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

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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  • Cheer
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Sports round-up 2013.01.16

Written by David Green.


Fayette’s boys need a win at home Friday against Pettisville to stay on top of the BBC as the second half of the league schedule gets underway.

The Eagles (8-3, 4-0) finished with a decisive 43-25 victory Thursday at Hilltop (3-8, 0-4), but there was a period of time when coach Todd Mitchell wasn’t sure how things were going to end up.

Fayette was on top by 18 points at half-time after a 9-0 first-quarter run and a 14-1 stretch in the second period. Chandler Sanford hit a pair of three-pointers in the opening quarter and Logan Franks canned two in the second as the Eagle offense rolled.

Then came the third quarter.

Neither team scored during the opening two minutes of the second half and Hilltop finally broke the silence with a three-point shot. The Cadets added a pair of field goals and cut the lead to nine points before Cole Burkholder sank a free throw and later hit a field goal. That was it for the Eagle offense that quarter.

“We missed at least eight uncontested lay-ups and we had poor rebounding,” Mitchell said. 

Mitchell knew that Hilltop had nearly knocked off Maumee Valley Country Day two nights earlier—losing only by late free throws—and he was wondering just what the team without a league win was capable of doing.

As it turned out, they weren’t able to mount a come-back. The teams mostly traded baskets in the fourth quarter, with Fayette getting a heavier kick through a late three-point shot from Tyler Cox.

The Eagles collected only 13 rebounds for the game, but kept turnovers at a low eight. Franks never missed a shot all night.

Cox made nine blocks and collected three steals. Franks and Zayne Colegrove each gave three assists.

Coach Mitchell is pleased with the team’s defensive showing this season—giving up an average of 35 points a game—but games are staying close with the offense averaging only 42.

JV BOYS: Fayette's JV boys pulled away from Hilltop in the second quarter Thursday and finished with a big 39-19 win.

The Eagles got off to a slow start with only six points in the opening quarter, but more than doubled that in the second quarter—including seven for 11 shooting from the line—and led 21-8 at halftime. The Cadets were limited to only two field goals in the middle two quarters.

Fayette outpaced its opponent 17-1 at the line, with Danial Michael shooting seven for 10.

Michael led scoring with nine points and Justin Stoltzfus added eight.


Fayette girls coach Tim Nicely thought there might be some scoring runs when Hilltop visited Friday, and he was right.

The Cadets took the first one, the Eagles came back with their own, then it was a battle for the remainder of the night.

An exciting game, an excellent crowd, and best yet—a league victory for Fayette.

“Hilltop got the first punch in,” Nicely said about the Cadets’ early 9-0 lead. 

Hilltop was still ahead by nine when the quarter ended and raised it to 11 before the Eagle offense started to click. Kaela Seiler canned a pair of threes and added a free throw. Ashtyn Baker scored a pair of buckets and single scores came from Paige Keefer, Alexis Fruchey and Mikayla Smith.

Melanie Seiler hit a buzzer-beater to cap Fayette’s 23-point quarter and go into intermission with a two-point lead.

An 8-2 run gave the Eagles a good lead that withered in the fourth quarter as Hilltop cut the margin to three points, 44-41, with 3:40 to play.

Single buckets by five different shooters, five-for-nine shooting from the line, and a couple of Hilltop turnovers gave Fayette the win.

“Everyone who played contributed to the win,” Nicely said.

After Hilltop’s Hannah Bleikamp scored 11 first-quarter points, Nicely assigned Melanie Seiler the job of slowing her down. She hit two buckets in the second quarter and only a free throw in the third.

Allison Cuff gave four assists and grabbed five rebounds in addition to her four points.

It was Smith’s night to ignite on offense with seven buckets—two from outside the arc—to finish with 19 points. Taylor Griffiths gave an excellent floor game with six blocks and nine rebounds.

AYERSVILLE—The Pilots finally pulled away in a close game to take a non-conference victory, 51-46. 

Kaela Seiler opened with a 10-point first quarter to give Fayette a 15-8 lead, but the Eagles' scoring dropped off in the second quarter and the score was knotted at half-time.

Griffiths was hot in the third quarter, scoring 13 of the team's 14 points that period, but the Eagles still trailed by a point going into the fourth. Smith, Fruchey and Seiler each scored single buckets, but that wasn't quite enough to keep pace with Ayersville.

Seiler and Griffiths each hit three three-point shots for the game and Smith went five for five from the line.

JV GIRLS: A weak third quarter by Fayette gave Hilltop the edge in the girls JV contest Friday. The Eagles went into intermission with a 15-7 lead, but dropped the BBC contest 24-21.

Adriana Hylander's three-point shot was the only score for Fayette in the third quarter and the Eagles couldn’t keep pace in the fourth.

