Sports round-up 01.12.2011

Written by David Green.

FAYETTE BOYS: Fayette played to win in the closing minutes Thursday when North Central visited, and the effort paid off.

The Eagles broke a festering losing streak with a 47-41 BBC victory.

“They were pressing us and we’ve had trouble with that this year,” coach Todd Mitchell said, “but we got the ball down the court and scored.”

A turning point in the contest came in the third quarter when Coach Mitchell made a defensive change.

“North Central’s Dancer was getting into the key too much so I put Trevor Cox on him and he shut him down,” Mitchell said.

Dancer finished the game with 16 points, but he scored only one bucket in the second half.

North Central (4-4, 2-1) beat Pettisville in December and lost to Wauseon by a point in a tournament, so Mitchell saw the win as a key league victory.

Cox gave six assists, Tyler Keefer collected 10 rebounds along with his 20 points and Darrell Randall finished with eight rebounds, two blocks and two steals.

Turnovers were held to nine and the Eagles shot 10 for 13 from the line.

HICKSVILLE—Fayette held on for a 41-39 non-league win at home Saturday when Hicksville visited.

Fayette was on top by 10 points at half-time, but the Aces came back in the second half to knot it up.

The Eagles were on top by a point when Keefer was fouled on a rebound with seven seconds to play. He made one of two for the 41-39 lead and Hicksville missed its final shot with about two seconds to play.

“I thought we had it won a couple of times,” Mitchell said, “but then they would come back with another big shot. We had to stay patient to pull through.”

Randall left the game in the first quarter with a shoulder injury and scored only two points.

Keefer collected 10 rebounds and Hunter Colegrove grabbed five.

JV BOYS: Some early pressure by Fayette’s JV boys gave them an edge last week when they visited Morenci. The Eagles finished it off and went home with a decisive 56-34 victory.

“We still had a lot of turnovers,” coach Matt Maginn said, “but we played a little better defense than in our previous games.”

Fayette went to the line 24 times in the foul-filled contest—scoring on 11 attempts—while the Bulldogs hit 10 of 21.

“Overall we moved the ball well and looked to attack,” Maginn said.

Chandler Sanford scored 13 points, followed by Alex Hylander with 12 and Logan Franks and Cole Burkholder with nine each.

Turnovers got in the way Thursday when North Central visited Fayette. The Eagles lost possession 21 times and lost the contest 47-25.

Patrick Hookstadt was out of action due to an injury suffered in the Morenci game.

Coach Maginn got better ball handling from his squad Saturday against Hicksville and Fayette finished on top, 39-32.

Both Sanford and Jon Boesger gave good offensive showings, Maginn said. Burkholder collected six rebounds and shot five of six from the line.

Free throws made the difference, with the Eagles hitting 12 of 15 and Hicksville scoring on only three tries.

FAYETTE GIRLS: Fayette’s varsity girls spent a lot of time at the free throw line Friday at North Central and it paid off.

The Eagles shot a sharp 20 for 26—scoring seven more than North Central—and came home with a 56-54 BBC victory.

Three girls hit double figures for both teams.

“We scored a lot of points, but our defense wasn’t the best,” coach Tim Nicely said.

The win gave Fayette (2-7, 1-3) its first victory since the second game of the season while North Central dropped to 2-7, 0-3.

“It was just a good game and it gave the kids some confidence,” Nicely said. “The kids felt great afterward. It was nice to see the smiles.”

After leading by two at intermission, Fayette trailed by seven with about three minutes to play. Nicely called for a press and the Eagles got a couple of turnovers that they converted into points.

With time running out and a tie game, Mikayla Smith hit a bucket with about 10 seconds remaining and the narrow lead held.

Fayette shot a perfect nine for nine from the line in the fourth quarter. Smith went six for eight for the game and Ashtyn Baker shot four for four.

Leah Brinegar was good on eight of 11 free throws and led all scorers with 18 points. Smith was next in line with 16.

Baker grabbed seven rebounds. Amber Scott collected five and Tori Lichtenwald finished with four. The team made 10 steals and gave 10 assists.

