The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • 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.
  • Front.bank.2
    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.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • 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.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

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.

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