Undefeated and state ranked?
That didn’t mean a thing to Fayette (4-6, 2-2). The Eagles led Edgerton most of the night and finished on top, 46-44, to hand the Bulldogs their first loss of the season.
“We’ve had so many heart-breakers this year,” coach Todd Mitchell said. “This was a great win for the kids.”
Prior to Saturday, Edgerton had one close game all season and everything else was a solid win.
Coach Mitchell knew his squad couldn’t match up with the Bulldogs’ height and he wanted his squad to slow down the pace of the game.
The Fayette defenders put on a “soft press,” standing about five feet back from the ball.
“It was just to slow them down,” Mitchell said. “They never could get their up-tempo game going.”
The day before, the Eagles practiced a 2-3 zone underneath and they executed it well, Mitchell said.
The game had an unusual ending—one that didn’t sit well with the Edgerton fans.
Fayette’s five-point lead disappeared in the final minute and Edgerton tied the game on a three-point shot with nine seconds to play.
As the ball dropped through the net, Hunter Colegrove grabbed the ball for the inbound play and an Edgerton player swatted the ball and knocked it across the court before Mitchell even had a chance to call for a timeout.
A technical foul was called for delay of game and unsportsmanlike conduct and Coach Mitchell called on his most consistent free throw shooter, Trevor Cox.
Cox put them both through the hoop for a two-point lead. Edgerton missed a three-point shot, but Chase Hookstadt held onto the rebound and the Eagles had a big victory.
Hookstadt, at five-foot-10, out-rebounded taller players all night, Mitchell said.
The game had a tournament atmosphere to it, Mitchell said, and the team received excellent support from fans and the student section.
HILLTOP—Fayette made it three in a row Thursday with a 57-44 defeat of Hilltop.
The Eagles had a 13-point lead at intermission, but softened up some in the third quarter, playing more to the level of the competition.
FAYETTE JV BOYS: It took a last-second shot for Edgerton’s JV boys to post a 39-37 victory Saturday against Fayette.
The Bulldogs had just under 10 seconds for their last possession and needed six seconds to get the ball across half court against an Eagle press. A player squared up at the free throw line and got off a good shot, said Fayette coach Matt Maginn, despite having a defender right in his face.
It was a good showing for Fayette against a good team, Maginn said.
“We were down by six at half-time and picked up the pressure,” he said. “We played a lot better defensively in the second half.”
Fayette held its turnovers to 10 for the night.
Maginn was pleased with Chase Hookstadt’s defensive showing and how he went to the glass after rebounds. He collected four and scored nine points.
Chandler Sanford led scoring with 12. Jon Boesger finished with six points and three rebounds. Cole Burkholder added four points and five rebounds.
A weak second quarter Thursday at Hilltop put the Eagles in the hole and the game ended with the Cadets on top, 43-32.
Burkholder sat out the second quarter and scored 14 points in the other three. Hookstadt added six points and Sanford scored five. Sanford also grabbed four rebounds, while Alec Hylander finished with three.
The Eagles made 15 turnovers.
A home court disadvantage?
Fayette girls coach Tim Nicely is beginning to wonder about that as his squad just can’t come up with a home win.
The Eagles came close again Friday when Hilltop visited. The contest stayed close until the end when the Cadets left town with a 46-42 BBC win.
“We had a two-point lead early in the fourth quarter,” Nicely said. “We had opportunities but we couldn’t capitalize.”
Hilltop took the lead and Fayette was left with having to foul, but the Cadets finished the quarter shooting six for 10.
In the final minute Rachel Seiler launched a three-pointer and was knocked to the floor, but no foul was called. That could have made a difference in the outcome, Nicely said, but the Eagles should have done some other things to take care of business, such as reducing their 20-plus turnovers.
“It was a pretty physical game,” Nicely said, with each team going to the line at least 20 times. “We shot well, but not quite good enough.”
Fayette freshman Mikayla Smith left the game mid-way through the fourth with a dislocated jaw.
On Jan. 10, another foe used the free throw line successfully to pull out a narrow win.
Swanton shot seven for 10 in the fourth quarter to win 45-41.
The Eagles had a good practice Monday, Coach Nicely said, and put some new ideas into play in preparation for a visit Tuesday from Hicksville.
Fayette returns to league play Thursday at Pettisville.
FAYETTE JV GIRLS: A light-scoring third quarter by Fayette’s JV girls allowed Hilltop to build a lead and hold on for a victory. The Cadets finished on top 31-24.
The Eagles trailed by only a point at half-time, 17-16, but Hilltop led scoring in each of the final two quarters to win.
Sarah Kovar led Fayette’s scoring with nine points. Sydney Brown and Allison Cuff each added six.
MORENCI BOYS: There’s a new coach and a different program in place, but there was still something left over from the old Whitmore Lake team when the Trojans visited Morenci Friday night.
The Bulldogs (4-4, 2-3) raced to an enormous lead against TCC foe Whitmore Lake—leading by 27 points in the first half and 31 points in the second—but the Trojans (0-8) came through with a late barrage of three-point shots to pull within 14 points at the end. Morenci claimed a 65-51 victory.
“We got a little lax in the second half,” said Bulldog coach Tim Bovee. “I didn’t want to press them or show them up, but I did want the kids to stay focused for the full 32 minutes.”