JV GIRLS: Make that three in a row for Fayette’s JV girls.

The Eagles downed Swanton Monday night, 27-15, after taking North Central 33-19 last Friday. That gives Fayette three consecutive wins.

“I think the girls are playing with some positive momentum now,” coach Sarah Bird said. “They have played with great effort the past few games and it has showed with the wins.”

Against Swanton, Allison Cuff and Sydney Brown lead the offense with eight and six points. Cuff also collected seven rebounds.

At North Central, Cuff scored 15 and grabbed four rebounds. Brown followed with nine points and two rebounds.

“The girls did a great job taking care of the ball,” Bird said. “We had very few turnovers and were able to hit shots.”

Cuff had a strong game with 15 points and 4 rebounds.

Brown followed with 9 points and 2 rebounds.

MORENCI BOYS: An 11-point lead in the first quarter.

A 10-point advantage in the second.

Still up by nine in the third quarter.

It just looked as though Morenci had a victory coming Thursday against TCC foe Sand Creek.

The Bulldogs had a nine-point lead still with 7:30 to play in the game, but then it fell apart quickly.

The Aggies scored, missed and then was called for a charge. Sand Creek came through with a three-pointer and later hit a pair of free throws while Morenci couldn’t get the ball through the bucket.

The Aggies finally tied it up 39-39 with just under five minutes remaining and took the lead with their third three-pointer of the quarter.

The game stayed tied until the end, but Sand Creek took the advantage in overtime.

The Aggies went ahead by five and held on for a 58-52 win.

Morenci committed 28 fouls and sent the Aggies to the line 37 times. They scored 24 points from free throws.

MORENCI GIRLS: Clinton’s Hannah Payne set the tone early Friday when Morenci visited and the Bulldogs fell hard.

Payne scored 10 in the opening quarter to lead the Redskins to a 62-31 thumping of Morenci. Clinton now stands in first place in the TCC, tied with Sand Creek.

Clinton doubled up on Morenci’s scoring by half-time and the Bulldogs never recovered.

Tia Tompkins handled the bulk of Morenci’s scoring with 19 points, including an 11-for-20 showing at the line.

BLISSFIELD—With the number of turnovers Morenci committed at home Wednesday against Blissfield, there was only one way for them to stay in the game: a similar number of turnovers from the Royals.

The two teams came through with a back-and-forth contest all night until the Royals pulled ahead by six, 44-38, with under three minutes to play.

Trailing by five with 33 seconds to play, the Bulldogs missed the front end of a one-and-one, drew another foul and missed two free throws.

With eight seconds remaining, Matea Garcia sunk a three-pointer to make it 46-42. Morenci stole the inbound pass but missed a shot. With two seconds left, Garcia stole another inbound pass and dished off to Tompkins who scored at the buzzer.

Tompkins finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Garcia scored 14 and made five steals.

JV GIRLS: Morenci’s JV girls had plenty of trouble with Blissfield’s press last week and the Royals claimed a 46-18 win.

“We went up against a good team,” Morenci coach Emilie Beach said. “We played a good first half, but we just couldn’t score.”

Offensive production dropped even lower in the second half.

Hannah Jeffers led Morenci with nine points after spending a lot of time on the bench with foul trouble.

NICK WILSON: Morenci senior Nick Wilson signed a letter of commitment last week to play football for Siena Heights University.

Wilson was an all-county defensive lineman and an all-league offensive lineman. He was one of the top two tacklers on the Bulldogs’ 2010 team.

SPORTSMANSHIP: Morenci’s volleyball team was selected as the Good Sports Are Winners team from the Class D district tournament at Lenawee Christian School.

A total of 170 teams were recognized for displaying outstanding sportsmanship during selected fall Michigan High School Athletic Association post-season tournament competitions. Those schools will receive awards from MEEMIC Insurance, the Association's corporate partner in sportsmanship efforts.

The program is conducted in team sports, with schools being evaluated by tournament management at district, regional and final round sites.

The program recognizes one school at each MHSAA tournament center at all levels of play for having met the highest sportsmanlike standards.

  • 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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