Sports Round-up 12.22.2010

Written by David Green.


A slow start and weak ending.

In between that, Fayette’s varsity boys gave Stryker a good contest, but that wasn’t enough to topple the Panthers. Stryker finished on top of the league contest, 48-37, and the Eagles are still looking for their first win of the season at 0-4.

“We’re still having trouble getting the ball in the hole,” coach Todd Mitchell said, “and we’re still making too many turnovers.”

Fayette came back to take a brief lead in the third quarter and then the score stayed close until the fourth quarter.  Stryker made a run leaving Fayette to play catch-up.

But the Eagles never scored a field goal in the final quarter—only four points from the line—while Stryker got a good mix of points from the field and the line.

“It was a pretty physical game and I only had six varsity players,” Mitchell said. “Our defense is looking pretty good, with a few things to correct, but on offense we’re making too many unforced turnovers.”

Tyler Keefer led scoring with 15 points and also collected 15 rebounds, nine of them on the offensive end.

Darrell Randall is starting to practice with the team following his wrist injury and Mitchell is hoping presence will change things for the Eagles.

“I’m hoping we can open things up more with everyone back,” he said, noting that opponents will have one more shooter to focus on.

The Fairview contest Dec. 28 will provide a good test with their big inside presence.

JV BOYS: Fayette’s JV boys committed 14 turnovers by half-time Thursday against Stryker, and it showed in the score. The Panthers were on top 33-16 at intermission and went on to win 55-36.

Only four turnovers occurred in the second half and the visitors padded their advantage by only three points.

“If we could have taken care of the ball better...” coach Matt Maginn said. “Our offense wasn’t doing too badly, but the turnovers cost us.”

Quinton Keefer’s value generally doesn’t show in the scorebook, Maginn said, but he plays hard all night and makes a difference on the court. He grabbed four defensive rebounds. Patty Hookstadt came up with three rebounds from his guard position.

Chandler Sanford led scoring with nine points, followed by Alec Hylander with eight.


When Stryker’s girls visit Fayette in February, the assignment is obvious to Eagle coach Tim Nicely: stop Brooke Ruffer.

“We’ll have to shut her down the next time,” he said, following her 26-point night against Fayette.

The Panthers took the league game 52-43, leaving the Eagles (1-6, 0-3) still looking for that first league win.

“The kids are staying positive,” Nicely said, “but we really need a win to boost our confidence.”

He’s hoping for boost in leadership and points when Rachel Seiler returns to action next week following injury.

The Eagles have been falling behind early and finding it difficult to come back. Turnovers—22 against Stryker—are making it difficult to stay on an even keel.

The Panthers were on top 25-17 at half-time, but Fayette managed to come back to within five points before letting it slip away.

That comeback effort pleases Nicely.

“The kids are still working hard and working to stay motivated,” he said.

Amber Scott finished with 16 points to lead the Eagles. The team had another good showing from the free throw line, hitting 12 of 16 tries.

EDGERTON —The Bulldogs claimed a 56-43 non-league win last week. Once again Fayette fell behind early but came through with a much stronger second half.

“We need to get more aggressive on the defensive end,” Nicely said, “and to do a better job blocking out.”

Leah Brinegar led scoring with 11 points, followed by Ashtyn Baker with nine and Allison Cuff with eight.

“The girls continue to work hard and they expect to win every game,” said the coach.

JV GIRLS: Fayette’s JV girls dropped a pair of contests last week, but the Eagles were in contention both nights.

“We did have a lead by a few points in each game,” coach Sarah Bird said. “We just were unable to finish them out in the end.”

Allison Cuff scored eight points and collected five rebounds in a 31-26 BBC loss Friday at Stryker.

Cuff was also the leading scorer last week at Edgerton in a 40-32 loss. She scored 12 and finished with four rebounds.

Sydney Brown added 10 points and also collected four rebounds.

MORENCI VARSITY BOYS: One step behind.

That’s how it seemed to Morenci boys coach Tim Bovee Thursday when he took the Bulldogs to Madison.

“I have to give credit to Madison,” he said. “Their tempo stayed the same all night and we seemed to be a step behind from the start.”

