FAYETTE BOYS BASKETBALL: Fayette’s varsity boys used sharp shooting at the free-throw line to pull ahead of Edon in the fourth quarter Thursday and win their first BBC game of the season, 45-29.
A weak second quarter left the Eagles with a narrow 17-15 lead at halftime, but they started to make their move in the third quarter. A 12-7 advantage there boosted the lead to 29-22 going into the final period.
The Bombers tried to gain ground by sending Fayette to the line, but it worked in the Eagles’ favor. Cole Burkholder hit both ends of a pair of one-and-ones while Chandler Sanford and Logan Franks both went two for two. Zayne Colegrove and Tyler Cox also added single free throws.
Burkholder powered the Eagles to an 11-6 first-quarter lead by scoring nine points. He finished the game with 21, including three three-point baskets.
ANTWERP—Fayette (2-2) took its second non-conference loss at home Saturday against Antwerp, losing a low-scoring 36-29 contest.
Neither team seemed willing to shoot in the first few minutes, with more than a dozen passes made before the ball was put up. The Archers scored first and Colegrove answered with a three.
Burkholder and Colegrove each added a field goal and two free throws in the second quarter, and Koby Biddix scored off a rebound, but the Archers’ Derek Smalley canned three three-pointers to keep Antwerp on top, 18-15.
Biddix hit a pair of three-pointers in the third quarter while the Archers extended their lead to 29-23 to begin the final quarter.
Antwerp failed to score in the first four minutes of the final period and the Eagles tied the game after Burkholder hit four free throws and Sanford sank a field goal.
But that was the end of Fayette’s scoring. The Archers added four free throws of their own and a three-pointer to win.
Biddix and Burkholder finished with eight points each and Colegrove added seven. Burkholder hit six of seven from the line.
JVs: Fayette’s JV boys were on top 23-0 at half-time last week at Edon and ended the contest with a 39-16 BBC win.
The Bombers finally made three field goals in the second half and added a few points at the line.
Eight Eagles were in on the scoring, led by Wade Burkholder with 12 points. Skylar Lantz was next in line with seven. Joel Smith hit four of six tries from the line.
Fayette played close Saturday against Antwerp for the first quarter, but the Archers pulled ahead in the second quarter with a 20-point burst. The teams played even-up in the second half, but Antwerp finished on top, 43-34.
Burkholder finished with 11 points and canned a pair of three-pointers.
FAYETTE GIRLS: Fayette’s girls rolled past Edon on Friday before facing more of a challenge at home against Antwerp on Saturday. In the end, the Eagles advanced to 4-0 for the season.
Edon scored only a single field goal by half time, but went to the line 21 times and put 11 of them through the hoop. Meanwhile, the Eagles poured on the points to take a 31-14 lead into intermission.
Kaela Seiler hit three threes in the opening quarter and Taylor Griffiths did it the old-fashioned way in the second quarter with buckets followed by free throws. Allison Cuff scored from the inside to complete an eight-point run leading up to the half-time break.
It was Alexis Fruchey’s turn to catch fire in the third quarter with eight points as the Eagles took a 20-point lead, 48-28.
Fayette’s offense finally slowed in the final period, but the Bombers gained little ground.
Seiler led scoring with 20 points, followed by Griffiths with 11 and Fruchey with 10.
ANTWERP—The Eagles trailed 14-11 after a quarter at home Saturday and moved to a 26-24 half-time lead after four-for-four free throw shooting by Griffiths and single buckets by five other players.
Mikayla Smith opened the second half scoring with a three-pointer, but the Archers regained the lead. Finally, an 11-point run by the Eagles—their longest of the season—put them back on top for a 41-34 lead going into the fourth.
Paige Keefer came through with a pair of buckets in the final period to keep the Eagles on top for the win.
Seiler finished with 12 points. Keefer and Griffiths both made it into double figures with 10 points.
JVs: It wasn’t a pretty win, said Fayette JV girls basketball coach Sarah Bird, but it was a win. The Eagles put only three points on the board in the final quarter, but held on to top Edon 32-25.
Rylee Ruger got her first start and sparked the offense with 14 points. Ruger also collected six rebounds. Ellen Baker had a strong defensive night with six steals.
The Eagles had their best all-around game Saturday, Bird said, when they dropped Antwerp 29-10 in a good team effort with everyone contributing.
“Our goal was all about composure,” Bird said. “We still have to work on it, but we were finally able to go the full game playing under more control than what we have been doing.”
Ruger and Michaela Bates each grabbed six rebounds, four on offense.
MORENCI WRESTLING: Two of Morenci’s three wrestlers placed Saturday at the Blissfield invitational tournament.
Alexander Pless came through with the best finish for the Bulldogs, claiming a pair of victories for a fourth-place finish.
Pless, competing at 130 pounds, scored a 15-8 decision against a Vandercook Lake foe before pinning a Madison wrestler at 5:13.
“Pless looked really strong the entire day and lost due to a lack of experience,” said co-coach Loren Delmonico.
Brandt Kelley competed at 152 pounds—higher than he wants to be—and he ended up with a sixth-place finish after taking two byes and scoring a 10-6 decision against Lutheran Westland.
Kelley might compete at 145 pounds this weekend and aims to drop down to 140.
“Kelley also looked tough, but just came up short in some very close matches,” said the coach.
Cody Tule had a rough day, Delmonico said, since the freshman had to bump up to 189 pounds. He still recorded a pin at 3:54 against a Manchester wrestler.
OPENER—The Bulldogs opened the season Dec. 5 at Stockbridge. Everyone was pinned in the opener against Div. 3 Ida, but two Morenci wrestlers took victories against the host squad.
“We had very tough competition against the bigger Ida team and we made some freshman mistakes,” Delmonico said. “We came back and redeemed ourselves against a more evenly matched Stockbridge team and scored two wins.”
Pless pinned his opponent at 4:23 and Kelly won his match 9-7.
Austin Vanderpool will begin competing this weekend and newcomer Drew Canfield might start wrestling Saturday.
• The Bulldogs were scheduled to visit Michigan Center today (Wednesday) and compete Saturday at the Edgerton Invitational team tournament.