FAYETTE VARSITY BOYS BASKETBALL: Evergreen’s big 6-foot-9 center Brock Bates caused trouble for Fayette’s varsity cagers in more than one way Saturday night.
Bates outpaced all scorers with 20 points, grabbed rebounds and blocked shots, but he also just got in the way when the Eagles had a chance to win it.
With eight seconds to play and a tie game, Fayette’s Tyler Keefer got a steal and headed down court. He probably would have been in the clear for a lay-up, coach Todd Mitchell said, but he tripped over Bates’s foot at mid-court and regulation play ended in a tie.
Both teams scored twice from the floor in the extra session, but the Vikings (15-3) shot seven for eight from the line to win 54-47.
“We had a lot of chances to win that one,” Mitchell said, and he was proud of the job his squad did against the leaders of the NWOAA.
Shelby Franks, aided by Darrell Randall, held Evergreen’s leading scorer, Mossing, to just four points. Mitchell was pleased with Coty Griffith’s defense against Bates in spite of the height disadvantage.
Fayette went to the line nine times to the Vikings’ 23 and committed twice as many turnovers.
Jason Rodriguez was the top scorer for the Eagles with a dozen points. Keefer collected 10 rebounds and one block, and he took one charge. Austin Hylander finished with a pair of steals and Franks gave three assists.
HILLTOP—The Eagles were up by 15 at half-time and kept pouring on the points for a 72-49 BBC win Friday at Hilltop.
Success at the line aided the win with a 16-for-27 showing.
“We did a good job of getting to the line and of keeping them away,” Mitchell said. “We played really, really well. Some kids are understanding the fact that it’s easier to get lay-ups than threes and we did a good job of attacking the basket.”
Three Eagles ended the game in double figures: Griffiths with 20, Randall with 15 and Keefer with 12. Keefer and Rodriguez each finished with seven rebounds. Rodriguez also made three steals and Hylander gave four assists.
• Fayette (9-9) wraps up the home schedule Friday against league-leading Pettisville (15-2)
JV BOYS: One win; one almost.
Fayette’s JV boys cage team made it past Hilltop last week without any trouble, but they couldn’t repeat Saturday at Evergreen.
The Vikings took a big lead with an 18-8 second quarter and the Eagles never quite recovered. Evergreen took the non-conference win 44-39.
“We made a run at them in the fourth quarter, but we waited too long,” said coach Matt Maginn.
Fayette gave Evergreen too many second chances, Maginn said, and committed too many turnovers.
Trevor Cox led scoring with 13 points, backed up by eight points each from Travis Kline and Nelson Barnhiser and seven from Hunter Colegrove. Maginn was pleased with Kline’s hard play and 10 rebounds.
Cox scored 13 points Friday at Hilltop as the Eagles took the BCC game 47-35. Colegrove and Kline each added 10 points. Kline also collected seven rebounds.
“Hunter and Travis were really looking to attack the basket,” Maginn said.
FAYETTE VARSITY GIRLS: A winning score eluded Fayette’s varsity girls again, but the Eagles came mighty close to a victory twice.
Leah Brinegar can take a good share of the credit for those two strong showings as the sophomore finished with 20 points Thursday against Hilltop and 19 at home Monday against Delta.
The Eagles appeared to be out of the running Monday on Senior Night with Delta forging a 45-28 lead after three quarters.
Brinegar scored nine points in the fourth quarter and Brittany Seiler went six for seven from the line to nearly pull off the amazing comeback.
The Eagles combined for a nine-for-12 performance at the line in the final period but fell short in the 54-51 loss. They needed the points at the free throw line that failed to find their mark in the second quarter when they shot one for six.
Heather Cuff was back in the lineup after an injury. Elisha Hartman went three for four at the line.
The foul-filled game put the Panthers at the line 24 times (with 14 points) and the Eagles there 19 times (with 11 points).
