Early in the third quarter of Skyline’s game on Saturday against Cass Tech, Skyline coach Johnnie Horne called a time out and quickly stepped on the floor to show his players where they needed to be on a certain play. He then grabbed a chalkboard to further illustrate the point.
The time out was a reminder that this is December and that the march toward March is just beginning. And there are going to be a lot of teaching moments especially early on for the young Eagles who have two freshman, three sophomores and no seniors on the roster.
Skyline fell to 0-2 on the young season following a 46-24 loss to Cass Tech in the Ann Arbor Classic at Huron HS. The Eagles lost their opener 51-36 earlier in the week to Plymouth.
“I thought our defense was a lot better especially in the first half than it was against Plymouth,” Horne said. “I think we got a little frustrated in the second half. We couldn’t get any shots to fall and it became a tougher game for us as they took a bigger lead.”
Skyline started strong and played solid defense early on against Cass Tech. A put-back by Renee Faulkner put the Eagles in the lead at 6-4. But it was the final lead of the game for Skyline.
Cass Tech took an 8-6 lead into the second quarter.
A steal and layup by junior Cammi Tirico cut the deficit to 14-8 midway through the second quarter. But the Eagles’ offensive struggles continued as shots were off the mark and second opportunities were few and far between.
Cass Tech took an 18-8 lead with 1:42 to play in the second quarter and led 18-10 at halftime.
There was no quit from the Eagles in the second half as they continued to play hard. While the shots still weren’t falling, they did hit the boards better and that effort resulted in a jumper by Clare Salata that cut the deficit to 24-12 with 4 minutes left in the third.
Cass Tech led 40-13 after three quarters.
With 2:32 left in the game and the Ealges down 46-19, Skyline’s Renee Faulkner sprinted down the sideline to knock the ball out of the hands of a Cass Tech player. A few seconds later, Jenee Faulkner turned a steal into a layup. Hustle and determination are something you can’t teach and that’s a good sign going forward for the young Eagles.
“That’s how we have to play,” Horne said. “We don’t have a player over 5-9 so we are small and are going to have to be aggressive.”
Skyline also won the fourth quarter 11-6.
“That was our goal after the third quarter,” Horne said. “I told them to go out and win the fourth quarter and we started to get some shots to fall.”
The Eagles play Lincoln on Tuesday and Livonia Stephenson on Friday.