Blue Eagles Start Season On Fire
The Magnolia Blue Eagles fell 51-54 to Poca Jan. 3 in the Charleston Civic Center, with Jared Blatt posting a double-double 20 points and 13 rebounds – both game highs.
Jon Rine tallied 15 points and seven boards to go along with five assists, while Matt Sapp led the team in steals, with three. Sapp also canned six points for the Eagles that included the team’s only threeball.
Others scoring for Magnolia were Josh Yost and Jordan Moore, four markers each, and Andrew Robinson with two.
Meanwhile, it was a very physical game Jan. 2 when the Eagles traveled to Hannibal to take on the River Pilots. Both teams fought hard to the end, but the Eagles prevailed 70-50 to improve their record to 3-0 on the season. Magnolia controlled the tip and Rine scored the first two points of the game from the free throw line. River’s Tyler Jeffers then knocked in his own two free throws to tie the game up at 2-2.
Yost then added two free throws, while Rine drained a three to give Magnolia a 7-2 lead. A bucket by Blatt forced the Pilots to take a time out.
When play resumed, River Pilot Jordan Potts threw a bomb to close the gap to 9-5, Magnolia. The Eagles then ended the quarter on an 11-1 run to go up 20-6 after one.
Magnolia junior Andy Huggins got a two early in the second, but River’s Sam Ramsier drained a deuce to make it 22-8, Blue Eagles. After one Magnolia basket, Rine sunk another one to make the score 26-8, Eagles.
The Pilots got the next four points before Sapp hit a three to give Magnolia a comfortable 31-12 lead. The teams exchanged buckets to bring the game to a 33-16 score before River’s Taylor Potts hit a three to tighten the score 38-21, Eagles. Jeffers then sunk a free throw to cut the lead to 38-22 at the break.
But early in the third, the Blue Eagles’ big man, Jared Blatt, stepped out behind the arc and threw a good threeball, then added a deuce to give Magnolia a 43-22 advantage.
River’s Taylor Potts hit a three, which Rine answered with a two off a nice assist from Sapp. Another bomb from Ramsier made the score 49-31, with the Eagles still in front. Jordan Potts hit a twoball and a free throw before Robinson threw his own bomb to push the Eagles ahead 52-34.
Ramsier came back with another of River’s eight three-pointers and teammate Jordan Potts ended the scoring in the third with a basket and with the Blue Eagles still leading, 52-39.
Early in the fourth, Yost got two free throws for Magnolia and Blatt dialed in with two points to make it 56-39. The Pilots then went on a 7-1 run to get to within 11, at 57-46.
But the deficit stayed at about that margin and the Eagles went on to close the victory at 70-56.
“I was really proud of the way our kids played against River,” said Head Coach Dave Tallman after the game. “A hard-fought game in front of a large crowd,”
Scoring for Magnolia: Blatt, 23; Rine, 19; Yost, 10; Sapp, 8; Robinson, 6; Traeh Keller, 2; and Jordan Moore 2.
For the River Pilots, it was: Dylan Potts, 15; Jeffers, 12; Jordan Potts, 10; Ramsier, 8; Taylor Potts, 6; and Tucker Brown, 2.
The Blue Eagles – now ranked fifth in the state and second in OVAC Class-AAA behind Union Local – challenged John Marshall Tuesday night after press time. JM is ranked fourth in OVAC-AAAA behind Wheeling Park, Weir, and Steubenville Big Red.
Dec. 30 was the long awaited home opener for the Magnolia Blue Eagles and those in attendance were not disappointed, as the Eagles battled with the Oak Glen Golden Bears in a thrilling 70-63 overtime victory.
A little less than a minute after the tip, Yost got a two for the Eagles, scoring the first points of the game. The Bears then got a two followed by a three to take a 5-4 lead. However, they also sent senior Jon Rine to the stripe, where he made good on two free throws.
After an exchange of buckets, Oak Glen sent Moore to the stripe, where he was true on two, pushing Magnolia out in front 10-7 late in the first. However, an Oak Glen buzzer-beater made it 10-9, Eagles, after one.
Blatt got a deuce early in the second to increase Magnolia’s lead to 12-9, but the Bears then went on a 8-2 run that included a threeball, two deuces, and a free throw to go up 17-14.
But the Golden sent Rine back to the charity stripe, where he sank one and Moore followed that with two more from the stripe to tie the game at 17. After an exchange of scoring, the game went to a 20-20 tie, when Sapp threw the bomb to push the Blue Eagles into a squeaky 23-22 lead, but not for long.
The Golden went on another scoring run to reclaim the halftime lead at 29-24.
The third saw an early threeball from Rine. But, when Oak Glen answered with two, Magnolia’s Robinson drilled one from beyond the arc to cut Oak’s lead to 31-30.
In the next series of plays, the teams swapped buckets, Rine made another free throw and Robinson hit another one from downtown to make the score 36-33 in the Blue’s favor.
Oak Glen then got a three and the teams traded deuces to tie the game at 38. This time it was Magnolia’s scoring frenzy, a 12-3 run, that pushed the Blue ahead 50-41. The Bears ended the third with a twoball to reduce Magnolia’s lead to nine.
Early in the fourth, the Bears drained a threeball, but Blatt hit his own deuce to keep a 52-46 edge for the Good Guys. The Bears got seven of the next 10 points to cut to the Eagles’ lead to 56-53.
With less then 10 seconds to go in the final stanza, the Bears drained a three to tie the score at 56, giving the Eagles one last chance to win it in regulation. Sapp took Magnolia’s inbound pass and shot the ball for a win, but it bounced off the rim and sent the contest into overtime.
In the extra quarter, Rine got a free throw and the Oak got a two, making it 58-57, Bears, early in overtime. A Blatt free throw tied it up again, 58-58, and the Eagles claimed the next five points to go up 63-58.
But the Bears weren’t finished. They landed a threeball with 48 seconds remaining in overtime to narrow the Blue Eagle advantage to 63-61. The Blue Eagles weren’t finished either. Magnolia drained seven of the last nine points in OT to end the game with a 70-63 victory.
The Blue Eagles made good on 27 of 47 from the charity stripe and on seven threeballs to help the Magnolia cause. Rine led scoring with 20 points, followed by Blatt and Robinson with 17 and 10 markers, respectively.
Magnolia’s scoring was completed by Sapp with eight points, Traeh Keller with six markers, Yost with five points and Moore with four points.
The Blue Eagles won their premier game on the road Dec. 23 against Monroe Central, 64-61, with 28 of the Blue’s points on multiple threeballs from four players.
Blatt led Magnolia scorers with 17 points, followed by Sapp with 14 points, six of them from downtown. Robinson added another 13 points that included three from beyond the arc and Moore added four points to the Blue Eagle victory, including one from outside.
Yost and Jon Rine completed Magnolia’s scoring with a combined five points. Magnolia scored 13 points in the first and fourth period and 19 points in each of the intervening stanzas to seal the close win.