Fayette Boys: The third meeting of Fayette vs. Edon wasn’t much different from the other two—close contests that went down to the final seconds of play.
The final meeting this year—last Wednesday at the sectional tournament in Bryan—was more like the first contest, one that was decided in overtime.
The difference this time around was that Edon came out on top at the end, winning 58-51. They got the victory at the line.
“We were forced to make fouls and they kept making them,” coach Todd Mitchell said. “We had a decent night with free throws, but we didn’t get to the line as much. We need to be more aggressive against a zone.”
The Eagles missed only four tries, shooting 10 of 14, but the Bombers went to the line 26 times and converted on 18. They scored 10 free throws in the overtime session.
Austin Hylander’s 22-point night was cooling down by the fourth quarter under heavy pressure by Edon. He still played an important role, grabbing four fourth-quarter steals and often getting the ball to Eliott Richardson who had three buckets in the final quarter.
Richardson tied the game with more than two minutes to play and the Eagles played for a last shot to win.
“We held on to the ball for two minutes, but the last shot didn’t go in,” Mitchell said.
Edon came through with 14 points in overtime—more than they scored in any of the first four quarters.
Richardson finished the game with eight rebounds, what Mitchell called a solid defense against Edon’s big players underneath.
Morenci Girls: It wouldn’t have taken much, not the way Sand Creek was matching—even exceeding—Morenci’s turn-over pace.
Just a few more buckets and it would have been Morenci’s girls taking on Madison in the district finals Friday at Whiteford.
But the Bulldogs couldn’t get the shots to drop. Despite coming back to pull within six points late in the game, Morenci wasn’t able to catch up and dropped the contest 43-37.
In the finals Friday night, Sand Creek walloped Madison 69-37.
With nine Aggie turn-overs in the first quarter and eight by Morenci, it took both teams time to put many points on the scoreboard. Sand Creek led 6-3 after a quarter and finally got its offense into gear in the second period.
For the Bulldogs, the scoring surge never arrived until the third quarter and that made the difference in the outcome.
Jessica Jones hit a two and a three and notched a pair of blocks, but Sand Creek was on top 20-10 at intermission.
After the break, Jones came out to can a three-pointer and Morgan McVay followed with a pair from outside the arc to pull within three. But a string of five turn-overs and some missed shots allowed the Aggies to lead by as many as 15 points late in the third quarter.
Morenci went on an 11-2 run to make a comeback win look possible.
Jones and Chanler McCaskey each hit threes as the Bulldogs whittled the lead down to six points with a minute to play.
Morenci was forced to foul and Sand Creek put half of them through the hoop to stay ahead. Jackie Paris hit a final three-pointer with six seconds remaining, but the Bulldogs had run out of time.
Morenci Boys: Morenci played it out perfectly Thursday at Clinton, but ended up an inch away from a victory.
They trimmed the score to two points on a three-pointer by Justin Swett, then took a chance that the Redskins would miss at the foul line in the final 20 seconds.
Clinton made half of their tries, but Clayton Wolf added a pair for the Bulldogs and Morenci had possession for a last shot to tie the game.
Jacob Bovee launched a three-pointer just before the buzzer. The ball bounced off the rim and Clinton held on for a 49-46 victory to end the league season.
“The kids didn’t quit,” coach Tim Bovee said. “They came back, but it breaks down to simple things.”
Simple things such as shooting 50 percent from the line in a three-point loss, and missing a handful of lay-ups.
“We played consistently,” Bovee said, “we just had to make the shots.”
The contest was fairly close throughout, but the Bulldogs were generally playing catch-up.
Matt Hoadley scored just before half-time to make it a two-point game and Wolf scored early in the third to tie the game for the first time since the first quarter.
Clinton went up by eight, but Morenci came back to take its first lead since early on with a bucket by Bovee at 2:28 in the third.
The Redskins went ahead by nine with less than three minutes to play, but again the Bulldogs closed the gap. Bovee scored a bucket and a free throw followed by a pair of free-throws by Swett to make it a three-point game with 35 seconds remaining.
Clinton made one of two free throws before Swett sunk his three leading up to Morenci’s final attempt to tie the game.
Coach Bovee was pleased with Wolf’s physical game and strong showing at both ends of the court. He also mentioned Devin Martinez’s play under the boards.
Bovee led scoring with 16, just ahead of Wolf’s 15.
Morenci Wrestling: If Morenci’s Jeffrey Nofziger faced teammate Kyle McClain at the regional wrestling tournament Saturday, one of them was going to qualify for the state tournament.
Coach Scott Clark knew that if McClain won his second match of the day, one of those two would advance.
McClain got the job done. An 8-0 decision against Manchester put him up against his teammate for the second weekend in a row.
The bout produced a closer contest than the previous week—so close that Clark needed to check the scoreboard when the match ended to see who won.
“Kyle gave Jeffrey everything he wanted,” Clark said. “I had to look up at the scoreboard to see if Kyle was awarded some late points.”
He wasn’t and the senior’s season came to an end in a 5-4 loss. Instead, Nofziger will advance to the Div. IV tournament March 6 at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Nofziger defaulted in his final match of the day due to a recurring rib cage injury.
“We have two weeks to get healed up and we’ll see what we can do,” Clark said.
As a fourth place finisher, Nofziger is bound to face a tough opening match against the winner of another region in the state. The junior goes to state with a 23-9 record.