Sports round-up 1.28

Written by David Green.


After a game like Friday’s against Edon, it was all too easy for Fayette’s varsity boys to fall in love with the outside shooting game.

Unfortunately, those long-distance shots weren’t falling Saturday when Holgate visited.

The Eagles (6-6) hit nine threes against Edon (4-8)—the same as the Bombers—but the next night only one of 12 tries made it through the hoop.

The result was a heart-breaking loss, coach Todd Mitchell said, with Holgate (3-9) claiming a 38-34 victory in overtime.

It was a low-scoring game even by Holgate standards, Mitchell said. Both teams hit only one first-quarter bucket from the field and Fayette took a 5-3 lead.

The Tigers came through with 12 in the second and the Eagles only scored three. Fayette was back into contention in the second half, shooting seven for eight from the line in the fourth quarter to keep it tied at 30-30 when the buzzer sounded.

Fayette was in a good position to win in regulation, Mitchell said, but needed more patience to control the game.

In overtime, the Tigers shot three for four from the line to pull out the victory.

“We played much more aggressively in the second half,” Mitchell said. “We cut turnovers to three which was a big key in getting back into the lead.”

Jason Rodriguez led scoring with nine points. Tyler Keefer finished with six rebounds and Coty Griffiths made three steals.

EDON—Fayette forged a 40-28 half-time lead against Edon, but the Bombers threatened when the Eagles hit a third-quarter slump.

“We should have put it away in the third quarter but we let them back in,” Mitchell said.

The Bombers came through with 23 third-quarter points, but the Eagles stayed on top in the final period with Austin Hylander scoring seven of his 22. Rodriguez also hit double figures with 15 and Evan Stoltzfus finished with 11. Hylander collected eight rebounds while Keefer and Griffiths each finished with six.

• Fayette will try to avenge an earlier loss to Stryker (6-6) at home Friday. They travel to Montpelier on Saturday.

JV BOYS: Fayette’s varsity boys team wasn’t the only one to experience overtime heartbreak Saturday night. The JV team also fell to Holgate in an extra session, 32-31.

The Eagles made a remarkable comeback from an early 13-0 deficit. In the end, a rebound and last-second shot win the game for Holgate.

In the first half, the outside shots weren’t falling, coach Matt Maginn said, so the Eagles penetrated in the second half and turned the game around. Fayette’s press also gave the visitors a challenge.

Trevor Cox finished with 18 points and scored all nine of the team’s free throws. He also collected three rebounds and three steals. Travis Kline brought in four rebounds.

The Eagles couldn’t hold on to their half-time lead when Edon visited Friday. Fayette connected on three threes in the fourth quarter—two from Cox and one from Nelson Barnhiser—but the Bombers shot six-for-six from the line to stay on top.

Cox scored 15. Hunter Colegrove collected five rebounds while Cox and Dakota Lantz each had four. Lantz also finished with four steals.

FAYETTE GIRLS BASKETBALL: Fayette’s foul trouble paved the way for Hicksville’s varsity girls Jan. 20. The Aces connected on 17 of 28 tries to claim a 61-51 non-conference victory.

The Eagles were down by nine at half-time, but Hicksville padded the lead with an 11-4 third quarter.

Fayette responded with a strong, 24-point fourth quarter, but the Aces nearly kept pace to notch the win.

Danni Wyse hit a pair of three-point shots in the final quarter, scoring 11 of her 14-point total that period. JeriAnn Lewellen also sank a pair of threes and finished the game with 12 points. Heather Cuff added three buckets in the fourth.

Elisha Hartman and Amber Scott each scored eight points, but Scott left the game with five fouls.

Hicksville hit eight free throws in the final quarter.

Thursday at Edon, the Eagles let a close game slip away in the fourth quarter, sending the Bombers to the line 13 times. Six of those went through the hoop to help Edon post a 49-36 BBC win.

Fayette came through on five of 15 tries from the line.

Wyse was the top scored for Fayette with 11 points.

• The Eagles travel to Stryker on Thursday and play at Montpelier on Saturday. The JV game begins a 3 p.m. The boys teams play later in the evening. A rescheduled game at Hilltop will be played Monday.

JV GIRLS: Fayette’s JV girls made it past Hicksville Jan. 20, but when they traveled to league foe Edon on Thursday, they fell short.

The Eagles trailed Edon by 10 points going into the final quarter, but managed to trim off only three points in the 32-25 loss.

Fayette went to the line only four times, with Tori Lichtenwald sinking three of the four. She ended the game with seven points, just behind Leah Brinegar with eight.

The third quarter made the difference for the Eagles at home against Hicksville. Fayette took a 10-4 advantage to wrap up the close contest 34-27.

The Aces had their chances at the line, but hit only four of 15 shots. The Eagles came through with a seven-for-eight showing.

Nicole Shaffer led scoring with 12 points.

MORENCI BOYS BASKETBALL: Morenci was nearly the giant-killer last week at Summerfield. At that time the Monroe County team was still unbeaten in the league and Morenci played them closely.

The Bulldogs cut the lead to one point with less than three minutes to play, but ended up losing 70-59.

Instead, it was Whitmore Lake that delivered Summerfield’s first loss three days later.

“The kids played hard and I was really pleased with their effort,” coach Tim Bovee said. “We had some inopportune misses on some relatively easy shots. We have to concentrate on the little things.”

Morenci had a narrow lead after a quarter and was down by just three at intermission.

