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.

Sports round-up 2013.02.27

Written by David Green.

FAYETTE BOYS: By DAVID GREEN

Fans are surely getting their money’s worth from following the varsity Fayette boys this season, said coach Todd Mitchell. All he gets is a case of the jitters.

The Eagles played one more nail-biter Friday that went down to the last shot—after shot, after shot. The game was tied after regulation play, then tied again after the first overtime.

Finally, with two seconds to play, Chandler Sanford hit a bucket to give Fayette a 49-47 win to end league play.

“We could have won it in regulation if we had just made a few free throws,” Mitchell said.

Actually, the Eagles did make more than a few free throws—14 shots found their mark—but they also missed 12. The Blackbirds didn’t get quite as many chances, but came through with 10 of 18 attempts.

Mitchell was upset with his squad’s perimeter defense that allowed Pettisville’s Valdez to score four three-point shots in the first half. Changes were made and Valdez never scored in the second half, although two other players helped fill the gap from outside.

The Eagles fell behind 7-0 at the start and trailed 11-8 after Zayne Colegrove hit a half-court shot as the quarter ended. Pettisville finished up the first half with a 23-20 advantage and led by six to start the fourth quarter.

Tyler Cox scored a bucket followed by a two and a three from Logan Franks to put the Eagles on top by a point. Fayette was on top 40-37 with 26 seconds to play, but the Blackbirds tied the game on a three-point shot.

In the first overtime, Pettisville jumped ahead on a three-pointer. The Eagles scored only four free throws—two each from Colegrove and Cox—but that was enough to keep the game knotted in a tie.

It took Sanford’s bucket with time running out in the second overtime session to give Fayette the win and a perfect league record.

“Everybody attacked the basket really well,” Mitchell said. “We hope to keep that rolling into the tournament.”

Cole Burkholder collected 10 rebounds and Cox finished with eight. Cox also made five blocks and three steals.

 

FAYETTE GIRLS: It was no decisive victory when Fayette opened its tournament season Saturday with a 43-39 win over Stryker, but that was no surprise to coach Tim Nicely. He knew the Panthers were capable of giving the Eagles some trouble.

In the end, it was free throws that made the difference with Fayette connecting on a remarkable 18 of 21 shots. Had the Panthers won, the same thing could have been said, however, as they shot a solid 16 of 21 tries.

Both teams got off to a slow start and Stryker had a 12-11 lead at half-time. Fayette put together a 10-1 run—including three-pointers by Kaela Seiler and Mikayla Smith—but the Panthers came back to pull within three points when the fourth quarter started.

Both teams connected for four buckets in the fourth quarter, but three of Stryker’s came from Connor Varner outside the arc. Fayette needed a good showing at the line to stay alive in the tournament. Paige Keefer, Seiler, Taylor Griffiths, Allison Cuff and Alexis Fruchey all scored at least one free throw.

With a little over a minute to play, Fayette led by a point, 38-37, and Smith went to the bench with her fifth foul. Pettisville missed a pair of free throws before Ashtyn Baker scored. Fruchey scored two free throws and Cuff added one to preserve the win.

For the game, Griffiths shot eight for eight from the line and Seiler hit four for four. Griffiths collected six rebounds and four steals. Smith gave four assists.

MORENCI BOYS: Morenci's varsity boys lost their lead early in the second quarter Friday when Britton-Deerfield visited, and they lost it for good. The Bulldogs managed to stay close and trailed by only two points with two minutes to play, but the Patriots remained solid at the free throw line to post a 60-49 league win.

The loss dropped Morenci to 5-14 overall and 3-11 in the league—still ahead of Sand Creek with only one TCC victory. The Aggies' only win was against Morenci in the Bulldogs' first game of the season. BD finished league play at 5-9 to stand one spot ahead of Morenci.

The Bulldogs kept their offense deep from the start, connecting on three of eight three-point shots—by Austin Sandusky, Daiton Lemmon and Alex Thomas—to lead 13-11 after a quarter. Three of eight tries went through in the second quarter, as well—two by Hunter Borton and another by Sandusky—while Morenci shot only one for six from two-point range and trailed by six at intermission.

Lemmon scored five points and made a block in the third quarter, Sandusky added a three and made a block, also, and the Patriots had trouble getting the ball through the hoop.

BD enlarged its lead to nine points with 5:53 to play, but Morenci came right back. Hayze Wolf hit a bucket, Sandusky scored a field goal and a free throw before Bobby Black swished a three-pointer to pull within three points. A three-pointer by Thomas with 1:55 remaining closed the gap to two points and it still looked like anybody's game.

After that the Bulldogs went zero for four from outside the arc and zero for two inside. Only a single free throw was added to their score while the Patriots shot seven for eight from the line to win.

Alex Thomas was the leading scorer for Morenci with 13, while Lemmon and Sandusky each added 10.

WHITEFORD—Morenci played closely with Whiteford all night at home last week, but a chance to tie the game in regulation play was foiled when a last shot missed its mark and the Bobcats escaped with a 50-47 victory.

Colin Lake, the TCC’s leading scorer, put only six points on the scoreboard by half-time, but he came alive in the second half to finish with 24 points. 

Lemmon finished with 17 for the Bulldogs and Alex Thomas added 12. Lemmon also led in rebounding with seven. Wolf and Thomas each grabbed six. 

MORENCI GIRLS: Morenci's varsity girls came through with an opening quarter like none other Thursday at Hudson and closed the regular season with a 50-34 victory against the Tigers.

Ali Piercy scored twice and Mariah Gillen once before Hannah Jeffers got on track with a three-point shot to give the Bulldogs a 9-1 lead. Morenci committed six turnovers in the quarter, but Hudson didn't take advantage. 

Jeffers hit another three followed by a pair of two-point buckets and Emma Binegar added a field goal. Gillen finished off the quarter with three baskets in the final minute to put the Bulldogs on top 26-12.

The scoring pace slowed for both teams in the second period, but Morenci padded its lead for a 20-point advantage at half-time.

Jeffers added six points in the third quarter, with Morenci's lead swelling to 24 points mid-way through the period.

The Bulldog offense sputtered in the final quarter, but the squad still came through with its top offensive night of the season.

Jeffers led Morenci's scoring with 20 points and Gillen added 10.

BD—Britton-Deerfield finished with another decisive win against Morenci, but it was a long time coming. The Patriots' lead stood at only six points halfway through the third period Wednesday, but after that point the Bulldogs couldn't score and Britton-Deerfield did nothing but score to wrap up the league season with a 59-38 win over Morenci.

The Bulldogs committed two fouls in the first 13 seconds of the contest, then turned the ball over six times before putting any points on the scoreboard. Oddly, they trailed only 4-0. Two buckets by Gillen knotted the game at 4-4 and a fast break by Sydney Weeks as the quarter ended made it 10-7 in favor of the Patriots.

BD led by as much as 11 in the second quarter, but a good showing at the free-throw line kept Morenci in the game. Weeks and Jeffers both went two for two and Piercy added another to cut the lead to seven points.

The Patriots (14-5) were in their locker room for only a couple minutes at half-time before their coach had them back on the court shooting baskets. It didn't make any difference, at least not for a few minutes. BD added only four points in the next four minutes and Morenci kept it close before the Patriot offense finally awakened. Five quick points in the final seconds of the quarter made it a 16-point game and the lead only grew in the final quarter.

BD’s Cambria Handy—the league’s top scorer—was unstoppable and finished with 28 points. Gillen scored 11 for Morenci.

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