Paden City 52, River 48
The Paden City Wildcats cashed in on 16-25 from the free throw line, while the River Pilots were 1-2, and that proved to be the difference as the Wildcats won 52-48 Feb. 6 in the opening game of the New Martinsville Rotary Challenge held at Magnolia High School.
The scoring got started when Ryan Indermuhle knocked in a deuce early on to give the Pilots their only lead of the game at 2-0. Kennedy Cain then answered with the next five points for the 'Cats before Craig Allen hit a deuce to make it 7-2, Wildcats. That forced River to take a time out with 6:24 showing on the first quarter clock.
Coming out of the break, the teams traded threeballs before River's Blaze Amos hit a two to make the score 10-7. However, Zach Heasley ramped up Paden City's lead to 12-7 with a pair of charity tosses. The Pilots' Eric Dierkes then hit a twoball, but, Cain and Luke Cooper made baskets to make the score 16-9. Indermuhle answered for River with a deuce that beat the first-period buzzer with the score 16-11, 'Cats.
Dierkes started out the second quarter with a bucket from inside the paint, but Heasley and Cooper were fouled and knocked down a pair of free throws. The 'Cats then scored five of the next seven points to go up 25-17 and force River to take a time out with 5:02 still showing on the second quarter clock.
After the time out, the Pilots got the next four points which included a trey from freshman Parker Caretti that cut Paden City's lead to four. However, deuces from Cooper and Allen quickly ballooned the lead back to eight at 29-21. The game remain a four point and an eight- point game the rest of the half and Paden City went to the break up 34-26.
To start the third period, Cain hit a two and Cooper knocked down one of two free throws and the Wildcat lead ballooned to 37-28 early in the quarter. After a Dierkes' two and two charity tosses from Heasley, the score was 39-30. Indermuhle answered with the next four points for the Pilots. The teams then traded buckets the rest of the quarter, with the score 46-40 going into the home quarter.
Caretti and Joe Flannery both hit a two and made the score 46-44 with just under five minutes to play in regulation, whereupon Paden City Head Coach Fred King called a time out. Coming out of the breaK, Indermuhle sandwiched buckets between scores from Cooper and Allen to make the score 50-46. Hizer landed a free throw with 1:32 on the clock to push River's score to 48. After a River time out, Caretti hit a two to inch closer to Paden City. But, with less than 15 seconds to play, Cain knocked in a charity toss to cinch the win for Paden City, 52-48.
Indermuhle got game-high honors for River with 16 points, Caretti added 10, Dierkes accounted for eight points, while Cole Isaly had five, Flannery four points, Jarrett Arman scored three points and Amos had two.
For the Wildcats, Cain had a team-high 14 markers, Cooper made 13 points, while Allen scored 11 and Heasley and Hizer contributed seven each. The Pilots played man to man defense the whole game, while the 'Cats stuck to a zone.
B. Donahue 67, Tyler 51
In the second game of the night, the Bishops Donahue broke open a 36-30 halftime game in the third quarter by outscoring Tyler Consolidated 21-12. Donahue went on to a 67-51 victory. For the Knights, freshman Jace Reed had 15 points while Kordell Stewart had 11 points and nine rebounds.
Wheeling Central 70, Magnolia 63
In the NM Rotary Challenge finale, Magnolia sophomore Preston Boswell went off for a game and career-high 32 points. But, it wasn't enough as the #3 Wheeling Central Maroon Knights used a huge third quarter rally to knock off #4 and host Blue Eagles 70-63.
Central got the scoring going early with a twoball. Boswell connected on the first of his four long balls of the night before Mitch Winters hit a two and gave MHS a 5-2 lead. Central quickly answered with the next four points and took a 6-5 lead, but Boswell connected on a free throw to tie the game at 6-6. Central then connected on a three to take the lead, 12-9. However the lead was short lived. Boswell scored the next six points and stole an inbound pass right after he made bucket to give Magnolia a 12-9 advantage. Central would score the final five points of the quarter to take the advantage 14-12.
To start the second period, Big Blue senior Zach Willhoite connected on a two before Boswell hit a three and gave the hosts the lead at 17-14. The seesaw battle continued until the score stood at 21-20, Central, about midway through the second. Sophomore Blue Eagle Derrick Blain stepped up and calmly swished a trip to give the host the lead at 23-21.
Late in the half, Magnolia saw its lead grow to five as Winters hit a two and to make the score 29-24. Central answered with the next five points, with less then a minute to play in the half. Blain once again knocked in a long bomb that gave his team the lead, 32-29. The Knights then knocked in a pair of free throws just before the half and the score stood at 32-31, MHS.
Central started the half with a free throw and a deuce to go up 34-32. Boswell then sank two charity tosses of his own before knocking in another triple to give MHS the lead right back at 37-34. However, that lead was short lived. Central went on a 10-0 binge and took a 44-37 lead and never relinquished it the rest of the way.
The team's split the next 10 points, which included a threeball from both teams, and the score was 49-42. The Knights then went on an 9-2 run and led 58-46 after three quarters of play.
Willhoite quickly got Magnolia back on its feet with a pair of deuces, converting the second one into a three-point play to make the score 58-51 early in the fourth. Willhoite would later foul out. Spencer Campbell got a steal in the back court and laid it up for two and to Magnolia's deficit. The Knights then went on a 5-0 run to take the lead with under five minutes to go.
Magnolia's Boswell and Kyle Ritz both knocked in a deuce, with Boswell converting his into a three-point play. Sophomore Chase Miller, who was playing his first game in three weeks due to illness, stepped to the line and knocked a pair of free throws. That made the scoreboard read 63-60 and the MHS gym came back to life. Central then answered that with a three-point play and widened its lead to 66-60.
But, as he has all season, Campbell landed a threeball, his only one of the night, and Magnolia was back to within three, 66-63, with 1:44 on the fourth-quarter clock. However Central iced the game at the free throw line and escaped with a 70-63 victory.
In scoring for the Eagles, Boswell had 32 points and claimed 12 markers and 11 rebounds. Blain made six points, Campbell had five, Winters four points and Miller and Ritz rounded out the scoring with two points each.
Lady Eagles 50,
Bishop Donahue 38
After a slow start in the rescheduled New Martinsville Rotary Challenge, the Magnolia Lady Blue Eagles started to put things together and defeated the Lady Bishops 50-38 Feb. 6 inside the MHS HammerDome.
Mallory and Kelsi Chapman teamed for 32 points and six steals, while Mallory hauled in a game-high eight rebounds and blocked four shots to lead the young Eagles.
Grace Berisford followed with seven markers, while Anna Gibb came off the bench to drain a pair of three-point plays.
In addition, Katie Blatt added five points and Taylor Ludewig netted a deuce. Ludewig also contributed a game-high five steals and dished off four assists. Abby Durig didn't score, but she came off the bench to make a pair of steals.