, F, Saline) and Adam Heisler (2018, F, Saline). While a young Lincoln squad struggled to get contributions in the post, Saline’s senior post players came up big. They finished when they had easy looks at the basket and came down with almost every critical rebound.

What’s Next?

District 26-A Semifinals:

Belleville vs. Ypsilanti (5:30PM @ Ypsilanti-Lincoln)

Monroe vs. Saline (7PM @ Ypsilanti-Lincoln)