March 14, 2013

Pats' Saltus provides energy, defense

Quick, smart, free-flying, were only a few of the characteristics that were given by coaches and teammates when asked about junior guard Taylor Saltus.

As the Patriots prepare to face a taller Bishop Kearney team in Saturday’s Class C final four, they will need Saltus’ high intensity and swift play in order to defeat their opponent.

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Coach Roger Long credited Saltus’ natural instincts as the reasoning for her knack to create big plays.

“In her ability to understand and her ability to pass, those are great instincts you can’t teach,” Long said.

“She is really confident when she has the ball,” junior Logan Snow said. “The way she attacks the basket, she is so fast.”

Saltus is the Patriots second leading scorer with 11.4 points per game, behind sophomore Meghan Strong. But not only is she one of AuSable Valley’s top offensive weapons, but like Strong, is one of the leaders on defense too, due to her ability to cause turnovers.

“I try to drive to the basket, to either shoot or pass,” Saltus said. “Defensively, I try to anticipate passes and look for my players to know what’s going on.”

One of Saltus’ best games came in a victory against Northern Adirondack, where she had a season-high 28 points and supplied numerous open-layup attempts for her team because of her tenacious defense.

“She played very strong during that game. They couldn’t stop her,” Strong said. “She led the defense well, got a lot of steals, and led a lot of fast-break opportunities for our team.”

For Saltus, her mind is on defense rather than the stat sheet. She knows when she plays hard on the defensive end the offense will come too, for either herself or for her teammates.

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