One Whitmore Lake shooter scored three three-pointers in a row late in the game because no one had a hand in his face, Bovee said. The Trojans scored a few more from outside the arc, much like last year’s squad that shot little by threes.
Morenci finished with four players in double figures, and even with that, Bovee said, there were several bunnies that didn’t go in. Morenci shot only seven for 19 from the line.
Nick Wilson finished with 13 rebounds and Luke Craig collected 10. Brett Bovee gave eight assists. Craig came through with a strong offensive showing, also, scoring 16 points.
MORENCI JV BOYS: Playing three quarters out of four didn’t get the job done for Morenci’s JV boys team last week. A devastating quarter in each game left the Bulldogs on the short end of the score.
Morenci went ahead 23-17 after a quarter at home Friday against Whitmore Lake, but the visitors posted an 18-2 second quarter to take the lead at half-time.
The Bulldogs came back hard in the final quarter, outscoring Whitmore Lake 21-8, but they lost the contest 55-51.
With two starters out of action and on crutches, and trailing by as much as 20 points, coach John Craig said he was very proud of the team effort to come back and almost win it.
Austin Thomas led scoring with 15 points, followed by Desmond Alcock with 13.
The third quarter was the killer Jan. 10 at Clinton; the Bulldogs were shut out 19-0 after trailing only 26-21 at intermission.
Cody Powell left the game with an ankle injury and isn’t likely to return for several weeks.
Jordan Pruitt led scoring with 22 points. Powell scored at least 10 points, Coach Craig said, before his injury.
MORENCI GIRLS: By DAVID GREEN
Morenci’s varsity girls got down to business in the third quarter Thursday at Whiteford. They came from behind to tie the game in the third quarter, then took the lead and held on in the fourth for a 47-43 league victory.
The win puts Morenci in a two-way tie for second place with Clinton. Sand Creek is alone in first with a single league loss.
“We talked at half-time about being down five points and not playing very well and having Tia on the bench a lot,” said Morenci coach Tim Yatzek. “‘We can get these girls,’ I told them.”
The Bobcats were on top 26-21 at intermission, but it didn’t take long for the Bulldogs (5-5, 4-2) to knot it up. Matea Garcia hit a three-pointer followed by a bucket from Brooke Bovee to tie the game. A few seconds later Tia Tompkins went to the bench with her fourth foul, but the squad held fast.
The lead went back and forth until 6:10 in the fourth quarter. Bovee tied it up, 34-34, with a pair of free throws and Garcia stole the ball on Whiteford’s possession.
Garcia passed to Bovee who dished it back to her for a three-point shot at 6:10. Morenci never gave up its lead.
The score was still 37-34 when Tompkins went back in at 4:34. She made up for lost time with three baskets and gave the Bulldogs a 43-36 lead. Mercedez McCaskey added two free throws and Tess Ramsey and Tompkins each added single points from the line to put Morenci ahead by nine points, 47-38, with 32 seconds to play.
Whiteford came back with five points, but ran out of time.
Yatzek was pleased to see Bovee play an aggressive game—10 trips to the line—says she’s becoming a team leader. Bovee scored 12 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and gave five assists. Tompkins scored 17, all in two quarters of play.
“It was definitely a big win for us,” Yatzek said.
Whiteford had the momentum of a win over Madison and the game was on their court.
WHITMORE LAKE—McCaskey set the tone early for the Bulldogs at home Tuesday against Whitmore Lake (0-8). She scored 11 first-quarter points to send Morenci off to a 76-33 victory.
“We came out knowing we could win and showing intensity and hustle,” Yatzek said. “We need to keep that same mentality against Sand Creek and Clinton. We’re capable of beating those teams.”
McCaskey picked up six rebounds to go with her 16 points. Tompkins finished with 21 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks.
MORENCI JV GIRLS: With Hannah Jeffers moved to varsity, Brittany White out with illness, and Ali Piercy and Melissa Burk injured, Morenci’s junior varsity girls were left with just five players. That resulted in a pair of league losses last week.
“We played hard against Whitmore Lake [on Tuesday], but we just got tired in the end,” said coach Emilie Beach. “We were pressed the whole game.”
Thursday at Whiteford, Morenci just didn’t come through with a good effort, Beach said, as the Bulldogs lost 59-6.
“We just didn't play well against Whiteford,” she said. “They were good, but we killed ourselves with turnovers.”
Kierstyn Miller got her first start to fill out the squad last week and showed good hustle Thursday, Coach Beach said.
MORENCI WRESTLING: Morenci’s wrestlers came through with a pair of B Division second-place finishes Saturday at Hudson’s Super 16 invitational.
Corey Williams (145 pounds) and Jacob McVay (189) both took seconds and Cody Osborne (145) placed fourth in the B Division.
Coach Mitch Clark entered John Michael Martinez (130) and Brandon Myers (135) in the A Division where they each recorded a pair of losses.
Williams scored a 9-1 decision against an East Jackson wrestler followed by a pin agains a Watervliet foe. He downed Ida 9-0 before slipping into a pin and finishing second.
McVay, a rookie, scored a pin against an Athens foe in his second place showing.
Osborne scored a 15-6 win against Pittsford and 3-1 win against Watervliet.
Martinez faced a three-time state placer in his first match and he competed well, Coach Clark said. His second match was also against a state qualifier.
At the Clinton invitational a week earlier, Martinez place sixth and Jay Howard (125) took fifth.
The Bulldogs travel Saturday to Quincy.