“We missed a couple key rebounds and had a couple key turnovers at bad times,” said coach Sarah Bird. “We lost our five-point lead we had going into the last two minutes.”

Maddie Maginn and Michaela Bates were the leading scorers with five points each.

AYERSVILLE—Despite getting shut out in the first quarter, Fayette's offense got better in each of the remaining quarters to post a 30-25 win.

“We made that a little more interesting than it should have been,” Coach Bird said. “The first half was pretty ugly but the girls fought back hard from a nine-point deficit at the half. They stuck with the plan, worked hard and got the win.”

Maginn shot four for five from the line in the fourth quarter and Hylander hit a pair of threes to bring the Eagles from behind.

Fayette finished the game with 13 free throws compared to three for the Pilots.

Hylander led scoring with nine, followed by Maginn with eight.


Summerfield outscored Morenci in three of four quarters at home Friday to claim a 53-40 boys TCC win.

“It was a winnable game,” said Bulldog coach Jim Bauer. “We’re just struggling in a lot of areas.”

Shooting troubles kept Morenci (1-8, 0-5) in catch-up mode as the first quarter ended and they never got closer than four points for the remainder of the night.

Austin Sandusky hit a three-pointer early in the second quarter to pull within six and a three by Bobby Black made it a five-point game, 18-13. 

Consecutive buckets by Alex Thomas cut the lead to four, 21-17, but misses and turnover followed and Summerfield (4-5, 3-2) took a 28-19 lead into intermission.

Hayze Wolf and Black both hit from the outside in the third quarter, but Morenci could get no closer than five points. Scoring slowed to only five points in the final quarter as Summerfield stayed on top.

“We just have to put the ball in the hoop,” Bauer said. “That would help us out in a lot of areas.”

Austin Thomas had a good offensive night with 13 points and Bauer praised his brother Alex’s hustle from start to finish.

Alex collected seven rebounds and made three steals. Wolf also had three steals and Sandusky gave five assists.

WHITMORE LAKE—Coach Bauer didn’t see the team play that his squad gave in the Coldwater tournament and it showed in a 57-42 loss at Whitmore Lake.

Wolf led scoring with 13 points and he also grabbed eight rebounds. Sandusky made four steals and Alex Thomas gave three assists.

 JV BOYS: A great team win. That's how Morenci JV boys basketball coach Jed Hall viewed the Bulldogs' 54-33 victory Thursday at Summerfield.

Morenci trailed after a quarter, but turned it around to lead 26-18 after Tucker Stover banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer as the second period ended. 

"At half-time we challenged the kids to double the lead by the end of the third, and to limit Summerfield to 12 second half points," Hall said, "and the kids came out ready to do that."

The Morenci lead grew to 42-23 at the end of the third, and the Bulldogs nearly completed their defensive goal by the end of the game.

"We played great second half defense, ran our offense well, and were able to fast break really well," Hall said.

Bladen Mellon led with 13 points, followed by Aaron Elarton and Stover with 11 each. Stover was credited with a good game under the boards and for causing some turnovers.

WHITMORE LAKE—The Bulldogs gave up an early lead last week at Whitmore Lake, but came back with a strong third quarter to go on top again. Elarton and Mellon combined for 15 of the 17 points scored in the third.

The Trojans were limited to six points in the final period and Morenci claimed a 52-42 league win.

"Offensively we did well getting fast break points, but struggled against zones by forcing early shots," Coach Hall said. "Defensively we pick and choose spots to hustle instead of doing our jobs 100 percent of the time."

Elarton finished with 23 points in his first game with the JV squad. Mellon added 17, including five three-pointers.

MORENCI GIRLS: A pair of scoreless quarters doomed Morenci’s varsity girls Friday, leading Summerfield to a 34-19 conference win.

The Bulldogs couldn’t get the ball through the hoop in the opening quarter and the visitors took an 11-0 lead. Hannah Jeffers broke the ice early in the second quarter with a three-point shot.

Brianna Gilson added a field goal and Jeffers canned one to close the gap to 11-8, but then another dry spell hit. Summerfield went on a 13-2 run to end the first half and after that it went downhill for the Bulldogs.

Morenci was shut out for the next 12 minutes until Gilson sank a three, followed by a bucket from Melissa Burk. Chloe Molitierno scored off a steal and Burk added another field goal to close up the Bulldogs’ scoring.

Mariah Gillen came through with several blocks throughout the contest.

WHITMORE LAKE—The Bulldogs were leading at home after three quarters last week when Whitmore Lake visited, but scored only a single free throw in the final quarter and lost 41-30.

Jeffers less scoring with 14 points. She also collected 11 rebounds and three steals. Gilson grabbed six rebounds and five steals.

Morenci junior varsity team earned its first win of the season last week at Whitmore Lake. No details about the game were provided.

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