FAYETTE BOYS BASKETBALL: After a close game all night, Fayette moved to a zone defense Thursday against Stryker and finished with a 47-35 BBC win.
“With about three minutes to play, they started fouling us and we made the free throws,” coach Todd Mitchell said.
Four Eagles shooters combined for a nine-of-13 record to push ahead of the Panthers for the win.
Fayette got into some foul trouble early and Cole Burkholder had three by half-time. Tyler Cox had a pair by intermission, but he still came through with one of his best games ever, Mitchell said. Cox finished with five blocks, three steals, four rebounds and 14 points.
Zayne Colegrove collected five steals and gave four assists.
“Patty Hookstadt doesn’t have a lot of numbers,” Mitchell said, “but his hustle on defense really got us going.”
FAIRVIEW—Fayette was up by six points Saturday when Fairview visited, but they extended the lead in the final two quarters to win 35-17.
Coming out of the break, Chandler Sanford scored a pair of field goals ahead of single buckets by Logan Franks and Zayne Colegrove for a 14-point lead.
The Apaches were held to a single bucket in the fourth quarter as the Eagles nearly doubled their score.
Colegrove led scoring with 13.
OTTAWA HILLS—The Green Bears used their height advantage (6-foot-7, 6-foot-five and six-foot-four) to take an early lead Monday at Fayette and then held on to claim a 50-35 non-league win.
Colegrove scored three second-quarter buckets to keep the game close, 20-15, but Ottawa Hills scored a 30-21 advantage in the second half, including a 10-1 streak in the fourth quarter.
JVs: Fayette’s JV boys added three wins to their record, finishing with a 41-34 victory Monday against Ottawa Hills.
The Eagles started the game off in a press, something that’s worked well for them in nearly every game. Danial Michael is the key to its success, said coach Matt Maginn.
Fayette led by only a point at half-time, but Tristen Bates opened up the lead by scoring 11 points in the third quarter. That was enough to temper the visitors’ 19-point fourth quarter. Bates finished with 13 points.
Fayette could have made it easier Saturday against Fairview, but fourth quarter shots weren’t falling and the Eagles got by with 23-22 win.
Last week, Stryker went scoreless in the final quarter and the Eagles claimed a 36-24 BBC win.
The Panthers owned the first half, but only scored one bucket in the second half against Fayette’s 1-3-1 zone.
Bates scored 10 points and Michael added eight.
Fayette's varsity girls were derailed by a pair of losses last week, but turned things around at home Saturday with an easy 66-31 victory over Fairview.
The Eagles had to play catch-up early on, but that didn't last long. Starting late in the first quarter, the Eagles embarked on a 24-2 run with seven points from Kaela Seiler, five from Taylor Griffiths and single buckets by Melani Seiler, Alexis Fruchey, Ashton Baker, Mikayla Smith and Jessie Wheeler. By intermission, Fayette was running away with the game, 38-12.
Four scorers contributed to a 14-2 run in the third quarter as the situation grew worse for the visitors.
STRYKER—“We had our opportunities," said Eagle coach Tim Nicely. "We had our chances to get the lead but couldn't capitalize."
Instead, Fayette took an early-season league loss, falling to Stryker by a point, 57-56.
"I think we should have won," Nicely said, "but Stryker played well. They have some good returners from last season and some other girls stepped up."
Fayette jumped to a 20-8 lead after Griffiths scored eight points in a row, but after a Stryker timeout, it became obvious that a battle lay ahead. The Panthers finished off the quarter with an 8-0 run and trailed by only three. Stryker ran a second 8-0 stretch to a four-point lead into halftime.
The teams were tied often through the third quarter, but a three-pointer with five seconds left gave the Panthers an edge.
Fruchey's three-point shot tied the game 49-49 with three minutes to play. With less than a minute, Griffiths gave Fayette a 54-53 lead with her sixth consecutive free throw. Two more free throws by Griffiths tied it at 56, but a field goal by Stryker with nine seconds left was all they needed for the win.
"With a one-point loss, you look back at every possession and think about the would-a, could-a moments," Nicely said.
