St. Marys outscored the Magnolia Lady Eagles 46-12 in the second half to break open a close game - and punched their ticket to the West Virginia State Girls' Basketball Tournament - with a 70-29 victory in the Region I Co-Finals in Blue Devil territory Feb. 28.
The Lady Eagles fought hard against a much taller and veteran basketball team in the opening half. And, if it wasn't for missed shot attempts close to the bucket and costly turnovers, Magnolia was right at the Lady Devil heels. But, they fell behind 26-17 at the break.
Mallory Chapman and Grace Bersiford scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, while Audrey Gibb netted three free throws to pace the Eagle scoring.
In addition, Anna Gibb and Katie Blatt each recorded a deuce, while Kiera Standiford put in a charity toss. Chapman had a team-high six rebounds, while Berisford made three steals. Blatt contributed two steals and blocked three shots.
The Lady Eagles ended the season at 11-13, while St. Marys moves on to the state tournament with a 23-1 record. The Lady Eagles don't lose any players to graduation this year and there is only one junior in the mix.
"I'm so proud of these girls," said Interim Head Coach Mark Blair. "They never gave up and left everything on the floor. That's all you can ask for as a coach, to do your best.
"I don't know about next season if I'll be back or not," continued Blair. "But whoever is going to coach has a good group to work with. They play hard 24/7 and if they all commit themselves over the summer, maybe we can just be right back into this same spot: win one more game and we move on."
Blair's last girls' basketball coaching assignment was as assistant coach of the 2005 Lady Eagle Class-AA State Championship Team.