Hilltop used its success at the line to pull off a 54-49 BBC win Thursday. Nine free throws went through the net in the final quarter to give the Cadets the edge.
Brinegar, with her first varsity start, scored 20 points.
• The Eagles wrap up the regular schedule Thursday at Pettisville. Sectional play begins Wednesday, Feb. 25, at Bryan when the Eagles take on Edgerton at 6:15 p.m.
JV GIRLS: Fayette’s JV girls added a pair of victories to their record, downing Hilltop 25-20 and throttling Delta 30-8.
Delta was held to single buckets in three quarters Monday in Fayette’s gymnasium and failed to score at all in the other period.
Nicole Shaffer had no trouble finding the bucket for the Eagles, making six baskets from the floor and shooting seven of nine from the line for 19 points.
Fayette never went to the line until the fourth quarter at home Thursday against Hilltop, but they made their chances count.
Trailing 18-16 after three quarters, the Eagles were awarded 13 chances in the final quarter and canned seven of them. The Cadets went two for two and failed to score from the floor.
Schaffer scored 12 points. Tori Lichtenwald shot three for four from the line.
MORENCI VARSITY BOYS: You can’t say the Bulldogs didn’t have their chances last week when Sand Creek visited.
With less than half a minute to play, Morenci was on top by a point and only needed ball control and some patience to pull off a victory.
Instead they got a missed shot and delivered one final chance for the Aggies to win. Sand Creek canned a three-pointer to take the lead.
Morenci had another 12 seconds to score but couldn’t get the ball to go through the hoop.
“We had a couple legitimate shots and one desperation shot,” said Bulldog coach Tim Bovee, but the result was the same with each one.
The Aggies took another close one, this time 57-55.
“It was a good game,” he said. “Too bad we were on the losing end.”
Bovee said his squad played really hard and had its lowest turnover game of the season. But too many shots were rattling around the rim and not going in and the Bulldogs couldn’t hold their narrow half-time lead, 24-23.
Clayton Wolf finished with a 22-point night, but most of his damage came in the first half before the Aggies made a change in their defense.
“It was a lot tougher to get the ball to him after that,” Bovee said.
Brett Bovee gave nine assists in a good ball-handing night and he hit a pair of three-pointers in the fourth quarter.
Matt Hoadley collected 10 rebounds and Anthony Tompkins made five steals and had numerous tips, Bovee said, praising his senior’s level of energy on the floor.
Just a couple free throws or a lay-up would have made the difference that night, he said.
“In a close game, you’ve got to make them to win.”
• Summerfield visits Friday as the squad tries to keep in the race for the league title. Morenci played the team close in the first round.
JV BOYS: Morenci’s JV boys will get another starter back from the injured list this week, but it wasn’t soon enough to help the depleted team last week against Sand Creek.
The Aggies outscored Morenci 21-5 in the second quarter and finished with a 54-29 victory.
“We didn’t handle their pressure well and gave up the ball too often,” coach John Craig said about the second period.
In the second half, the Bulldogs did a better job with the transition game—getting their shots off before the trap was established—but the ball wasn’t making it through the hoop.
Luke Craig scored 10 points and Lucas Hollstein finished with nine.
MORENCI VARSITY GIRLS: Morenci’s varsity girls cage team had one loss sandwiched between a pair of TCC victories as they continue to climb in the standings.
Free-throws carried the way Monday at Summerfield in a 59-52 victory. The Bulldogs hit 22 of 29 tries while the host team sunk only 13 of 26.
“We came out with intensity and that makes such a difference,” coach Jim Yatzek said. “We played hard and tough and made our free throws.”
Morenci made only one more bucket from the field, but Summerfield added extra points through five three-pointers.
Yatzek was delighted with the aggressive play from his squad, calling the night an all-around good team performance.
Nicolette Swimmer scored 15 points, gave five assists, grabbed seven rebounds and made three blocks. Tia Tompkins scored 10 points. Amy Gillman and Mariah Bovee each added nine. Bovee also finished with seven rebounds and Gillman gave an impressive defensive showing, Yatzek said.
