Sports roundup 2.20

Written by David Green.

Fayette boys: Many people will miss Stryker’s unique basketball court when The Stage is replaced by a new gymnasium next year, but the place left a bad impression in the minds of Fayette’s boys team.

The Eagles visited Stryker Friday to close out play in the old gym. The Panthers responded with a “historically” good shooting night to lambaste Fayette 66-38.

The game didn’t start off in such a lop-sided fashion. Fayette managed to keep pace through the first quarter, trailing 10-6, but Stryker broke loose in the second period to go ahead 32-10.

That’s it, said Eagle coach Todd Mitchell: Only 10 points on the board for the entire first half.

Stryker took another six-point advantage in the third quarter and the teams played even up in the fourth. There was no catching up with the Panthers’ shooting pace.

“They shot 60 percent from both the two- and three-point range,” Mitchell said. “We shot 28 percent.”

The Eagles wouldn’t give up trying to hit from the outside, but only three of 17 tries found their mark.

“We just weren’t attacking the basket,” Mitchell said, “and so we weren’t getting to the line.”

Evan Hibbard was the leading Fayette scorer with nine points.

SECTIONALS—The Eagles enter the sectional tournament tonight at Bryan High School with the aim of posting their second victory against Edon. After the regular season, both teams won once.

The first time around Fayette won in overtime. More recently, the Bombers came through with a two-point margin of victory.

Fayette plays the second game tonight, scheduled at 8 p.m., following the sectional opener between Stryker and Edgerton at 6:15.

The winners meet at 8 p.m. Friday before action moves on to Napoleon.


Morenci boys: Morenci’s long-distance attack against Whiteford wasn’t enough here Thursday, not with the Bobcats living off the free-throw line.

The Bulldogs hit an unusually high 13 three-point shots—a bonus of 13 points—but Whiteford put 23 of 28 through from the line to win 77-66.

Morenci came back to pull within five points midway through the fourth quarter, but fouls got in the way and Whiteford maintained its lead.

Seven Morenci players scored from outside the arc, the Bulldogs went to the line only six times.

Jacob Bovee led scoring for Morenci with 16 points, including four three-pointers.

HUDSON—When Hudson visited Saturday for a non-league contest, it was  Morenci that faced a barrage of outside shooting, with the Tigers connecting on 10 shots. They also outpaced Morenci at the line and went home with a 67-52 win.

It proved to be a good trip for Hudson as they picked up only their fourth win of the season.

Bovee was the leader for the Bulldogs with 20 points. Morenci hit 75 percent from the line, but only had eight chances.

• The regular season comes to a close Thursday at Clinton when the Bulldogs try to pick up a final TCC victory against the league’s newest entry.

The Bulldogs drew a bye in the opening round of district tournament play next week at Blissfield.

Morenci plays the winner of the Whiteford-Blissfield game at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27.

At 7:30 that night, Sand Creek faces the winner of the Madison-Summerfield contest.


Morenci girls: Good looks, but not too many baskets.

That’s how Morenci’s first half went when Lenawee Christian School’s girls team visited Feb. 12.

But after the half-time break, the Bulldogs got both the looks and the baskets and went on to stop the Cougars 49-33.

“We just needed to get the ball in the hole,” said Morenci coach Jim Yatzek, and that’s what he got.

Starting off the second half trailing 20-16, Morenci broke the game open with a 15-3 quarter. Most everyone got in on the scoring act.

Nicolette Swimmer started it off, then Chanler McCaskey tied the game. Next it was Jackie Paris’s turn with a three-pointer, followed by a bucket from Morgan McVay and then another from Jessica Jones.

Brooke Barrett was next in line as the Bulldogs went on top by nine points at the end of the quarter and 16 at the end of the game.

“They’re a decent shooting team,” Yatzek said about the visitors, “but we’re playing a darn good defense now. I thought they had a pretty difficult time with our defense all night long.”

Paris hit three three-pointers and finished with 10 points, along with Swimmer and McCaskey. Paris also collected seven rebounds. Jones finished with three blocks and seven boards. Swimmer grabbed six steals.


Morenci wrestling: Three Morenci wrestlers will advance to regional competition Saturday after top-four finishes in the district tournament. Two of those Bulldogs will compete in the same weight class.

Dustin Roller came through with a fourth place finish in the 130-pound class. Jeffrey Nofziger and Kyle McClain both made it through at 145 pounds.

“It couldn’t have worked out any better with having them both at 145,” coach Scott Clark said. “It stayed close and they wrestled hard.”

Nofziger took third place by topping his teammate in the consolation finals.

It made for a relaxing bout for Clark and his assistant, Jesse Bach, who didn’t have to worry about which one came out on top.

With three wrestlers qualifying at 145 pounds, Clark moved McClain up to the 152-pound class for most of the season.

Clark was pleased with McClain’s finish since the two-time regional qualifier was seeded down at number nine despite having beaten some of the those ranked ahead of him.

Clark said Nofziger never looked better this season. He’s been fighting injuries and will go into the regionals with a 21-7 record. McClain and Roller are the only two wrestlers to advance out of the districts with losing records.

Roller opened with a 22-9 decision against Grass Lake before losing to a returning state champion from Hudson in a 3:12 pin.

He came back with a 19-4 decision against Michigan Center and lost in the finals to a regional qualifier from Sand Creek.

Nofziger pinned a Reading opponent at 4:22 and out-pointed a Jonesville wrestler 21-5. He lost to the eventual champion from Addison, 3-0, and came back in the closing seconds to defeat Grass Lake 6-5.

He defeated his teammate 4-3.

McClain opened with a 3:13 pin against Union City and lost to the Addison champ, 15-3.

He came back to defeat Jonesville 7-2 and upset a Hudson wrestler 3-2.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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