Sports roundup 12.16

Written by David Green.

FAYETTE BOYS BASKETBALL: There was no question about what would be on the practice agenda for Fayette’s varsity boys Monday night.

Two games in a row, opponents scored 10 three-point shots against the Eagles, and both games resulted in big losses.

“We need to be more aggressive defensively,” coach Todd Mitchell said—especially on the perimeter.

“We haven’t been playing good defensive ball and we’re not hitting the hole. That’s a bad combination.”

Thursday against Stryker, Fayette trailed by 18 points at intermission, but closed the gap through a strong third quarter.

Trevor Cox scored eight points that quarter and Jason rodriguez added seven to lead the charge and cut the difference to just eight points.

The Panthers came back strong in the final period—four three-pointers and 12 for 16 from the line—to win 78-57.

Stryker shot 10 for 21 from three-point range.

Tyler Keefer led Fayette’s scoring with 21 points—all but four in the first half. Keefer also collected 10 rebounds. Keefer and Rodriguez each gave three assists.

Fayette turned the ball over only nine times, but missed shots kept them in check.

ANTWERP—There was no third-quarter rebound Saturday at Antwerp. The Eagles were down by 18 at half-time and stayed that way. The Archers won the non-league affair 68-37.

“We only had 12 rebounds and we made 18 turnovers,” Mitchell said.

The Archers’ big T.J. Short scored 18 points and could have had plenty more, Mitchell said.

Keefer went scoreless from the floor and Cox led the offense with 14.

JVs: A late three-point shot from Zayne Colegrove gave Fayette’s JV boys a 40-38 victory Thursday to open the BBC schedule.

“It wasn’t pretty, but we won,” coach Matt Maginn said. “We played well enough to hang in there and then win it in the end.”

The Panthers led at the end of each of the first three quarters, but they failed to score from the floor in the final quarter.

“We pressed hard and got some turnovers,” Maginn said. “We didn’t give up.”

Kruce Miller collected eight rebounds. Colegrove finished with three steals and three boards.

The Eagles dropped a non-league game Saturday to Antwerp, falling 46-32, but Coach Maginn hopes it’s the start of something good for Miller, his big freshman.

“He had his best inside game with 11 points and seven rebounds,” Maginn said, “and Antwerp had three kids close to his size.”

Jerry Minzey and Jessie Rodriguez each added seven points and Chase Hookstadt brought down four rebounds.

The Eagles trailed by only a point at half-time, but followed with single-digit quarters in the second half.

MORENCI BOYS BASKETBALL: Three single-digit quarters just won’t do against a hot-shooting team like Hanover-Horton. The Comets were on fire Saturday night when Morenci visited and claimed an 88-39 non-conference win.

“It was not a fun evening,” Morenci coach Tim Bovee said. “They really took it to us. Everything they shot, they made.”

That was evident early on with the Comets posting a 31-13 first quarter lead. A 23-8 margin in the second quarter gave Hanover-Horton a commanding 33-point lead at half-time.

The tally eventually reached 40 in the third quarter to set off the running clock that continues unless the differential falls to 30 or fewer.

The Bulldogs missed lay-ups early on, Bovee said, when the Comets were sharp.

“It starts compounding and you’re quickly playing catch-up,” he said. “You don’t want to do that against a team like Hanover-Horton.”

The Comets played a good game, Bovee said, but he wasn’t at all pleased with his own team’s effort.

“You can look for excuses,” he said, “but ultimately we just didn’t come ready to play. We need to have a good effort every night.”

Bovee hoped for a rebound Tuesday night when the Bulldogs opened the league against Britton-Deerfield.

Clayton Wolf led Morenci’s offensive effort with a 16-point night.

JVs: Morenci JV boys basketball coach John  Craig saw improvements in his squad since the team opened against Fayette, but it wasn’t enough to handle Hanover-Horton.

The Comets piled on the points in the final quarter to end up on top 78-45.

“We played really well at times, and better than against Fayette,” Craig said, “but Hanover-Horton is really solid throughout.”

Morenci’s foul trouble and the Comets’ strong bench prevented the Bulldogs from mounting a comeback.

Hayze Wolf led Morenci’s offense with 19 points.

“We have lots of potential, but we’re still green,” Coach Craig said. “I’m still looking for leadership on the team.”

MORENCI GIRLS BASKETBALL: Madison’s varsity girls took an early lead here Thursday and never gave it up. Every time the Bulldogs started to come back, the effort was cut short.

The Trojans wrapped up a 41-28 league victory in the first Tri-County Conference contest of the season.

Morenci managed to trim back a big Madison lead early in the first quarter, then halted another Trojan advance in the second when Mercedez McCaskey canned a three-pointer.

But Morenci’s turnovers and missed shots helped the visitors move ahead again and Trojans were up by 11 early in the third quarter.

McCaskey hit a three-pointer to pull her team within six points mid-way through the third, but once again the recovery was short lived.

Morenci continued having trouble hitting the bucket and Madison eventually went ahead by 17 at 5:42 in the fourth quarter to keep the contest out of reach for the Bulldogs.

Chanler McCaskey took the scoring honors for the Bulldogs with 12 points.

JVs: Morenci’s junior varsity girls squad finished the night with just four players again, but they won again short-handed.

Hannah Jeffers fouled out with at least three minutes to play in the third quarter against Madison last week, with the Bulldogs on top by 15 points. They held on to win by 10.

“We played pretty hard and shot the ball really well,” said coach Emilie Beach. “We had the lead the entire game.”

Matea Garcia was the leading scorer with 16 points, followed closely by Chelsea Phillips with 14.

MORENCI WRESTLING: Wins were few and far between for the Bulldog wrestlers Saturday at Pittsford, with only one close match among four.

Dustin Roller came through with the best day for Morenci as he went unbeaten in all four bouts.

“We came out flat,” coach Scott Clark said. “We just weren’t ready to wrestle.”

The Bulldogs were tied going into the final match against Pittsford, but the Wildcats took control and posted a 42-36 victory.

Both teams gave up 18 points from empty weight classes and only three Morenci wrestlers actually competed. Brandon Myers scored a pin in the 125-pound class, Roller pinned his opponent at 135 pounds and Jordan Bach scored a pin at 215 pounds.

Brandt Kelley, John Michael Martinez and Tyler Arnett each won on voids.

Morenci’s next three matches all had similar outcomes.

Colon took a 51-15 win, with Roller taking a 9-7 decision and Brady Canfield scoring a pin at 189 pounds. Martinez took a void win.

Against Hanover-Horton, Myers won by a pin and Martinez took a 12-0 decision. Roller won by void. Morenci lost 60-16.

Morenci did no better against Reading, losing 66-15. Myers won a third match with a 13-6 decision and Roller scored a pin. Bach won by void.

The season continues to change, Clark said, with some other team members becoming eligible and five wrestlers dropping one or two weight classes.

With 11 first-year wrestlers on the squad, the group will continue to gain experience.

“It’s not how you start the season,” Coach Clark tells the team, “but how you finish.”

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • 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.

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