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.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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