MORENCI BOYS BASKETBALL—Morenci varsity boys basketball coach Jim Bauer knew the break had to come sometime soon. He just wasn't so sure it would happen against Class A Coldwater.
The winless Bulldogs entered the Cardinal Holiday Hoops Tournament at Coldwater and came away from the first night of play with their first victory of the season.
Morenci broke out of a tie game at the end of the third quarter with long back-to-back three-point shots, first from Hunter Borton and then from Alex Thomas.
Those buckets put the Bulldogs (1-6) up by six points, and when Hayze Wolf went inside early in the fourth quarter, Morenci had its biggest lead of the night, 39-31.
The Cardinals (2-4) came back to pull within three points before Torin Merillat grabbed a rebound and scored. Thomas fed a pass to Daiton Lemmon who made it a six-point game with three minutes to play.
That was Morenci's last field goal. Now it was time to score from the line—something the team didn't excel at in the first three quarters. But in the final minute of play, Austin Sandusky went four for six from the line and Wolf hit five of six to keep the Bulldogs on top.
Morenci led most of the night, but never by much. The second half started with a 20-19 advantage.
"Ourt help-side defense was just flat-out good," Coach Bauer said. "Someone was always there to stop them and it took away a lot of what Coldwater was trying to do."
Lemmon took two charges underneath and attempted to draw a charge on three others drives.
Sandusky, a sophomore, led scoring with 13. Freshman Alex Thomas also broke into double figures with 10 points in his first start of the season.
"We've played with everyone this season," Bauer said, "along with playing some dismal stretches. We just have to sustain the good play."
FREMONT—In the tourney finals Friday, a big 23-point second quarter by Fremont (Ind.) gave the Eagles a lead that Morenci couldn't erase. The Bulldogs took a slight scoring advantage in the second half, but Fremont won 60-48.
It proved to be a big night for Wolf who finished with 22 points, including three buckets from outside the arc. Fremont's Tyler Jenkins scored 40 points in the Eagles' 78-65 win against Eaton Rapids on Thursday and scored 28 against Morenci.
In the consolation game Friday, Coldwater defeated Eaton Rapids 66-62.