Eagles Are One Win From State Tournament
Wheeling Central 57, Magnolia 34
Wheeling Central went on a 13-2 run to end the second period in the Region I, Section I Championship at Wheeling High School Gymnasium to pull away from a close game and win 57-34 over the Magnolia Lady Eagles.
The Lady Eagles raced out to a 7-3 lead to open the game, but had to use a Mallory Chapman deuce to pull them to 18-13 before the Lady Knights went on their run to end the first half, with MHS down 32-15.
The now 11-12 Eagles played toe-to-toe with the 20-4 Knights in the third period, but the deficit increased by a deuce heading into the final period.
The Lady Maroon Knights outscored the Blue Eagles 11-6 in the fourth period to gain the Region I Section I Championship.
Chapman paced the young Lady Eagles with 17 markers and made four blocks and grabbed as many boards, while Grace Berisford netted 10 points that included a threeball and made three steals.
In addition, Keira Standiford added five points that included a triple, while Katie Blatt added a deuce, blocked two shots, and hauled in a team-high five rebounds for Magnolia. Audrey Gibb made three steals.
However, even with the loss, the Lady Eagles can still make the state tournament in Charleston next week, as the two winners in the regional co-championship move on.
Central will host the runnerup in the region I, section II championship. Meanwhile, Magnolia will play St. Marys, the region I, section II champions at St. Marys Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m.
Magnolia 47, Madonna 44
After trailing Weirton Madonna for the first half, the Magnolia Lady Blue Eagles scored the first eight points of the third quarter and never looked back in a 47-44 victory to win the Class-A Region I, Section I semifinals Feb. 19 at the MHS HammerDome.
The Dons outscored the Eagles 8-4 in the first quarter, with the Eagles’ buckets coming from sophomores Kiera Staniford and Katie Blatt. In the second quarter, the Eagles scored eight of the first 14 points that included a pair of long bombs from freshman standout Grace Berisford that cut Madonna’s lead to one point with just over five minutes left in the frame.
However, the Dons then went on a run of their own, netting the next eight points to up their lead to 21-12. Thereupon, Berisford hit a three and fellow freshman Ciera Fowler hit a deuce to end the half 21-17, Dons led at the half.
However, things changed quickly in the second half for the girls in Blue. They scored the first seven points of the third quarter that included a deuce and a free throw from Chapman to give the Lady Eagles their first lead of the game at 24-21.
After a deuce from Standiford that followed an Eagle free throw, the score stood at 26-24, Eagles. Berisford again came up big for the Blue as she drilled back-to-back triples. However, Madonna sank a three-point play the old fashioned way and added a triple to end the quarter to pull to within a deuce, 32-30.
Chapman scored five of the first seven points in the fourth quarter, including a threeball, to give Magnolia a 37-32 lead. The teams then exchanged points that included four markers from Standiford and six from Chapman, who sank four free throws down the stretch including two with less than five seconds left to give the Eagles the win.
The Dons took a time out to set up a play. However, they were unable to get a shot off and that allowed Magnolia to escape with a 47-44 victory. The win advanced the Lady Eagles to the sectional finals on Friday, Feb. 22, against Wheeling Central at Brooke High School. It also guaranteed them at least two more games.
Leading the Eagles in scoring was Berisford with 17 points that included five treys. Chapman had 14 markers with one threeball and five for five from the charity stripe, with all points coming in the second half.
Standiford sent up eight markers, while Blatt and Audrey Gibb each scored three and Fowler had two. Magnolia shot 32 percent from the floor, 35 percent from three-point range, and 54 percent from the foul line.
Gibb took nine off the glass, made five assists, and two steals. Chapman had six boards, three assists, one steal, and blocked one Madonna shot.
Staniford had four rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. Blatt took down eight boards, made four assists, and swiped three Madonna passes. Fowler hauled in two rebounds and made one block, while, Berisford had four rebounds, two assists, and five steals.
As a team total, the Lady Eagles snatched 33 rebounds, assisted on 14 buckets, swiped 13 passes, and swatted away five Weirton shots.
In other scores from around the state in Class-A: St. Marys 78-36 over Tyler Consolidated; Morgantown Trinity beat Clay-Battelle 66-64; East Hardy swarmed Paw Paw 49-24; Man over Sherman 52-22; Tug Valley beat Montcalm 58-32; Fayetteville bested Midland Trail 53-43; and Greenbrier West defeated Meadow Bridge 63-53.