FAYETTE VARSITY BOYS: Fayette couldn’t conrol North Central’s phenomenal freshman Anthony Kidston Friday night. Kidston powered North Central to a big 30-point second quarter that made the difference in the contest.
Kidston’s 22 points led the visitors to a 68-55 BBC win.
“We just couldn’t stop him,” said Fayette coach Todd Mitchell.
The freshman’s three three-pointers in the second quarter changed a four-point deficit after a quarter to a 41-27 lead at intermission.
The teams played even-up in the second half, but the damage was done.
“We did a nice job in the fourth and cut the lead down to nine, but overall it was not a great shooting night for us,” Mitchell said.
North Central (11-3) started the game in a man-to-man defense but later switched to a zone. The Eagles (8-8) struggled against that and got a little impatient, Mitchell said.
North Central scored on 14 of 17 shots from the line while the Eagles made just three of 11.
Coty Griffiths led Fayette’s scoring with 16 points. He and Austin Hylander each collected six rebounds. Griffiths, Darrell Randall and Shelby Franks each gave three assists.
LIBERTY CENTER—Fayette wasn’t about to give Liberty Center its first victory of the season. The Eagles traveled to the Tigers’ gym and returned home with a 56-38 non-conference victory.
The contest proved to be a good shooting night for Fayette, especially from the foul line, hitting 14 of 19. Evan Stoltzfus made all eight of his attempts. From the floor, the Eagles missed only a single shot in the fourth quarter.
“The kids bounced back after a hard-played Friday and really made the shots,” Mitchell said. “We talked about how we needed to attack the basket and we did it.”
Mitchell got a good balance in scoring with Stoltzfus’s 10 leading the way. Rodriguez collected seven rebounds, gave two assists and took a charge.
Griffiths and Eliott Richardson each finished with five rebounds and Richardson made a block.
• The Eagles travel to Hilltop (7-9, 1-6) Friday and to Evergreen (12-3) on Saturday.
JV BOYS: Fayette’s JV boys claimed a league victory Friday against North Central, 31-23, but fell 37-31 the next night against Liberty Center.
North Central managed to keep the Eagles out of their offense early in the game, coach Matt Maginn said, but Fayette picked up the pace in the fourth quarter to hang on for a win.
Maginn praised Nelson Barnhiser’s defensive game against North Central’s point guards. Barnhiser finished with five steals and he also led scoring with nine points.
Hunter Colegrove was tops under the boards with seven rebounds and Trevor Cox collected five.
The Eagles quickly dug themselves in a hole at Liberty Center and never recovered. They came out of the half-time break and played much better, Maginn said, but couldn’t erase the deficit.
Cox scored eight points and collected six boards. Colegrove and Travis Kline also finished with six rebounds each. Jessie Rodriguez played only one quarter due to the overlap with the freshman game, but he and Dakota Lantz each scored five points.
FAYETTE TOURNAMENTS: Fayette’s girls start off the tournament season Feb. 25 at Bryan against Edgerton. The Eagles have the opening game of the night at 6:15 p.m., followed by Pettisville and North Central at 8 p.m.
The winners play at 8 p.m. Feb. 28.
Fayette’s boys will take on Hilltop at 7 p.m. March 3 at Bryan, with the winner facing Pettisville March 6.
MORENCI VARSITY GIRLS: Morenci’s comeback plans were derailed Saturday afternoon in their own gymnasium.
After seven victories in eight starts, it looked the Bulldogs might be able to pull into contention in the Tri-County Conference—all of that after a shaky 0-4 start to the season.
When Summerfield visited Saturday, Morenci scored a single bucket in the first quarter, but still stood within six points as the fourth quarter got underway.
Another single-bucket quarter ended their hopes when shots just weren’t making it through the hoop.
Nicolette Swimmer’s seven points led the way for Morenci, with Tess Ramsey coming off the bench to add six.
At Deerfield last Thursday, Morenci piled on the points in the second half to post a 65-39 win. Jade Pfund finished with 19 points and Swimmer added 12.
• The Bulldogs try to improve their league standing Friday at Clinton, then take a trip to Summerfield Monday. That game was originally scheduled in Morenci.
MORENCI VARSITY BOYS: Morenci’s varsity boys basketball coach Tim Bovee watched his squad put the throttle down but then back off, then put it down again and back off.
It made it a game of spurts, he said, with double-digit leads fading away. In the end, the Bulldogs (3-8 TCC) downed Deerfield (2-9) at home Monday night for the second time this season, winning 65-57.
The Minutemen weren’t about to give up, Bovee said, and they were able to break up the Bulldogs’ game repeatedly.
Morenci was paced by another strong offensive showing from Clayton Wolf who finished with 20 points.
Bovee praised his bench support, naming Zach Phillips and Chas Frey as coming in to inject some energy into the game. Nick Wilson helped the squad hold onto its lead late in the game.
MADISON—The Bulldogs’ 45-43 loss Friday at Madison remained a tight contest almost all night. The lead never exceeded four points until Morenci made it a six-point game midway through the third quarter.
