Eagles Nip Pilots, 91-86
Mark Winters and Matt Sapp combined for 55 points, including six baskets from beyond the arch, while making 13-17 free throws to lead the Magnolia Blue Eagles past the homestanding River Pilots, 91-86, Dec. 23 in a barn-burner.
The Pilots jumped out to a large lead to open the game at R. L. Potts Gymnasium, paced by three-pointers from the Pilots’ Zach Wax, Tyler Stewart, Sam Ramsier, and Jordan Potts. However, the Eagles didn’t panic and pulled to within a deuce at 24-22 by the end of the first period.
Magnolia went to its power game inside in the second period to extend its lead, while the Pilots’ outside game continued to keep the Pilots close enough to make a run at their cross-river rival at 45-41 by the break. Both teams cooled down somewhat in the third period, with the Big Blue leading, 59-51 and eight minutes yet to play in the contest.
The hot shooting by both teams continued to light up the scoreboard in the final period as the Pilots’ Stewart and Ramsier teamed for 26 of the Pilots’ 32 points. The Pilots re-took the lead on a Stewart triple with 2:47 left in the game.
It appeared the home team was going to put the game away when the Eagles’ Sapp went to the bench a minute later with his fifth foul. But Winters, who tallied 11 points in the fourth period, tickled the twine from long range to put the Eagles up for good at 82-80. Magnolia Head Coach Dave Tallman went to Hunter Campbell, who netted 20 points in the 68-38 junior varsity victory, to take Sapp’s place down the stretch. Campbell was perfect – swishing 2-2 from the floor and making all four of his charity chances to ice the game for Magnolia.
The Pilots had opportunities down the stretch, but would miss six free throws and a couple bunnies during the final minute that sealed their fate.
Ramsier paced the Pilots with 28 points, including a pair of three pointers, while Wax netted five baskets from beyond the arch to go along with his 23 other points. Stewart scored 12 of his 14 points in the fourth period, swishing four baskets from long range, while Potts netted 12 points, including a pair of three-point buckets. Jordan Indermuhle scored seven points and pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds, while Tucker Brown ended the Pilot scoring with a deuce.
The Eagles were paced by Winters’ 28 points, including a pair of baskets from beyond the arch. He also hauled in 10 boards to give him a double-double. Sapp tallied 27 points, including four baskets from downtown. Jordan Moore also hit in double figures with 12 points that included a three-pointer, while Campbell and Nick Blatt each netted six markers. Blatt also swatted away five Pilot shots.
Stephen Rogalski and Jayson Keller each laid in four points, while Kyle Anderson tallied three points and Zack Wilhoite one point.
Mark your New Year’s calendar for Jan. 22 when the Eagles and the Pilots will lock horns in a rematch at Magnolia’s HammerDome, with the junior varsity tip-off scheduled for 6 p.m.