Sports round-up 2.4

FAYETTE VARSITY BOYS BASKETBALL: Good shooting led to good results for Fayette’s varsity boys Saturday at Montpelier. That was in contrast to the previous night when Stryker visited and went home with a big victory.

The 58-28 loss to Stryker looked like a 32-minute flu to coach Todd Mitchell.

“It was ugly in every way possible,” he said.

The Eagles hit only 22 percent from two-point range and never put a three-pointer through the hoop. Only 10 of 25 free throws made it through.

The Panthers jumped out to a 16-3 first-quarter lead. The middle quarters went to Stryker by a 20-19 margin, but the fourth quarter was a repeat of the first.

Shelby Franks finished with a pair of steals. Darrell Randall and Jason Rodriguez each collected four rebounds.

MONTPELIER—On Saturday, the Eagles doubled their percentage from two-point range and put four three-pointers on the board. To top it off, the free-throw shooting percentage jumped to 71 percent and resulted in 15 points in the 53-44 non-league win.

“We played much better and with a lot more energy,” Coach Mitchell said.

Rodriguez came through with 16 points to take some pressure off Austin Hylander who is getting a lot of defensive attention, Mitchell said.

“It makes it lot more difficult for teams to guard when someone else steps up,” he added.

Rodriguez shot 70 percent from the field, two for two from three-point range and went four for five from the line. Randall hit five of six free throws and Franks sank three of four.

Rodriguez, Hylander and Franks each collected a pair of steals.

• Coach Mitchell expects a good contest when North Central visits Friday. Fayette played closely with them for a half earlier in the season before falling behind. North Central has been two undefeated teams in the past two weeks.

On Saturday, all three of Fayette’s boys teams travel to Liberty Center, with the freshman game starting at 5 p.m.

The Tiger varsity squad is still search of their first victory.

JV BOYS: With a good defense, good things are going to happen, said Fayette’s JV boys coach Matt Maginn.

He saw that happen Saturday night when the Eagles downed Montpelier 38-33.

Fayette needed to come from behind to pull it off and that’s where Trevor Cox came in with three fourth-quarter three-pointers and 11 points in the quarter.

Maginn was also impressed with Travis Kline who came through with his best all-around game, scoring eight points and notching three rebounds, two steals and two blocks against taller opponents.’

A second half zone defense shut down Montpelier’s big scorer.

Fayette held Stryker scoreless in overtime Friday at home. The Eagles didn’t do much better—a bucket by Cox and a free throw from Hunter Colegrove—but that was good enough for the 42-39 win.

Fayette made the long shot work in the closely-fought contest, taking a 5-3 edge in three-pointers.

The Panthers jumped to a 12-4 first-quarter lead, but Fayette came back over the next two quarters to lead by two going into the final period.

Rodriguez had three buckets from outside the arc and Cox finished with two and 17 points total.

FAYETTE GIRLS: No information provided.

MORENCI VARSITY BOYS: After the bombing attack at Whitmore Lake—18 made out of 71 attempts—Morenci’s varsity boys regrouped for a 68-55 victory Saturday at Deerfield.

“We had lots of misses early on,” coach Tim Bovee said. “We’re getting the opportunities but not capitalizing.”

That changed for the remainder of the contest, however, with 18-, 21- and 20-point quarters turned in.

The Bulldogs led by 18 points after three quarters, allowing plenty of substitutions in the final quarter.

Clayton Wolf came out on top of scoring with 16, but Isaac Jeffers also had a strong offensive showing with 13. Anthony Tompkins hit seven for nine from the line and Justin Benjamin chipped in with a three-for-five showing from the field.

Wolf collected a dozen rebounds. Tompkins finished with six and Chas Frey with five.

Morenci and Deerfield both have a pair a wins this season.

CLINTON—The Bulldogs managed to stay close for a half against the taller Clinton squad, trailing by three at half-time, but they couldn’t make it last. The Redskins finished with a 64-48 victory.

Clinton had shooting problems in the first half, Bovee said, but Morenci couldn’t take advantage of it.

WHITMORE LAKE—The Trojans claimed a 91-66 win Jan. 26 for their first 90-point game ever.