“It was a big win for the girls,” he said. “We’re still the only ones who have beaten Sand Creek and now we’ve beaten Summerfield twice and Clinton once.”
CLINTON—One win was all the Bulldogs got against Clinton this season. The Redskins came through with a 55-47 victory the second time around.
Morenci fell behind quickly and trailed by 15 at one point. The reason, Yatzek said, is a failure to box out.
The Bulldogs cut the lead to two points with about 90 seconds to play, but Clinton was making its free throws to stay on top.
“We had the chance to tie it up and take the lead and then the situation would have been the other way around,” Coach Yatzek said. “They would have had to foul us.”
The Redskins scored only one bucket in the final quarter, but 12 free throws went through.
Tompkins hit seven of eight for Morenci during the game.
WHITEFORD—A 50-44 win over Whiteford proved to be a great game for the bench players, Yatzek said. Gillman came through with 15 points and 10 offensive rebounds.
“Amy was the difference in the game,” he said. “She’s a tenacious rebounder and she really showed her potential.”
Morenci was up by one point at half-time, but trailed often in the contest. The Bulldogs could have made it a lot easier on themselves with a better showing at the line. Only seven of 23 shots went through the hoop. The Bobcats sunk seven of nine.
Jackie Paris showed excellent ball control, Yatzek said, and Tess Ramsey played an overall strong game and collected five rebounds.
• Britton visits Morenci tonight and the Bulldogs travel to LCS on Tuesday.
JV GIRLS: Morenci’s JV girls cagers notched four TCC victories.
The Bulldogs started with a 55-50 win against Whiteford, paced by Chelsea Phillips with 17 points and 13 from Matea Garcia.
They followed that with a come-from-behind win at Clinton, 48-46. Phillips gave another strong showing with 20 points.
The Bulldogs faced Sand Creek on Saturday—a game scheduled due to the absence of a Britton JV team—and Morenci claimed a 55-41 win, its third of the season over the Aggies.
Mercedez McCaskey played a good outside game with three three-pointers and a total of 16 points. Phillips added 15.
Monday at Summerfield, Phoenix Duncan led with 14 points as Morenci claimed a 42-39 victory.
“When they put a whole game together, they can be very competitive,” said varsity coach Jim Yatzek.
MORENCI WRESTLING: Four Morenci wrestlers earned top-three finishes in the annual SCAA/TCC tournament that was dominated this year by Clinton.
Three Morenci wrestlers didn’t compete as they gave injuries more time to heal before the district tournament.
Dustin Roller (130) was back in action for the first time in five weeks and claimed a second-place finish.
He started with a pin against Bellevue in 1:15 and followed with a 5-4 overtime win against Colon, taking the victory on a penalty point.
In the finals, he fell to Clinton, 9-11, giving up a lead in the final 15 seconds.
Roller’s only two losses this season have come from the same Clinton foe.
At 103 pounds, Marcus Burciaga took second with only two matches for the day. He pinned a Colon wrestler at 1:46, then was pinned by Madison at 1:48.
Sam Majahrowski (285) won an injury default against Colon, pinned another Colon wrestler at :46 and lost to Clinton 4-7 in the finals for second place.
Tyler Guelde (112) pinned Colon at 1:38 and lost to the eventual champion from Bellevue, 0-15. In the consolation finals, he downed Clinton with a pin at 4:08.
Jordan Bach (215) scored a pin in 44 seconds in one of his matches.
Lucas Johnson, Jeff Nofziger and Loren Delmonico sat out for the day.
• Morenci is the host site for the team district tournament Thursday. The Bulldogs take on Sand Creek and Madison faces Hudson. The winner advances to the regionals in Addison.
The Bulldogs travel Saturday to the individual districts in Addison, with the top four in each division moving on to the regionals in Manchester.