Anthony Tompkins tied it up, Jarrett Keller gave Morenci a lead, Clayton Wolf scored on a fast break and Tompkins hit again to make it 27-21 in the low-scoring contest.
With just over a minute to play, the Trojans had a six-point advantage but the Bulldogs had their chance to tie it up. Wolf scored after a Madison turnover, but it was still a four-point difference when Tompkins scored with 29 seconds remaining.
The Trojans turned it over again and Matt Hoadley scored with 15 seconds to go. Madison missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Bulldogs’ one final shot at the buzzer missed its mark.
Morenci shot two for eight from the line while Madison hit eight of 12.
WHITEFORD—The Bulldogs lost to league-leading Whiteford 67-52 on Feb. 3.
The Bobcats went to the line 36 times and canned 17 shots.
• Sand Creek got away with a 58-51 win in December, but Coach Bovee is hoping for a Morenci victory here Thursday. Wolf wasn’t in the lineup the first time around. Winless Britton visits Tuesday.
JV BOYS: The Bulldogs’ finest game was a loss?
That’s how JV boys coach John Craig saw things Friday night.
“It was probably our finest game of the season,” he said of the 55-49 loss at Madison. “It was as good as any win. We really got after them.”
The all-freshman squad is still playing short-handed due to injuries and illness. The Bulldogs were down 10 points with less than three minutes to play and cut the lead to two. Madison secured the win at the line.
Max Gautz and Tyler Benjamin turned up the defensive pressure to help drive the comeback. Lucas Hollstein scored 17 points and Luke Craig added 14.
Hollstein was dominant in Morenci’s 52-38 loss to Deerfield, finishing the game with 26 points. The Bulldogs had trouble establishing an outside game, Coach Craig said.
A weak second quarter doomed the Bulldogs at Whiteford Feb. 3 and led to a 50-33 loss. Craig scored 12 points.
MORENCI WRESTLING: Morenci ended up with only one wrestler competing in this year’s top-four all-county tournament, resulting in a second-place finish.
Jeff Nofziger (26-3), the top seed in the 140-pound class, opened with a 7-5 win against Sand Creek’s talented freshman, Sam Mehan (10-4).
In the finals, he faced Tecumseh’s Mike Butler (26-5) and lost 2-9. It was mostly a 3-2 match-up, Morenci coach Scott Clark said, but Nofziger gave up some points late in an effort to pull off a victory.
A week ago at Hudson, Nofziger defeated a wrestler who beat Butler, but Nofziger couldn’t come through with the win this time.
Lucas Johnson (215) also qualified for the tournament, but decided to give a lingering elbow injury more time to heal.
That’s the case for several Bulldogs, Clark said, and he is expected to pull out of a scheduled match-up with Sand Creek tonight. Between injuries and empty weight classes, there wouldn’t be much remaining for the Aggies to face.
Coach Clark will decide later in the week who will travel to Clinton Saturday for the annual SCAA/TCC individual meet. The event expands to eight teams this year with Clinton from the TCC and Colon and Bellevue from the SCAA. Other teams are Sand Creek, Madison, Pittsford and Climax-Scotts.
At a league event Feb. 4, the Bulldogs gave up points in six empty weights classes, losing to Clinton 54-11 and to Sand Creek 45-22.
Against Clinton, Marcus Burciaga (103) scored a pin at 5:25 and Nofziger claimed a 19-4 technical fall. Johnson lost 2-5 and Tyler Guelde (119) lost 4-7. Morenci’s other competitors were pinned.
Against Sand Creek, Morenci picked up two victories by void, plus a 17-9 decision by Nofziger and a 3:30 pin by Johnson. Corey Williams (152) maintained a 6-1 lead after two periods, but ended up losing 6-7.
MORENCI TOURNAMENTS: Morenci’s varsity girls open tournament play against league foe Whiteford at the district matches March 2. This year’s tournament is in Blissfield.
Blissfield and Sand Creek play the first game at 6 p.m, with Morenci following at 7:30.
On March 4, Erie Mason takes on the Blissfield-Sand Creek winner at 6 p.m. and Madison faces the Morenci-Whiteford winner at 7:30.
The finals follow on March 6.
Morenci’s boys have a bye in the first round of the Class C tournament at Sand Creek.
Play starts March 9 with Erie Mason and Blissfield at 6 p.m. The winner plays Madison March 11 at 6 p.m.
Whiteford and Sand Creek play the 7:30 p.m. March 9 and Morenci takes on the winner March 11 at 7:30.
The district finals are scheduled March 13.
VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT: Volleyball fans will have their day in the gymnasium Feb. 21 with a four-on-four tournament planned in Morenci.
Teams will be split into three divisions—junior high, high school and open—and can have any number of male or female players.
The cost of the tournament is $40 a team.
To register, contact Dan Hoffman by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 517/458-7005.
MORENCI LITTLE LEAGUE: Registration for Morenci’s 2009 Little League baseball and softball seasons gets underway today.
The first registration date is today from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at Morenci City Hall. Other dates to register are Wednesday, Feb. 18, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 21, from 10 a.m. until noon, both at Morenci City Hall.
Morenci’s Little League participation area includes Morenci and some rural portions of Fayette, Waldron and Lyons.