According to Doug Donnelly of the blog Welcome to the TCC, Morenci has scored 90 points in a game eight times against Whitmore Lake, including a 108-58 win in 1992.

The Trojans, on the other hand, have fallen victim to 90-point losses 17 times since the TCC began.

• Morenci travels to Madison for a rematch after the earlier 46-43 loss. Coach Bovee hopes to use the Bulldogs’ speed and bench to an advantage.

JV BOYS: Deerfield’s varsity boys might be struggling this season, but that’s not the case with the school’s JV team.

Bulldog coach John Craig describes the Minutemen as a very good, very well-balanced team. They topped Morenci Saturday 73-45.

The Bulldogs nearly matched Deerfield for a quarter, 24-21, but scoring dwindled after that.

“They did a good job crashing the boards and we didn’t box out,” Craig said.

Luke Craig scored 19 points for Morenci.

Morenci went down fighting last week at Clinton, Coach Craig said, in a 65-44 loss. The Bulldogs kept pace in the first half, but with only seven players, they were worn down by the Redskins.

Morenci had trouble getting an offense going against the taller Clinton team in the second half. Craig scored 14 and Alex Tompkins, powered by five three-pointers, scored 15.

MORENCI VARSITY GIRLS: Are we going to fold or are we going to hang tough?

That question passed through the head of Morenci’s varsity girls coach Jim Yatzek after the Bulldogs lost their lead Monday at Sand Creek.

His squad was tired and in big foul trouble, and they were threatening to give the Aggies their first loss in the TCC.

His question was soon answered.

“The mental toughness that we lacked Friday at Madison was there Monday,” he said. “They held tough, they played hard, they played with good confidence.”

Morenci held off Sand Creek’s comeback attempt and finished on top 33-30.

The Bulldogs held a 13-7 lead at half-time after the Aggies scored only only one bucket from the field during the first two quarters. Morenci’s lead reach as much as eight before Sand Creek launched its fourth-quarter offensive to take a one-point lead.

Jade Pfund responded with a basket to put Morenci back on top. With the clock running down, Tia Tompkins stepped to the line and missed both tries. She grabbed her own rebound and was fouled again. This time she swished both through the net for the final winning edge.

Tompkins and Nicolette Swimmer both finished the game with 10 points and Pfund added seven. Tompkins also made five blocks.

MADISON—The comeback was impressive, but it just couldn’t hold.

After two quarters of serious offensive troubles, the Bulldogs finally started scoring. They pulled into the lead about half-way through the third quarter Friday at Madison and then once again the drive ended.

Morenci got stuck on 23 points for nearly three minutes, then added only one more point during the next six. The Trojans broke open a close contest to win 43-26.

At half-time Morenci coach Jim Yatzek wasn’t sure if he should feel sorry more for his own struggling team or for Madison.

After a 16-turnover first half with only 11 points on the scoreboard, the Bulldogs were still in the game. They had nine turnovers of their own and plenty of missed shots.

Morenci had 15 possessions in the first quarter. Eight ended with turnovers, four led to missed shots and two shots were blocked. One shot—a lay-up by Jade Pfund—went through the hoop.

Tia Tompkins and Nicolette Swimmer each scored buckets in the second quarter and five points were scored at the line. But there were still seven turnovers and a block.

Surprisingly, the Trojans were on top only by seven, 18-11.

Tompkins soon cut it to five with a bucket and Swimmer added two free throws. Swimmer scored to pull within one point and the Bulldogs got a steal on Madison’s inbound play. Swimmer put that up for a 19-18 Morenci lead.

She scored once more to tie it up at 21 each and Amy Gillman hit a bucket to keep it close, with the Trojans on top 24-23.

Then it started falling apart. Madison scored five from the line and Morenci turned it over twice.

Tompkins hit a free throw early in the fourth to make it a seven-point game, but Morenci scored only once more for the remainder of the contest. The Trojans connected on a pair of three-pointers and added five more from the line.

• Morenci travels Thursday to Deerfield and entertains Summerfield for a 2 p.m. make-up game Saturday.