The Eagles scored 17 from the line, but missed another 10 tries. Griffiths hit eight of eight.
Paige Keefer led under the boards with seven rebounds. Kaela Seiler and Fruchey each grabbed four steals. Smith dished out seven assists.
EDGERTON—Two low-scoring quarters led to the Eagles' first loss of the season, falling in a non-league game to Edgerton, 49-42.
A big third quarter put Fayette on top 36-35 going into the final quarter, but only three shots went through the hoop in the fourth while the Bulldogs added 14 for the win.
JVs: Fayette’s JV girls added two victories to their tally last week, starting with a 27-20 win against Stryker.
The Panthers had a one-point lead going into the final quarter, but three buckets by Katelyn Bates propelled the Eagles to a league win. Bates led scoring with eight points and Adriana Hylander added six.
Fayette rolled to a 34-13 win Saturday against Fairview, never giving up their big first-quarter lead. Bates scored nine and Maddie Maginn added seven.
The Eagles were no match for Edgerton, losing 45-17. Maddie Maginn's six points in the third quarter were tops for Fayette.
It was anybody's game for a half, then it was Clinton's game after the break. Morenci's boys stayed close to the Redskins throughout the second quarter, but Morenci's offense fell apart after intermission and undefeated Clinton claimed a 61-46 TCC victory.
“I was really happy with our first half,” coach Jim Bauer said. “We had some really good shots—even when we missed—and there was good movement and great screens.”
Clinton took an early 8-0 lead, but Hunter Borton hit a three to get Morenci started and Hayze Wolf canned a three at the buzzer to make it a 16-10 game in the Redskins' favor.
Daiton Lemmon scored three buckets in a row and Torin Merillat tied the game with a put-back. Borton hit another three to tie it at 21-all and Clinton went into the break with a three-point lead, 29-26.
Austin Sandusky scored early in the third quarter, but that was the end for Morenci. Clinton scored the next 12 points and Bulldogs went six minutes without a field goal. Zero for seven shooting combined with four turnovers put Clinton ahead 43-28.
That good movement from the first half wasn’t as evident after the break.
“We got into some mismatches that led to turnovers,” Bauer said. “Clinton took advantage of those. They had good handlers, good shooting and lots of height.”
Morenci snapped out of it in the fourth quarter, but never got closer than 13 points.
Lemmon was the bright spot for the Bulldogs, finishing with 17 points.
“He squared up and took his time,” Bauer said. “He did a really nice job.”
Despite the loss, Bauer saw improvements in the Bulldogs second game of the season.
“We’re still making a lot of mistakes on defense, but I felt much better after this game than after Sand Creek. I think our offense is playing much better.”
SAND CREEK—Morenci led most of the night in its season opener Dec. 11 against league foe Sand Creek, but a three-pointer from the corner with five seconds to play gave the Aggies a 48-46 win.
"We shouldn't have been in a position to lose by a three-point shot," coach Jim Bauer said.
Morenci picked up some points early in the game with a full-court press and led the Aggies 14-7 after a quarter.
"Even without the press, we were getting our hands on the ball, causing some turnovers and deflections." Bauer said.
He also saw a good rebounding effort in the first half, also, but not so much in the second. In hindsight, he said, he should have done a better job of rebounding to keep fresh bodies on the floor.
Sandusky was the high scorer with 11 points. He also game four assists. Wolf collected 10 rebounds.
JVs: Morenci JV coach Jed Hall saw improvement in his squad during the second game of the season, but the result was the same as the opener: a league loss.
The Bulldogs had some trouble defending against Clinton’s screens Thursday, but Morenci trailed by only three points at half-time, 21-18.
The contest remained close in the third quarter and the Bulldogs took a 36-31 lead with three minutes to play. That was the end of Morenci’s scoring against a tough 2-3 zone and the Redskins took a 42-36 win.
Isaiah Pruitt finished with 11 points despite his foul trouble. Bladen Mellon added nine.
At Sand Creek Dec. 11, Morenci had some offensive troubles in their season opener and trailed by 10 points at intermission. Play improved at both ends of the court in the second half and Morenci tied the contest 37-37 with time running low. The Aggies scored on a buzzer-beater to win.
