Sports round-up: 12.08.2010

Written by David Green.


If there’s one consolation in Fayette’s 57-35 home loss Friday to the Pettisville girls team, it has to be their shooting percentage.

The Eagles shot a strong 42 percent, coach Tim Nicely said, but they just didn’t put up enough shots. That was largely because so many possessions ended in turn-overs.

“Their press was too much,” Nicely said.

The Blackbird pressure rattled Fayette’s offense, leading to an unmanageable 30 turn-overs. The number needs to be cut in half, at a minimum, said the coach.

It wasn’t always the press that caused trouble. Sometimes the ball was lost after the Eagles crossed mid-court, leading Nicely to expect better decision-making by his crew.

Nicely looks forward to Rachel Seiler’s return within two weeks, figuring the veteran ball handler should serve as a calming influence on the court.

“Pettisville has some great shooters,” he said. “Those girls obviously do a lot of shooting work.”

Nicely was pleased with the Eagles’ nine-for-10 showing at the free throw line. Leah Brinegar and Mikayla Smith each went four for four.

Brinegar led scoring with 10 points. Ashtyn Baker and Alexa Kessler each added eight. Smith gave five assists and Melani Seiler collected four rebounds.

Despite falling behind 28-12 at intermission, Fayette came out fighting hard in the second half.

“We just didn’t quit,” Nicely said. “They kept working hard.”

That was the case last week at Morenci, as well.

Fayette doubled up on the Bulldogs by half time, 22-11, but Morenci came back to take the lead before the Eagles ended on top 49-44.

“That was a wild third quarter,” Nicely said. “Morenci came out and torched the nets.”

The Eagles faltered at the line, but they sank enough shots to hold on for a victory.

“It was a good character builder for us,” said the coach. “They’re not quitting no matter what the score.”

Brinegar and Allison Cuff each scored 13 and Baker added 10. Tia Tompkins scored 17 for Morenci and Brooke Bovee added 12.

JV GIRLS: Fayette’s junior varsity girls basketball squad had trouble getting the ball through the hoop at home Friday against Pettisville.

The Eagles came through with a good third quarter, but couldn’t get much offense going during the remainder of the 35-16 loss.

Allison Cuff led scoring with six points during two quarters of play.


It usually takes more than one good quarter to win a ball game and that was the case Saturday for Fayette when Maumee Valley visited.

The Eagles couldn’t buy a bucket in the first quarter, then exploded for 22 points in the second period to take a healthy half-time lead. It was the Hawks’ turn for a big quarter to finish off the game, and they left Fayette with a 41-40 non-conference victory.

“We had a very slow start, but our defense kept us in it,” said Fayette coach Todd Mitchell. “Then we came out and shot the lights out in the second quarter.”

Trevor Cox scored 10 of 16 points that quarter, while Hunter Colegrove and Tyler Keefer each added five to push the Eagles to a 25-13 lead at intermission. Fayette went seven for eight from the free throw line in the second period for an overall strong offensive performance.

“We had an eight-point lead, but we came out flat in the third quarter,” Mitchell said. “We had several unforced turnovers.”

The Eagles were still on top by 11 going into the final quarter, but didn’t last long. The Hawks got buckets from six different players and regained the lead.

Fayette trailed by as many as four points, but they managed to come back for a one-point lead with time running out. A Maumee Valley played grabbed a lob pass and put it through the bucket for the one-point win.

Fayette tried to block the pass, but were up against a 6-6 player.

“We just came up one bucket short,” Mitchell said. “I was really happy with our defense overall and our role players did everything they needed to do.

“Rebounding was my biggest concern going into the game, but I was pleased with our effort and how we boxed out.”

The Eagles gave up only four offensive rebounds and were out-rebounded 21-19 despite the Hawks tall player.

Keefer finished with seven rebounds and Colegrove collected five. Kevin Ferguson gave three assists, Zayne Colegrove made three steals, and Keefer took two charges.

JV BOYS: Fayette’s JV boys stayed within striking distance for three quarters Saturday when Maumee Valley visited, but a disastrous fourth quarter left them in hole, 40-23.