JV GIRLS: Morenci’s JV girls cage team had a nice winning streak going until Madison got in the way. The Bulldogs just couldn’t get many points on the board in the 51-20 loss.

Morenci was held to single-digit scoring in each quarter, with the worst episode coming in the 20-2 third quarter.

At Whitmore Lake Jan. 27, the Bulldogs jumped to an 18-6 lead in the opening quarter. Scoring slowed after that, but the Trojans couldn’t recover and Morenci came home with a 41-23 victory.

Scoring was spread among several girls. Chelsea Tompkins finished with nine, followed by Mercedes McCaskey with seven and six each from Matea Garcia and Phoenix Duncan.

Duncan had a pair of hot-shooting nights in the two previous contests, scoring 21 in the Bulldogs’ 58-27 win against Deerfield and 22 in the 57-54 victory against Clinton.

Morenci was on top 33-12 at half-time when Deerfield visited. Garcia scored 14 points that night and McCaskey added 10.

When Clinton was here last month, Morenci took an early 19-9 lead, but the Redskins nearly caught up by intermission.

The two teams went to the line 55 times. Morenci canned 14 of 22 and Clinton scored on 18 of 33.

In addition to Duncan’s 22 points, Chelsea Phillips scored 13 and Garcia added 11.

MORENCI WRESTLING: Two Morenci wrestlers were invited to compete in all-county top-four tournament Friday at Adrian College’s Merillat Center. Action starts at 5 p.m.

Senior Jeff Nofziger is the top seed in the 140-pound bracket with a 25-2 record. He’ll begin the night against a Sand Creek freshman with a 10-3 record. Addison has the number two seed with a 29-7 record.

At 189 pounds, senior Lucas Johnson was selected at the number four seed with his 15-4 record. He’ll face his cousin from Hudson, Gabe Elliott, with a formidable 31-1 record and number-one ranking in the state.

Named as alternates are Nate Grieder (160 pounds) and Dustin Roller (130) who has been out of action due to an injury.

JONESVILLE—Morenci won five matches and lost four against the host team Saturday at the Jonesville Invitational, but the Bulldogs still lost the match 54-27.

Nofzinger earned a 6-4 decision while four teammates scored pins: Tyler Guelde (112) at 4:54; Jordan Bach (189) at :54; Johnson (215) at 5:06; and Sam Majahrowski (285) at 3:13.

The Bulldogs won only two matches against Pittsford—a pin by Nofziger in 25 seconds and a 15-0 technical fall by Grieder—and the Wildcats won 38-23.

Morenci gave up seven forfeits to Edwardsburg in a 78-6 loss. Only Nofziger claimed a win, a pin at 5:41.

The Bulldogs went 2-3 in a 42-36 loss to Bellevue. Bach pinned his opponent in 35 seconds and Johnson earned his in 40 seconds. Four won forfeits.

Against Portland, Nofziger won 8-3 and Grieder took a pin at :41 as Morenci lost 72-9.

Nofziger finished the day unbeaten.

• the Bulldogs travel to Madison for a TCC quad meet today, followed by the county meet Friday.

POWER-LIFTING: Three Morenci lifters earned awards Saturday at the regional power-lifting qualifying competition at Linden High School.

Levi Hoffman placed first in the Men’s Varsity 181-pound class with a squat lift of 450, a bench lift of 290, and a dead lift of 525, for a total of 1,265.

In the women’s division Roxanne Shankster placed second in the 114-pound class with a squat lift of 180, a bench lift of 110, and a dead lift of 240 for a total of 530.

Salena Keller placed third in the 114-pound class with a squat lift of 165, bench lift of 85 and a dead lift of 250 for a total of 500.

LITTLE LEAGUE: A Morenci Little League baseball and softball meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. Thursday at City Hall. All coaches, umpires, parents and volunteers are encouraged to attend.

Registration for the 2009 summer ball program will begin at City Hall from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Feb. 11 and 18, and from 10 a.m. to noon on Feb. 21. Registration forms will be sent home with students beginning Feb. 9 and will also be available during registration dates.

Morenci’s Little League participation area includes Morenci and some rural portions of Fayette, Waldron and Lyons.