FAYETTE GIRLS: It wasn’t supposed to end this early for Fayette’s girls team, but two wins was all the Eagles could muster this season against Pettisville. The Blackbirds cut Fayette’s tournament season short Saturday night by squeezing by with a 41-39 victory.
“I’d gladly trade one of those two league wins against them for one Saturday,” said coach Tim Nicely, but he can’t complain about the season.
If he had been told last summer that the girls would finish up with 19 wins, he would have been delighted.
“It was a great game,” Nicely said. “We had the lead several times. Our defense got out of position sometimes.”
And that’s all it took for Pettisville to claim the district title—that and some sharp shooting at the foul line. Fayette made a good seven-of-11 showing at the line, but the Blackbirds were given 18 chances and they scored on 14.
The Eagles took a 6-4 lead after a quarter of the low-scoring affair, and led by five points at intermission, 15-10.
The two squads combined for 11 turnovers in the opening quarter and committed nine more in the second period.
The Blackbirds tied the contest 19-19 with 2:28 left in the third quarter, but Fayette managed a four-point lead with three minutes left to play. Pettisville sank a pair of free throws to take a 38-37 lead with 37 seconds remaining, then hit two more.
Taylor Griffiths hit a pair from the line to pull within one point and Pettisville missed two free throws with nine seconds left. One final point from the line ended the scoring. A last shot by Ashtyn Baker bounced off the front of the rim.
Now it’s back to “wait until next year,” but Nicely cautioned that Pettisville can say the same thing. They will have a junior and a pair of sophomores returning. With the Eagles’ three freshman and a sophomore starting this season, there’s more excitement ahead when the two teams meet.
Edgerton outpaced Fayette a little in every quarter and finished up with a district title win, 42-28.
“We missed some easy layups early in the game and missed taking some rebounds,” coach Todd Mitchell said. “That could have made it a different game. The kids played well, but we didn’t play our best game against a good team.”
Edgerton (22-3) took a slim first-quarter lead and was on top by only six points, 19-13 at the halftime break.
By the time the final quarter was underway, Fayette (19-6) had to resort to fouling and hoping for misses at the line, but the Bulldogs seldom missed. All 16 of their fourth-quarter points were scored from free throws, sinking 16 of 19 tries.
For the game, Edgerton went to the line 24 times—hitting 20 of them—while Fayette made four of only six attempts,
“Edgerton ran a zone the entire night and we didn’t do the best job of attacking it,” Mitchell said.
Zayne Colegrove’s nine points led the way for Fayette and Cole Burkholder—still recovering from illness—added eight. Logan Franks missed a few minutes from a head injury and needed stitches following the contest.
ANTWERP—“It’s called defense,” Coach Mitchell said. That’s his explanation for the Eagles’ 25-20 win against Antwerp in the district semifinals.
“Our defense was incredible,” he said. “We slowed the pace and controlled the tempo.”
The Archers moved to a 9-2 lead in the second quarter until Chandler Sanford hit a three and Burkholder followed with a bucket.
After tying the game 13-13 in the third quarter, the Eagles moved into the lead.
“We shot six for nine in the second half,” Mitchell said. “We were very efficient.”
A few free throws at the end sealed the win.
Mitchell called it a gutsy performance since five of his players were battling illness and Colegrove missed a few minutes in the the fourth quarter with an injury.
Tyler Cox finished with four blocked shots and Colegrove dished off five assists.
MORENCI BOYS: By DAVID GREEN
Lenawee Christian School opened the district final contest Friday with a deep three-point bucket, then clamped on a tight, aggressive defense that left Morenci powerless.
“We didn’t adjust to that physical, in-your-face defense until the third quarter,” said Bulldog coach Jim Bauer.
By then it was too late—way too late. The Cougars (18-3) took a commanding 17-4 lead in the opening quarter then opened the second quarter with another offensive run to lead by 22 points.
The Bulldogs (8-15) did better in the second half, but dropped the contest 61-33 in the district finals.
“We had lots of turnovers because of weak passing,” Bauer said. “We just got rattled. From the first time we played them to the second, LCS had made quite a change in the intensity and pressure.”
WALDRON—Morenci was the aggressor Wednesday against Waldron, moving to a 28-9 halftime lead and coming away with a 56-35 victory in the district semifinals.
“We played really well in the first half,” Bauer said, “although we lost our focus some over the halftime break. You lose your edge and the things that plague you return.”
The Bulldogs did what they needed to to do in the first two quarters, playing a stingy defense and working the ball inside on offense.
Senior Hayze Wolf finished the game with 16 points and Alex Thomas, a freshman, added 15.
MORENCI GIRLS: Nine first-quarter turnovers followed by nine second-quarter turnovers put Morenci’s girls in a hole that they couldn’t escape.
The Bulldogs defeated Lenawee Christian School in December, but the Cougars turned that around last week to bump Morenci from the district tournament, 44-29.
The Bulldogs showed better ball control in the second half of the contest, but they were too far down to turn things around.
Despite an offensive disaster in the opening quarter, Morenci trailed by only seven points after a quarter. A quick five points early in the second period put the Cougars well in front, but a three-point shot by Ali Piercy made it a 10-point game, 17-7.
Then came a scoring drought broken only by Hannah Jeffers’ three-pointer with a minute and a half left before the break. LCS went into the locker room with a commanding 27-10 lead.
Jeffers added another three in the third along with buckets by Sydney Weeks, Mariah Gillen and Piercy, but the Cougars still outpaced Morenci on offense.
Only in the fourth quarter did the Bulldogs outscore their opponent, with single baskets scored by Gillen and Emma Binegar and a pair of buckets by Brittany White.
In the district finals on Friday, LCS was dropped by Pittsford, 60-42.