The Eagles probably had some first-game jitters, said coach Matt Maginn, and there are several inexperienced players on the squad.

He thinks his team’s shortcomings involve skills the team can improve upon and he’s expecting better results in the future.

Jonathan Boesger played a good inside game, Maginn said, and led scoring with 10 points. Chanler Sanford added seven points in three quarters of play.

Cole Burkholder finished with two offensive and two defensive rebounds.


Morenci girls couldn’t quite get the job done in four quarters of play Friday at Hudson, and they barely hung on during the first overtime.

Finally, in the second extra session, Brooke Bovee hit two buckets and a pair of free throws to give the Bulldogs a 57-54 non-conference win.

Each team scored four points in the first overtime, but in the second one, Morenci took a 7-4 advantage to win.

Matea Garcia was hot in the first half, hitting three three’s, a bucket and two free throws to help boost Morenci to an 18-13 lead. Tess Ramsey added a pair of free throws to put the Bulldogs on top 20-13, but that was as good as it got.

After a couple of turn-overs and misses, Morenci’s lead shrunk to a point, 24-23, with less than a minute remaining in the half. Chelsea Phillips hit a bucket with time running out to make it 26-23 at intermission.

Two buckets by Tia Tompkins early in the third quarter put the Bulldogs five points up. After that, neither team led by more than three.

With 50 seconds left in regulation play, Bovee made the first of two free throws, but missed the second. Tompkins got the rebound and scored for a one-point lead. Hudson’s Sam Merillat made only one of two tries from the line to lead the game knotted, 47-47.

In the first overtime, Hudson missed three foul shots before connecting on two for a 51-49 lead. With 15 seconds left, Bovee drove the court and was fouled when she went in for a shot. She tied it up and a second overtime was needed.

Bovee scored on a rebound, but Morenci turned the ball over on its next possession and missed a shot after that. The Tigers went up by one, stole the ball but failed to score.

Bovee scored another bucket to make it 55-54 with 23 seconds remaining. Then the Bulldogs got the break they needed. Hudson’s inbound pass was tossed to a player who turned her back just before the ball was thrown and the Tigers lost possession.

Bovee was quickly fouled and made only one of two free throws with 14 seconds left. Phillips was fouled and missed a one-and-one with eight seconds to go. Bovee got the rebound and was fouled with four seconds left.

She missed her first try and sunk the second for the final 57-54 tally.

MORENCI WRESTLING: Morenci’s young wrestling team got its first experience of the season Saturday at Blissfield, and one grappler came home with a fourth-place finish.

“The kids were about as far along as I expected,” said interim coach Mitch Clark. “I think we’re going in the right direction.”

He said the Bulldogs were in the running in nearly every match they fought.

Brandon Myers, competing at 135 pounds, came through with three victories for a fourth-place spot.

The sophomore has some natural talent coming through, Clark said.

Other competitors were John Michael Martinez at 130 pounds, with two victories, and Jay Howard, also at 130, with one win; Corey Williams (152) dropped two matches, one in overtime; Brandt Kelley (140) lost two; and Kody Osborne (160) won one.

Jacob McVay joined the team this week and will eventually compete at 181 pounds.

The Pittsford Invitational was canceled and the Bulldogs’ next competition is their only home match of the season—a visit from Onsted Dec. 15.

Clark doesn’t mind this Saturday’s cancelation.

“We need some work and they should be more ready to compete the next time,” he said.

MORENCI VOLLEYBALL: Two Morenci volleyball players were given honorable mention status on the all-county volleyball team, and several players appear among the statistics leaders.

Seniors Phoenix Duncan and Tia Tompkins were given honorable mention for county honors.

Duncan stood at fifth best in the county for digs, with a 3.94 per game average, and Tompkins was ninth in kills with an average at 2.5.

Senior Tess Ramsey tied for fourth in serving with a 98 percent average. Junior Chelsea Phillips placed seventh for aces per attempt at .170.

Senior Meghan Smith finished at ninth in the county in attack percentage at .372 and Matea Garcia placed eighth in digs at 3.63.

  • 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.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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