Aidan Tompkins led with nine points, followed by Adam Gillen with seven.
“If we can stay out of foul trouble, force more defensive turnovers, and continue to raise the level of team play offensively, we're going to win some games,” Coach Hall said.
MORENCI GIRLS: Foul shots—some made, some missed—led to a victory for Morenci’s girls Monday at Lenawee Christian School.
It was a standout night for senior Hannah Jeffers (22 points, 18 rebounds) and her offensive success late in the game led to the Bulldogs’ first win of the season, 44-43.
Jeffers hit a jumper with about half a minute to play to put Morenci on top by two points. LCS (1-7) tied it again with two free throws until Jeffers hit a pair from the line. With two seconds to play, the Cougars drew a foul, but only one of two shots went through the hoop to preserve the Bulldogs’ lead.
CLINTON—Morenci varsity girls coach Tim Yatzek told Hannah Jeffers he wanted at least 15 points out of her at the Clinton game Friday. Maybe he should have had that conversation earlier in the season.
The senior came through with the best offensive night of her career to lead all scorers with 19 points.
If only Coach Yatzek could get the same results with a request to cut down on turnovers. Ball control put the Bulldogs in the hole early against the Redskins (1-5) who claimed their first win of the season, 51-37.
Both teams got sloppy with the ball in the opening quarter, but Clinton managed to put more points on the board, going on a 10-point streak and leading 15-4 before Emma Binegar hit a three-pointer with 10 seconds remaining in the period.
Jeffers scored a pair of buckets mid-way through the second quarter, but another Morenci turnover led to a 12-point lead for Clinton. Melissa Burk scored on two offensive rebounds in the final two minutes before the half, but the Bulldogs couldn't gain much ground.
The second half was more evenly played, with the Redskins taking only a 24-21 advantage, as Jeffers added another 11 points to her tally. The remainder of the Bulldogs combined for 18 points.
SAND CREEK—Morenci fell way behind Sand Creek at home Dec. 11, 23-8, but turned it around in the second quarter with a 17-8 advantage to trail by six at intermission.
The Aggies came through with their biggest effort yet in the third quarter with a 20-2 advantage to put the game out of reach. Sand Creek ended with a 57-35 win.
Jeffers collected 11 rebounds before grabbing 12 at Clinton.
Coach Yatzek still sees the potential in his young team.
"We're not scoring enough and we're turning the ball over too much," he said, "but the potential is there."
He expects to see improvements ahead for the 0-4 squad.
LIFTERS: Eight Morenci power lifters won championships Saturday at the Tri-County Conference Push/Push Meet at Madison High School and two lifters set records. Morenci placed third in team standings.
Morenci had no competitors in the men's varsity division, but two Bulldogs won titles in the varsity women's competition.
Taylor Baugh placed first in the 114-pound class with a bench press of 90 pounds and a dead lift of 240 for a total of 330. Her dead lift set a meet record. Makiha Lockwood (181) also took first with scores of 130 and 320 for a 450 total. Each of her numbers set a meet record. Katie Cox (165) placed second with 100 and 240 for a 340 total.
All three of the first-year JV girls placed in their competition. Madi Gleckler, in the 114-pound weight class, benched 80 pounds and lifted 165 for a winning 245-pound total. Andy Mikuski took first in the 123 division with scores of 75 and 160 for a 235-pound total. Taylor Vanderpool (148) finished third with scores of 65 and 170 for 235.
In the JV men's division, Morenci took four titles. Chris Hinkley (145) pressed 165 and lifted 320 for a winning 485-pound total. Nick Stutzman won the 165 class with scores of 195 and 330 for a 525 total. J.J. Elarton, out for his first year, won the 181 class with 180 and 315 and a 495 total. Shawn Feltz, also a rookie, took the 242 class with 205, 335 and 540.
Malachi Hoffman placed second at 155 with scores of 200, 340 and 540. Third-place finishes went to Michael Heinze (165) with 165, 275 and 440, and to Koty Dillon (195) with 195, 340 and 535.
Devin Wyse, also new to the team, competed in the 155 class and scored 185, 270 and 455.