When the Bulldogs pulled to within one late in the game, Bovee called time-out to make some final plans. After the in-bound, one pass was made before Morenci turned the ball over.

Summerfield came back with a bucket and then another one to secure the win.

Turn-overs, close-range shots and missed free throws (10 for 24)—that’s what left Morenci short, Bovee said.

“We shot a better percentage overall, but we still missed some lay-ups,” he said.  “We’re getting the opportunities but we just aren’t capitalizing.”

Summerfield’s Eric Cogan scored 30 points.

WHITEFORD—Tuesday’s game was against the top team. Friday brought the highest scorers to town.

Brandon Albright surpassed team-mate Jake Dupree as the TCC’s top scorer. His 29 points against Morenci raised his season average to 22.2 points a game. Dupree stands at 20.9.

Whiteford took a commanding 36-21 lead at half-time and ended with a 71-48 win.

Matt Hoadley led Morenci’s offensive effort with 15 points and Clayton Wolf added 11.

The Bulldogs travel Thursday to Clinton and Saturday for a make-up game at Deerfield. The JV contest starts at 2 p.m. The Bulldogs face Whiteford again on Tuesday.

JV BOYS: With the number of players dwindling, Morenci’s junior varsity basketball team is taking some losses.

Leading scorer Andrew White is likely out for the season with mononucleosis, said coach John Craig. Brad Funchion and Max Gautz are out with injuries.

Even with the absent players, Craig said, the team has done well.

The Bulldogs played close with Whitmore Lake here Monday until late in the game when the Trojans pulled away with some three-point shots and claimed a 64-52 victory. Morenci led most of the night.

Both teams finished with seven shots outside the arc and Alex Tompkins hit three for Morenci.

Luke Craig led the Bulldogs’ scoring with 14.

“We went down fighting,” Craig said about the 57-42 loss at home Friday to Whiteford. “We played tremendous defense late in the game.”

The Bulldogs outscored Whiteford 19-10 in the fourth quarter.

Lucas Hollstein scored 15 points, followed by Craig with 13.

Morenci played even with Summerfield during the second half, but the damage was done by then. Summerfield claimed a 65-49 victory.

“Summerfield is a very strong, very deep team,” Coach Craig said.

MORENCI GIRLS BASKETBALL: Morenci’s girls never could wrap up the win early at Deerfield last week. The Bulldogs ended up with a 59-48 TCC victory, despite a comeback attempt by the the Minutemen.

“We played well, but we couldn’t hit the hole,” coach Jim Yatzek said. “And Deerfield’s not a bad ball team. They can be feisty.”

Morenci’ led by eight points at half-time  while dealing with some foul trouble. The lead swelled to 19 in the big third quarter, but Deerfield managed to trim the margin below 10 points in the fourth.

“I challenged the girls to hold them to six points in the third quarter and Deerfield ended up eight.”

But in the final period, the Bulldogs didn’t protect the ball as well and turnovers helped the Minutemen come back.

Tia Tompkins finished with 21 points, all but two coming in the second half. The sophomore scored 12 in the third quarter, hit from both inside and outside the paint.

Nicolette Swimmer had a strong second half and finished with 12 points. Jade Pfund shot three for three from the field and four for four from the line for 10 points.

“We’re headed in the right direction,” Coach Yatzek said, but this week will determine where the Bulldogs end up.

Morenci traveled to Whitmore Lake last night and follow that up with make-up game at Summerfield tonight. They’re on the road to Madison Thursday and to Sand Creek Friday.

MORENCI WRESTLING: Morenci produced a second-place finisher Saturday at the tough Hudson Super 16 tournament.

Twenty-eight teams were invited to the annual event in which the top 16 individuals in each division face off. A “B Division” tournament is run concurrently for wrestlers rated lower.

Morenci senior Jeff Nofziger earned two pins and a decision win before falling 6-11 in the finals to a Dundee opponent.

Nofziger started the day by pinning an East Jackson foe at 3:57 and followed that with an 11-6 decision against Sand Creek. A Highland Park wrestler was pinned at 3:13 to earn a place in the tournament finals.

Other Bulldogs earning points were Lucas Johnson who opened the 189-pound competition with an 8-4 decision against Highland Park.

Johnson then withdrew from the tournament due to an elbow injury.

Sam Majahrowski scored a quick 53-second pin in his opening bout in the 285-pound class, but he was later pinned by Caro at 1:04 and by Hart at 2:04.

Tyler Guelde (112) lost 0-16 to the eventual tournament runner-up from Hudson and was pinned by an Adrian wrestler.

Corey Williams (152) was pinned by a Blissfield wrestler at 1:20 and he lost to Hudson 0-6.

Nathan Grieder was pinned by Dansville at 1:28 and lost to Napoleon 7-10 in the final seconds of the match.

Dustin Roller didn’t compete due to a shoulder injury.

In the “B Division,” Marcus Burciaga claimed a 6-4 decision against St. Mary Catholic Central before losing to Manchester by a pin in the finals.

Loren Delmonico was pinned by wrestlers from Martin and Summit Academy.

In team points, Morenci placed 20th of 28 teams. Dundee edged Hudson for the title.

“There was a lot of really good wrestling and some very tough teams,” coach Scott Clark said. “I saw some state champs taking third place.”

• Morenci competes Saturday at the Jonesville team tournament with seven teams participating.

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • 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.

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