The Trojans finished up on top, 50-37.

Madison jumped to a 7-0 lead as the Bulldogs turned the ball over on four of their first five possessions. Buckets by Daiton Lemmon and Brett Bovee, followed by a three-pointer from Luke Craig, closed the gap to 9-7. After that, things just went downhill.

Another string of turnovers early in the second quarter gave Madison an 11-point lead.

The Bulldogs forced some turnovers after the half-time break, but they couldn’t turn them into points.

“We had three possessions there where we could have closed the gap to five points,” Bovee said, “but we couldn’t get a bucket.”

Morenci managed to trim the lead to seven points near the end of the game, but Madison made good at the free throw line to stay on top.

The Trojans made their slow, deliberate game work against the Bulldogs who didn’t show enough patience, Bovee said. Madison showed excellent ball control; Morenci never seemed to get into a flow.

Coach Bovee chalked the loss up to experience.

“We’ll learn from it and improve,” he said, about the Bulldogs’ first loss in three league outings.

BD—Against Britton-Deerfield at home Dec. 14, the Bulldogs took an early lead, then started rushing things and let the Patriots back into the game.

“We had a 36-31 lead in the third quarter and suddenly the momentum shifted,” Bovee said.

A turnover, a foul, a three-point game—the contest remained tight the rest of the night.

On the final play of the game, Brett Bovee took the ball and dumped it off to Nick Wilson underneath the basket. Wilson scored for a 50-48 Morenci to win to celebrate his return to action in his first game of the season.

JV BOYS: Morenci JV boys are still adjusting to a pressure defense, said coach John Craig, and that got them into trouble twice last week.

“Our inexperience is showing,” he said, “but we’re going to get better. We just have some work to do.”

Two big quarters for Madison Thursday gave the Trojans a 54-31 TCC win. The Bulldogs took the second and fourth quarters, 24-19, but Madison took control in the other two and outscored Morenci 35-7.

Cody Powell scored nine points for the Bulldogs, followed by KC Clegg with seven.

Morenci kept it closer when Britton-Deerfield visited last week, but the Patriots posted a 49-36 victory after leading by five at intermission.

“B-D has good depth,” Craig said, “with a lot of sophomores out of their freshman program from last year.”

Jordan Pruitt scored 14 points, including a five-for-five showing from the line. Powell added 12.

MORENCI VARSITY GIRLS: Sand Creek showed a defensive intensity that Morenci’s girls couldn’t handle—at least not in the first half.

The Aggies sped to a 33-14 first half lead, and even the Bulldogs took the scoring edge in the second half, they put themselves in a hole too deep to climb out from.

The 59-47 win puts Sand Creek alone in first place while Morenci (3-2, 2-1) is tied in second with Clinton and Madison.

“The Robichaud girls really put the pressure on Brooke (Bovee),” coach Tim Yatzek said. “Brooke didn’t get a lot of help bringing the ball up the court in the first half.”

She didn’t get the ball through the hoop either, finishing the night with just two points.

Sand Creek knows only one speed—full steam ahead—and it took a half for the Bulldogs to adjust. After scoring only 11 points by half-time, Morenci added 33 after the intermission.

Matea Garcia came through as the scoring leader for the Bulldogs again this game, finishing with 15 points—nearly all in the second half. She also gave five assists.

“She knows how to find the basket and she knows how to shoot the ball,” Yatzek said.

Tia Tompkins came alive in the second half to finish with 13 points, and she also collected 10 rebounds.

Chelsea Tompkins gave the Bulldogs a good boost off the bench, Yatzek said, and Chelsea Phillips continues to show improvement.

“She’s learning how to be stronger with the ball and improving with every game,” he said.

JV GIRLS: A series of little mistakes added up and proved costly for Morenci’s JV girls last week when the Bulldogs fell to Sand Creek 28-26 in double overtime.

The Bulldogs weren’t taking care of the ball well, said varsity coach Tim Yatzek, and had a weak rebounding night.

Hannah Jeffers led scoring with 14 points.

Coach Yatzek sees a lot of potential in the hard-working crew.

  • 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
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • 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.
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • 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.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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