Lady Eagles Grace Berisford, Mallory Chapman and Kiera Standiford combined to score 40 points against the Lady Maroon Knights Dec. 4. But, it was not enough to deprive Wheeling Central of a 70-64 victory inside the MHS HammerDome.
The Lady Knights used an 18-5 run in the final 5:33 of the opening quarter to take a 25-10 lead after one. After Central score the first five points of the game, Chapman put the Eagles on the board with a deuce. The Knights answered with their own two-ball when Berisford, a freshman, nailed a basket from downtown to cut the Knights' lead to 7-5 with 5:33 to play in the first.
The Knights scored 15 of the next 17 points to secure a 22-7 advantage when Magnolia Head Coach Dave Chapman took a time out with 2:24 to play in the first quarter.
The teams then evenly split the last six points of the quarter to end the period with Wheeling Central up 25-10.
The Knights got a pair of buckets to start the second frame, whereupon Chapman knocked in a pair of free throws. After the Knights had their turn at the stripe, Berisford swished a freebie for Magnolia and sandwiched a deuce between a pair of them from Wheeling Central who then led 39-15.
Berisford again swished the cords on a pair of foul shots, but the Knights countered with the next four points and Chapman called another time out to regroup.
With Central leading 39-17 coming out of the break, sophomore Katie Blatt knocked in a pair of free throws for Magnolia. But, Central answered with the next six points before Chapman hit a deuce to end the scoring in the second with the Knights ahead 45-21.
In the first half, the Eagles were only 6-30 (20 percent) from the floor, but were 8-11 (almost 73 percent) at the charity stripe.
The Knights started the third period with a 6-0 run to give them a 30-point lead at 51-21.
The Eagles scored eight of the next 10 points which featured triples from Berisford and Standiford to cut Central's lead to 53-29.
After the Knights got a two-point basket and a free throw, the Eagles scored nine of the last 12 points of the quarter which included a three ball from Chapman.
Now leading 59-38 after three, the Knights opened the fourth quarter with a deuce. Standiford then hit a two and a pair of charity tosses to trim Central's lead to 61-42. After a Central two ball, Audrey Gibb knocked in a deuce for Magnolia, but Central nailed the next three points yo extend its lead to 66-44.
Abby Durig hit a pair of free throws for the Lady Eagles before the Knights got the next four points to push their lead to 70-46 late in the last frame.
For the Lady Eagles, Chapman had 15 points, six rebounds, three assists and one steal. Berisford had 14 points, while Standiford scored 11 points.Blatt and Durig evenly split eight points.
Anna and Audrey Gibb and Cierra Fowler all added two points.