Morenci girls basketball team wins quarterfinals 03.23.2011

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

It was anything but a calm, restful atmosphere in Morenci’s locker room March 15 in Jackson.

The Bulldogs were playing their first quarterfinal game in nearly 40 years and trailing Athens by six points—eight points until Tia Tompkins hit a bucket at the buzzer.

“It was pretty loud at the half-time break,” said Bulldog coach Tim Yatzek. “We were playing poorly but trailing by only six points.”

Yatzek remembers asking his squad if this is where they wanted it to end, in the Jackson High School field house instead of at MSU’s Breslin Center.

“They responded well,” Yatzek said about the third quarter play. “We started to do the things we needed to do, the things we worked on specifically for Athens.”

Take rebounds, for example. There were times when the Indians notched three and four rebounds on a single possession.

“That’s one of the things we worked on,” Yatzek said, “but we were standing around and trying to out-jump them instead of boxing out.”

It was a more confident Morenci team that took the floor for the second half. Tompkins got an early steal and Matea Garcia scored. Later, Tompkins turned and shot followed by another Athens turnover.

The Bulldogs were slow in their recovery on the scoreboard, but they finally took the lead at 4:15 on a three-pointer from Mercedez McCaskey, and they never gave it up.

A nine-point lead slipped to three, 38-35, at 5:13 in the fourth with Tompkins on the bench after her fourth foul. Athens eventually pulled to within one, 39-38.

McCaskey hit another three-pointer to give the Bulldogs a little breathing space, but it didn’t last long.

With a two-point lead and 2:28 yet to play, the Bulldogs missed two free throws but the Indians still couldn’t come back. Tompkins hit a pair from the line with 1:25 remaining to lead 44-40.

Athens hit a bucket with 39 seconds left and it was up to Brooke Bovee to seal it off with two chances at the line and 10 seconds to play.

She missed her first shot, then missed the second and it was suddenly up to Tompkins to assure a trip to the semifinals. She grabbed the rebound and put it through the hoop for a 46-42 victory.

Bovee, a sophomore, carried the team with her ball handling against the tough Athens defense.

“She played her heart out,” Coach Yatzek said. “She really wanted it.”

Bovee also hit 10 of 14 from the line to finish with 14 points, just behind Tompkins’s 16.

  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017