Sports roundup 1.30

Written by David Green.

Fayette boys: Fayette fans got their money worth Saturday when some last-second heroics secured an overtime win.

Trailing late in the game and trailing again in overtime, the Eagles came back to pull out a 48-45 non-conference victory.

Fayette was on top by seven points, 33-26, heading into the final quarter, but that’s when the Tigers started hitting—and the Eagles started turning it over.

Liberty Center was up by two points with time running out. A Tiger shooter missed the front end of a one-and-one and Evan Hibbard grabbed the rebound. He got the ball to Shelby Franks who raced down court and pushed the ball back to Hibbard when he started to fall.

Hibbard put the ball up to tie the game and send it into overtime.

The Tigers regained their lead, but buckets by Jason Rodriguez and Tyler Keefer gave the Eagles the lead. A free-throw by Keefer raised the margin to the final three-point spread.

Missed free throws were almost Fayette’s downfall as they hit just seven for 17.

“We’re doing a great job of getting to the foul line,” coach Todd Mitchell said, “we’re just not making them.”

Coty Griffiths led the offense with 13 points. Austin Hylander and Rodriguez each added nine. Liberty connected on seven three-point shots.

HILLTOP—Hilltop’s varsity boys outscored Fayette in the second half Friday, but it wasn’t quite enough to overcome the Eagles’ strong start.

Fayette finished the BBC contest with a 44-39 victory.


Fayette girls: Tied at intermission, one point difference after three quarters—this one was going to go down to the wire.

Hilltop could have made it easy on themselves with success at the free throw line, but they hit only eight of 25 tries and eked out a 34-32 BBC win over Fayette.

The Cadets had already been to the line 11 times before Fayette had its first opportunity. Finally, in the fourth quarter, the Eagles made 12 trips and connected on seven shots, but they needed another couple buckets from the floor to pull out a win.

The game ended with four in foul trouble. JeriAnn Lewellen, Katelyn Downing, Danni Wyse and Trisha Bates each finished the game with four fouls hanging over their heads.

Wyse led scoring with nine, followed by Rachel Seiler with seven, including a pair from outside the arc. Bates was a solid four for four at the line.


Morenci wrestling: Morenci’s wrestlers have certainly had better days on the mat. Two lop-sided contests and two close losses left the Bulldogs without a win at the Jonesville Invitational.

“Everybody on the team won a match,” said coach Scott Clark, “they just couldn’t do it at the same time. There were some close matches, but they ended up getting pinned before it ended. It was our worst day of the season.”

Morenci started off with a 70-7 loss to the host squad. Chris Delaney (119) posted a 9-3 decision win and Jeffrey Nofziger (145) won 22-11.

Dustin Roller (130) lost a decision and everyone else was pinned.

The situation worsened against Edwardsburg. Delaney scored the Bulldogs’ only points with a pin at 1:03 and Morenci lost 75-6. Nofziger lost an 8-10 overtime decision and went out with an injury.

Morenci fell one point short against Portland, losing 39-38 and lost to Pittsford by six, 36-30, despite winning only a single match. Roller scored a quick pin in 42 seconds.


Morenci boys: With Jacob Bovee averaging 27 points a game from the past five contests, it was obvious what Sand Creek needed to do Friday night to stop Morenci.

The plan had to be to take Bovee out of the game and hope no one else would fill the gap.

One Bulldog did take over the scoring—Anthony Barron finished with 23—but that wasn’t enough to match the Aggie offense.

Morenci played close for a half, but watched the game slip out of control after intermission and ended with a 77-51 TCC loss.

Barron scored three times in the opening quarter, aided by a three-pointer from Anthony Tompkins to keep Morenci on top. Bovee dropped a three-pointer late in the quarter for a 14-14 tie, but he scored only once more all night.

Barron remained strong in the second quarter with eight more points, but when Devin Martinez made a lay-up halfway through the period to tie the game, 26-26, that was the last time the Bulldogs weren’t trailing.

Scoring dropped dramatically in the third quarter with shots not making their mark and the Bulldogs’ foul tally grew. Early in the third, they were called for three within about 15 seconds.

The Aggies (9-3, 7-2) ended up scoring 20 points from the line from 34 tries.


Morenci girls: A short-handed Morenci girls squad eventually shut down Deerfield’s outside game Thursday to claim a TCC victory, but they weren’t able to get the job done when Sand Creek visited Jan. 21.

“We had two starters out against Deerfield and that made a difference from the defensive side,” coach Jim Yatzek said. “They had a girl who hit seven threes in the first half. She was hot, but weren’t getting to her.”

Deerfield’s Shelby Shindler had 23 of her team’s 32 points at half-time, but a defensive shift by the Bulldogs took away her outside game and she scored just six in the second half.

The Minutemen scored only five points in the third quarter as Morenci increased its lead to 14 and finished with a 64-51 win.

“Without having two starters [Nicolette Swimmer and Tricia Black], I think the girls played well off the bench,” Yatzek said.

Morgan McVay and Jade Pfund each had season-high nights with 15 and 13 points. Chanler McCaskey also scored 15. Pfund led under the boards with 12 rebounds.

  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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