Sports Round-up 3.4.09

Written by David Green.

FAYETTE BOYS VARSITY BASKETBALL: Fayette’s varsity boys had their chance to end the regular season at .500, but Edon got in the way of that goal.

In the final contest before sectional tournament action, the Bombers started strong and posted a 47-34 victory.

Or, you might say the Eagles started weak and stayed in that position.

Only two buckets in the first quarter, just three in the second and four in each of the final two—it’s obvious that shooting was Fayette’s problem.

“We shot 21 percent in twos, 11 percent in three and 37 percent from the free-throw line,” coach Todd Mitchell said. “We missed an unbelievable amount of easy shots.”

Fayette managed to cut Edon’s lead to four in the final quarter, but the Bombers had success at the line to stay on top.

On the positive side, the Eagles turned the ball over only 11 times. Coty Griffith finished the game with 11 turn-overs.

Coach Mitchell sees one more bright spot—a pattern he hoped to see repeat Tuesday night in the sectional tournament. The squad generally bounces back from a really weak game with a good showing and he hoped to see that last night against Hilltop.

The winner takes on Pettisville Friday at 6:15 at Bryan High School.


BOYS JV: Success at the free throw line, along with a strong offensive showing by Trevor Cox, gave Fayette’s JV boys a 48-41 victory over Edon last Friday.

The win put the Eagles’ final record at 9-11.

“We split with everybody in the league except Pettisville who beat us twice and North Central who we beat twice,” said coach Matt Maginn.

Fayette was on top by only two points heading into the fourth quarter, but hit seven of 10 free throws for the win. For the game, the Eagles made 12 of 15 from the line.

Cox finished with 21 points and five rebounds.

“He hit a two-pointer early, then made three three’s,” Maginn said. “We got the ball to him on the wing and he fired away.”

Jessie Rodriguez added nine points while Travis Kline and Hunter Colegrove each scored eight. Colegrove also collected five rebounds and Rodriguez finished with four.

“It was a good way to end the season,” Maginn said.


MORENCI VARSITY BOYS: Morenci’s varsity boys played close enough with Clinton here Thursday, at least for three quarters. It was that one other period that made all the difference.

The Bulldogs were on top 35-32 at half-time, but the Redskins grabbed the lead a minute into the third quarter and never gave it up.

An 18-4 run by the visitors seemed to put the game out of reach, but the Bulldogs weren’t finished yet.

After four Clinton turnovers late in the third quarter, Morenci pulled to within nine points early in the fourth.

With three minutes to play, the Bulldogs cut the lead to four and were still within five points with less than a minute on the clock.

The Redskins cleaned up at the free-throw line to pull ahead for the final 74-66 victory.

The regular season ended Tuesday night at Whitmore Lake.

Morenci drew a bye in the first round of district tournament play at Sand Creek. The Bulldogs face the winner of Monday’s Whiteford-Sand Creek contest in the semi-finals at 7:30 p.m. March 11.

In the first game that night, played at 6 p.m., Madison takes on the winner of the Erie Mason-Blissfield game.


MORENCI VARSITY GIRLS: The tournament season ended almost as soon as it started for Morenci’s girls cage team.

After two previous wins against Whiteford (8-13), the Bulldogs (11-9) couldn’t make it three in a row. The Bobcats posted a 55-43 win against Morenci on Monday night to move on to Class C district semifinals. Sand Creek defeated Blissfield  45-38.

Both teams came through with their biggest quarters in the final stanza, but the Bobcats’ was a little bigger.

Morenci managed to come back from a big deficit to cut the lead to five late in the game, but Whiteford put the game back in its control on a 12-5 run.

The Bulldogs’ top scorer, Nicolette Swimmer, was playing with an injured ankle and Chanler McCaskey was also suffering from an injury.

WHITMORE LAKE—The Bulldogs put a lot of points on the board in the opening quarter here Friday and wrapped up the regular season with a 54-29 victory over Whitmore Lake.

Two minutes passed before Morenci put any points on the scoreboard, and it was still a 7-4 game after nearly four minutes.

Sophomore Tia Tompkins scored eight in the opening quarter as the Bulldogs took a 19-10 lead, then broke it open in the second period to go on top 37-16 by half-time.

Scoring was spread around that quarter with contributions from Tompkins, Nicolette Swimmer, Chanler McCaskey, Tess Ramsey, Amy Gilman, Jade Pfund and Jackie Paris.

The Trojans were shut out in the third quarter as the Bulldogs celebrated homecoming with a 30-point lead.

Morenci wrapped up the season tied for third place.


MORENCI WRESTLING: Two out of two.

Morenci sent just two wrestlers to the regional tournament Saturday in Manchester, and both of them are advancing to the state tournament March 12-14 at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Senior Jeff Nofziger will make a return visit to the Palace after winning the 140-pound division Saturday. Junior Dustin Roller overcame a opening loss to place third in the region.

Nofziger, ranked fifth in the state in Div. IV, scored a pin in his opening match against a Memphis wrestler. He came on strong in the third period to topple a Manchester foe 13-7. Nofziger was up only 10-7 heading into the final period.

In the finals, he faced a top-10 ranked foe from New Haven for the first time this season and posted a decisive 7-1 decision.

“Jeff has a relentless offensive style,” coach Scott Clark said. “He just doesn’t stop attacking.”

In the 130-pound division, Roller started the day against the eventual regional champion from Manchester and fell 5-8. It was shaky beginning, Clark said, since Roller only scored two points. The other three came from escapes.

Next up was a Sand Creek foe who beat Roller two weeks ago as he was returning to action from an injury. This time around Roller finished on top, 6-5.

He had another loss to avenge when he faced the Hudson wrestler who defeated him the district tournament. Roller won 8-6 after giving up three points in the final half minute.

In the consolation finals, Roller never gave up his lead against a Blissfield wrestler and finished strong with a 12-5 score.


MORENCI POWER-LIFTING: Another Morenci power-lifter qualified for the state tournament during a regional meet Saturday.

Naomi Hoffman, who missed an earlier qualifying meet, placed third in the 114-pound class at the raw competition at Fenton High School.

The sophomore squatted 165 pounds and set personal bests for raw competition in the bench press (105) and the dead lift (225). Her total of 495 pounds was also a personal best.

Morenci’s lifters will compete Saturday in Flint at the USA Powerlifting equipped state tournament. The Michigan High School Powerlifting Association raw state meet follows March 20-21 at Whitmore Lake.


DODGEBALL: Get ready for competitive dodgeball with Morenci Area High School’s sophomore class fund raiser.

Six-member teams will compete March 14 at the high school. Three youth divisions are planned, starting at fourth grade, and one adult division.

Remember the rules? The object of the game is to eliminate all members of the opposing team, either by hitting them with a thrown ball or by catching a ball thrown at you before it hits the ground.

Registration before the day of the tournament costs $40 and increases to $50 at the door.

Entry blanks are available at the school office. For more information, call the school office at 517/458-7502.

  • Homecoming Court
    HOMECOMING—One senior candidate will be chosen Morenci’s fall homecoming queen during half-time ceremonies Friday at the football field. In the back row are seniors Mikayla Price, who will be escorted by Mason Vaughn; Madison Bachman, escorted by Kiegan Merillat, and Mikayla Reinke, escorted by Griffin Grieder. Senior Ariana Roseman is absent from the photo. Her escort is Garrett Smith. In the front is sophomore Abbie White, who will be escorted by Ryder Price; junior Madysen Schmitz, escorted by Harley McCaskey and freshman Madison Keller, escorted by Jarett Cook.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • 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.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

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