Sports roundup 1.30

Fayette boys: Fayette fans got their money worth Saturday when some last-second heroics secured an overtime win.

Trailing late in the game and trailing again in overtime, the Eagles came back to pull out a 48-45 non-conference victory.

Fayette was on top by seven points, 33-26, heading into the final quarter, but that’s when the Tigers started hitting—and the Eagles started turning it over.

Liberty Center was up by two points with time running out. A Tiger shooter missed the front end of a one-and-one and Evan Hibbard grabbed the rebound. He got the ball to Shelby Franks who raced down court and pushed the ball back to Hibbard when he started to fall.

Hibbard put the ball up to tie the game and send it into overtime.

The Tigers regained their lead, but buckets by Jason Rodriguez and Tyler Keefer gave the Eagles the lead. A free-throw by Keefer raised the margin to the final three-point spread.

Missed free throws were almost Fayette’s downfall as they hit just seven for 17.

“We’re doing a great job of getting to the foul line,” coach Todd Mitchell said, “we’re just not making them.”

Coty Griffiths led the offense with 13 points. Austin Hylander and Rodriguez each added nine. Liberty connected on seven three-point shots.

HILLTOP—Hilltop’s varsity boys outscored Fayette in the second half Friday, but it wasn’t quite enough to overcome the Eagles’ strong start.

Fayette finished the BBC contest with a 44-39 victory.


Fayette girls: Tied at intermission, one point difference after three quarters—this one was going to go down to the wire.

Hilltop could have made it easy on themselves with success at the free throw line, but they hit only eight of 25 tries and eked out a 34-32 BBC win over Fayette.

The Cadets had already been to the line 11 times before Fayette had its first opportunity. Finally, in the fourth quarter, the Eagles made 12 trips and connected on seven shots, but they needed another couple buckets from the floor to pull out a win.

The game ended with four in foul trouble. JeriAnn Lewellen, Katelyn Downing, Danni Wyse and Trisha Bates each finished the game with four fouls hanging over their heads.

Wyse led scoring with nine, followed by Rachel Seiler with seven, including a pair from outside the arc. Bates was a solid four for four at the line.


Morenci wrestling: Morenci’s wrestlers have certainly had better days on the mat. Two lop-sided contests and two close losses left the Bulldogs without a win at the Jonesville Invitational.

“Everybody on the team won a match,” said coach Scott Clark, “they just couldn’t do it at the same time. There were some close matches, but they ended up getting pinned before it ended. It was our worst day of the season.”

Morenci started off with a 70-7 loss to the host squad. Chris Delaney (119) posted a 9-3 decision win and Jeffrey Nofziger (145) won 22-11.

Dustin Roller (130) lost a decision and everyone else was pinned.

The situation worsened against Edwardsburg. Delaney scored the Bulldogs’ only points with a pin at 1:03 and Morenci lost 75-6. Nofziger lost an 8-10 overtime decision and went out with an injury.

Morenci fell one point short against Portland, losing 39-38 and lost to Pittsford by six, 36-30, despite winning only a single match. Roller scored a quick pin in 42 seconds.


Morenci boys: With Jacob Bovee averaging 27 points a game from the past five contests, it was obvious what Sand Creek needed to do Friday night to stop Morenci.

The plan had to be to take Bovee out of the game and hope no one else would fill the gap.

One Bulldog did take over the scoring—Anthony Barron finished with 23—but that wasn’t enough to match the Aggie offense.

Morenci played close for a half, but watched the game slip out of control after intermission and ended with a 77-51 TCC loss.

Barron scored three times in the opening quarter, aided by a three-pointer from Anthony Tompkins to keep Morenci on top. Bovee dropped a three-pointer late in the quarter for a 14-14 tie, but he scored only once more all night.

Barron remained strong in the second quarter with eight more points, but when Devin Martinez made a lay-up halfway through the period to tie the game, 26-26, that was the last time the Bulldogs weren’t trailing.

Scoring dropped dramatically in the third quarter with shots not making their mark and the Bulldogs’ foul tally grew. Early in the third, they were called for three within about 15 seconds.

The Aggies (9-3, 7-2) ended up scoring 20 points from the line from 34 tries.


Morenci girls: A short-handed Morenci girls squad eventually shut down Deerfield’s outside game Thursday to claim a TCC victory, but they weren’t able to get the job done when Sand Creek visited Jan. 21.

“We had two starters out against Deerfield and that made a difference from the defensive side,” coach Jim Yatzek said. “They had a girl who hit seven threes in the first half. She was hot, but weren’t getting to her.”

Deerfield’s Shelby Shindler had 23 of her team’s 32 points at half-time, but a defensive shift by the Bulldogs took away her outside game and she scored just six in the second half.

The Minutemen scored only five points in the third quarter as Morenci increased its lead to 14 and finished with a 64-51 win.

“Without having two starters [Nicolette Swimmer and Tricia Black], I think the girls played well off the bench,” Yatzek said.

Morgan McVay and Jade Pfund each had season-high nights with 15 and 13 points. Chanler McCaskey also scored 15. Pfund led under the boards with 12 rebounds.

  • Front.web
    NICE WORK—A spider remains at the center of a web, awaiting visitors, during a moist morning last month. The was built in front of Eagle Funeral Home in Morenci.
  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.