FAYETTE VARSITY BOYS BASKETBALL: Fayette’s varsity boys scored a pair of victories last weekend, but neither win came easily.
The Eagles had to fight to stay on top Friday at North Central and then came from behind Saturday against Liberty Center.
The 61-57 win at North Central helped keep the Buckeye Border Conference title race interesting, said Eagle coach Todd Mitchell, because there are now three teams with four losses and three teams with three.
With just three games to go, the championship is still wide open, he said, and is likely to end in a tie.
The Eagles got off to a strong start against North Central, leading by as much as 14 points in the second quarter and going into the final period with an 11-point lead.
“They started pulling up from 25 feet and making three’s and we started turning it over,” Mitchell said.
With :07.5 showing on the clock, a North Central shooter missed the front end of a one-and-one and Tyler Keefer grabbed the rebound and was fouled.
He sunk both shots and the Eagles stayed on top.
Fayette shot well from the line, but were only given 11 tries. Keefer went four for four and finished with 18 points. Darrell Randall hit four of six and scored 16 points. Keefer also collected seven rebounds and gave four assists. Randall and Jason Rodriguez each gave three assists.
LIBERTY—The Tigers were up by eight at intermission, but Fayette came back in the second half to win 58-51.
In the final quarter, the Eagles went to the line 24 times and made 15 of them. For the game, they shot 19 of 33 from the line while Liberty Center made five of seven.
Fayette held turn-overs to 11 for the night.
JVs: Fayette and North Central took it down to the wire in Friday’s junior varsity battle and Fayette fell a little short.
North Central took the league contest 31-28 with three-point shot and about three seconds to play.
“We got a pretty decent look at a three-point shot, but it didn’t fall,” said coach Matt Maginn.
The Eagles had a small lead at intermission, but North Central took over in the third quarter to set up the final segment.
Maginn was pleased with Chase Hookstadt’s showing in the second half.
“He played really hard with lots of energy and gave us a good spark,” Maginn said.
He shot five for six from the line and collected three rebounds. Cole Burkholder played a good inside game, Maginn said, and went right at North Central’s big player.
Jerry Minzey finished with six steals and Quinton Keefer made one.
In the homecoming game, Fayette overcame a half-time deficit to defeat Liberty Center 42-33.
The game became quite physical in the fourth quarter and Fayette went to the line 25 times, connecting on 12 tries.
Kruce Miller scored 14 points and brought in four rebounds. He shot six for nine from the line.
Jessie Rodriguez scored 10 points and collected three rebounds and four steals. Cole Burkholder gave a good showing in his first start, Coach Maginn said.
FAYETTE VARSITY GIRLS: Success at the free throw line—along with a few extra points from JeriAnn Lewellen—helped Fayette’s varsity girls to a BBC victory at home Thursday against North Central.
The Eagles put all but two free throws through the hoop, going nine for 11, to claim a 40-37 win.
The contest was tied at half-time and Fayette trailed by a point going into the final period, so every shot was important going down the stretch.
Lewellen hit a three-pointer—her third of the night—and added one of two free throw attempts. Rachel Seiler and Heather Cuff both went two for two from the line to keep the Eagles on top.
Fayette put North Central at the line 16 times, but they converted on only 10.
Lewellen led scoring with 12 points.
EVERGREEN—Fayette couldn’t match the offensive output shown by Evergreen at home Monday and the Vikings ran away with the non-league contest 69-42.
Evergreen hit three of its six three-point shots in the first quarter and raced to an 18-4 first-quarter lead. The game was out of reach by half-time with the Vikings on top 39-13, but the Eagles’ offense improved in the second half and Fayette ended the contest with a 17-point fourth quarter.
It was a good night for JeriAnn Lewellen who finished with 14 points and gave a five for eight showing at the free throw line. Cady Stockburger came off the bench in the fourth quarter to score a bucket and go two for three from the line. Leah Brinegar scored all seven of her points in the final period.
Evergreen finished with four girls in double figures: Lauren Langenderfer, 16; Kenzie Pinkelman, 14; Paige Robertson, 12 and Ingrid Oswald, 11.
JVs: Fayette’s JV girls team raised its season record to 9-5 (6-2) with a 32-26 victory over North Central at home Thursday.
The 14-9 second quarter was enough to propel the Eagles to a win. North Central cut the lead to two points after three quarters, but Fayette’s success at the free throw line carried them through.
The Eagles hit four of eight tries in the final period to win, with Allison Cuff making three of them.
“Offensively, we played well, we met our shots-per-game goal, and ended the game with only three turnovers,” said coach Matt Schaffner.
He wasn’t quite as pleased with the Eagles’ defensive showing.
“North Central did a good job of attacking the basket, and we found ourselves out of position,” he said.
Cuff’s nine points were tops, followed by Linnea Clark with eight.
EVERGREEN—Evergreen was sharp at the free throw line Monday at Fayette, but it wasn’t enough to top the Eagles. Despite hitting 11 of 13 attempts, the Vikings lost the contest 39-28.
“We did a good job getting everybody involved on the offensive end, but we still need to be more aggressive on the defensive end,” Coach Schaffner said.
Ashtyn Baker was tops in scoring with nine points. Clark and Sarah Kovar each added six.
MORENCI VARSITY BOYS: Morenci and Britton-Deerfield battled closely all night long here Thursday and the contest finally ended in the Patriots’ favor.
The 69-60 margin of victory was the biggest lead of the entire night.
The teams bombed each other with three-point shots throughout the contest—Morenci ended with nine and the Patriots with seven—to swing the lead back and forth.
Luke Craig hit one early in the second to put the Bulldogs on top 18-12 and Brett Bovee added another to make it 21-15, but BD took over the lead with a three mid-way through the quarter.
The Patriots held a small lead for a good share of the second half, but when Clayton Wolf drove in for a bucket with 5:53 to play, it was a one-point game, 50-49.
BD hit four three throws, including two on from a technical, an canned a three-pointer to break it open again and Morenci could get no closer than five.
Bovee and Craig each finished with 19 points for the Bulldogs (2-9, 2-5). BD moved its record to 50-8, 2-6.
MORENCI VARSITY GIRLS: Morenci’s varsity girls tried to make a game of it at home Friday when Sand Creek visited, but the Aggies still went home with only a single loss on their league record.
“We played poorly in the first half and were still down by only 14 at half,” coach Tim Yatzek said. “We pulled to within nine at the end of the third quarter, then they ran us to death.”
The Bulldogs’ seven players got winded in the final period against Sand Creek’s substituting and the Aggies ran away with the contest 57-39. They took a 17-8 advantage in the fourth quarter.
Sand Creek took an 11-point lead late in the opening quarter, just before Brooke Bovee hit a three-pointer. Mercedez McCaskey canned a bucket, but Sand Creek answered with a three early in the second for a 20-9 lead.
The Aggies had an answer for everything Morenci threw at them, long before the decisive fourth quarter.
“We played better than the first time around,” Coach Yatzek said, “but we still had trouble taking care of the ball.”
Megan Smith finished with 10 rebounds and Tia Tompkins collected eight.
JVs—Morenci’s JV squad lost to Sand Creek in December, but the five Bulldogs turned it around Friday to post a 46-19 win. Sand Creek scored only five points in the second half.
Matea Garcia led the way with 19 points and Hannah Jeffers added 11.