Blue Eagles Thump Seminoles, 98-58
With Magnolia ahead by 16 points, Spencer Campbell came off the bench to engineer a late third-period 19-0 run that led to a 98-58 rout of Monroe Central Jan. 29 inside MHS HammerDome.
Campbell tallied 18 points, made seven steals and dished out three assists during his brief time on the floor, while Preston Boswell and Stephen Rogalski combined for eight steals and 39 points to power the Big Blue in the victory.
After the opening tip, Blue Eagle Zach Wilhoite dished off to Boswell for the game’s first basket. The Seminoles followed with a put-back and would take the lead on a basket from beyond the arc.
Wilhoite answered with a pair of two-pointers, mixed in with a Monroe Central deuce, that gave the Seminoles a 7-6 lead at the five-minute mark of period one.
Both teams then traded buckets before Boswell nailed a jumper on a nice assist by Mark Winters. Following a Wilhoite block, the ‘Noles retook the lead with a deuce. The combination of Winters to Boswell knotted the game at 12, bringing the Magnolia faithful to their feet.
Stephen Rogalski let sail a three-pointer and would later dish off to Wilhoite for a three-point play the conventional way. But, Rogalski wasn’t done. He would hijack the ball and convert with a break-away deuce that forced the Seminoles to call a time out with Magnolia on top 20-12 and with 2:12 remaining in the first frame.
After the short break, Wilhoite would make a steal and dish off to Winters who gave it back to Wilhoite for the jam and give Magnolia a 22-12 advantage. Boswell got a floater to fall before the ‘Noles stopped the bleeding with a pair of freebies to end period one with Magnolia up 24-14.
Monroe opened the second period with a deuce. But the combination of Wilhoite-to-Winters that worked so well against Wheeling Central continued when Winters swished in a pair of baskets.
The visitors knocked in a pair of free throws before Boswell made pretty on a no-look dish-off to Kyle Elliott for a deuce.
After a Magnolia time out, Winters hit a jumper before the Seminoles went on a tear, scoring nine straight points before the combination of Winters to Wilhoite cashed in again.
Central came back with a deuce before Rogalski added another steal and finished it off with a nifty finger-roll.
The Seminoles trimmed Magnolia’s lead to five with a basket followed by a threeball. But it was Winters who finished the first-half scoring with a pair of two-pointers to push Magnolia’s lead to 40-34 at the break.
Monroe outscored the Eagles 20-16 in the third period, keyed by countless Blue Eagle turnovers.
To open the second half, Monroe Central stole a pass and converted a lay-in that had MHS Head Coach Dave Tallman on his feet for a time out.
After the break, Wilhoite added his third block of the game and Rogalski would tickle the twine with a deuce.
The visitors scored a two-pointer before fouling Winters on a jumper. Although Winters missed both his charity shots, Wilhoite cashed in with a deuce before the Seminoles nailed a jumper.
Rogalski and Boswell would drain back-to-back triples, before Rogalski stole an inbound pass and finished it off with a an easy lay-in to give the hosts a 52-40 advantage. Boswell would also make a steal and connect for two.
The ‘Noles made a pair of free throws before Rogalski drained his third three-pointer of the game. Later, Winters dished off to Boswell for a basket and Monroe made two points to trim the Eagles’ lead to 59-43.
From that point on, the Blue Eagles would score the game’s next 17 points. Boswell would start the streak with a dish off to Spencer Campbell, who just entered the game, for a deuce.
After a Seminole miss, Winters would grab the rebound and throw it the length of the court to Campbell for an easy bucket that forced a ‘Nole time out.
But, following the break, the Winters-to-Campbell combination worked to perfection once more. That was followed with a free throw. Later, Boswell swished a pair of free throws before a Campbell-to-Boswell hook up cashed in.
Campbell stole a pass at mid-court and took it home for the easy bucket. Campbell would make another steal and hit Boswell in stride for another easy one.
After a pair of missed Winters’ free throws, his brother, Mike, would later grab a rebound and heave it to Boswell for the final bucket of the period.
Magnolia scored 36 points in the period to take a commanding 75 to 43 advantage, while holding the Seminoles to nine points. Better yet, the Blue Eagles committed only two turnovers.
Boswell opened the final stanza with a steal. He would dish it off to Mark Winters for a bonus bomb.
At this point, the Eagles’ Garrett Emch entered the game and got hammered on a shot. The referees gave him a few moments to clear his head, whereupon he drained the first of his two foul shots. Campbell would make two more steals and take the last one coast-to-coast for an easy deuce.
Following a Monroe jumper, Campbell swiped a ‘Nole pass and ripped the cords from downtown. That brought fans on both sides to their feet in a standing ovation for Campbell – an extraordinary display of sportsmanship by the Monroe Central fans.
The Seminoles swished a triple of their own to stop the bleeding, but Mike Winters would drop in a two pointer before the ‘Noles nailed a pair of charity tosses.
Campbell netted another threeball before the visitors cashed in on one of two free throws. Campbell then nailed the back end of a two-shot foul with three minutes remaining in regulation.
Campbell would then make a steal and dish it off to Mitch Winters, who split the uprights with a bonus bomb that gave the hosts 98 points.
Campbell made one last steal, but several Blue Eagles’ shots missed their mark and the Seminoles would end the contest with the game’s final five points.
“What can I say?,” Campbell later asked rhetorically. “I’m just thankful that I could contribute in some way.”
Boswell paced Magnolia’s five double-digit scorers with 21 points, adding four steals and dishing out three assists. Mark Winters followed with 20 points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and seven assists.
Campbell contributed 18 points, including a pair of threeballs. He also had a game-high seven steals and dished out three assists.
In addition, Rogalski drained three bonus bombs on his way to a 17-point outing. He also made four steals and passed out three assists. Wilhoite followed with 10 markers, six rebounds, and three blocked shots.
Other Eagles netting points included Elliott and Mike Winters with four points each, while Mitch Winters netted a triple and Emch a charity toss.
Magnolia will host cross-river rival River Tuesday, Feb. 12, with the junior varsity tilt starting at 6 p.m. in the OVAC?semi-finals. The winner of this game will play for the OVAC?Class-AAA Championships at Ohio University Eastern Feb. 16 at 12:30 p.m.