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Magnolia To Play For Sectional Championship

By Staff | Feb 27, 2013

Magnolia 79,

Weirton Madonna 56

The Magnolia Blue Eagles boys basketball team are now two wins from earning their fourth straight trip to the West Virginia State Basketball Tournament after beating the Weirton Madonna Blue Dons 79-56 Tuesday inside the MHS HammerDome in the Region I, Section I semifinals.

The Blue Dons came into the HammerDome with notions to exit Magnolia from the sectionals for the first time since 2006 when the Tyler Silver Knights knocked them out of going to the regionals.

The HammerDome was full of enthusiastic fans, ready to witness the sectional semifinal between these two counterparts. “It was nice to see our student body come out again like that to get us fired up,” said Zach Wilhoite after the game. “Our fans are fantastic, they got into it early and we feed off their energy,” added Mark Winters.

The Eagles opened the game a little sluggish, but led 11-9 after one period of action. However, in the second stanza the Eagles caught fire and tallied 26 points, with Preston Boswell netting a pair of triples and Stephen Rogalski swishing a basket from beyond the arc right before the buzzer to take a 32-27 advantage at the break.

In the first half, Winters and Wilhoite teamed for 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Wilhoite turned away a pair of Madonna shot attempts.

In the second half, the Eagles’ Kyle Elliott tallied the first two points with a pair of made charity tosses. But, the Blue Dons quickly netted a deuce and Elliott would pick up his fourth foul and sit the remainder of the game.

Spencer Campbell pitched a ball to Winters for a deuce, then connected on a bonus bomb. After a Madonna deuce, Boswell connected from downtown, energizing the Blue Eagle student body.

The Blue Dons responded with a triple of their own, but Rogalski connected from long range to keep the Eagle faithful excited.

However, Madonna wouldn’t go away and connected from beyond the arc and Magnolia called a timeout.

After the short break Wilhoite cashed in on one of two charity tosses, before Campbell netted a deuce and Rogalski followed a miss for a two-pointer to give the Eagles a 51-40 advantage.

Madonna fought back and before the end of the quarter made a deuce and a triple, sandwiched in by a Campbell deuce to make the game 53-45 Magnolia.

In the fourth period, it was the Wilhoite and Winters show, as they scored the quarter’s first four baskets, forcing the Dons to call a timeout.

After the break, Madonna scored a free throw, before Boswell hit Campbell down low on an out of bounds play. Madonna would then sink both ends of a one-and-one opportunity.

However, Winters started to heat up and sank a jumper and a three ball, before the Dons nailed a deuce. Madonna was guilty of a foul, followed by a technical foul, in which Winters missed both attempts.

Madonna would score two baskets and a pair of freebies the rest of the game. The Eagles’ Campbell netted a deuce and a free throw, while Mike Winters and Mitch Winters netted a deuce and Eric Smith buried a pair of charity tosses to end all the scoring.

Winters netted a double-double, 27 points and 11 rebounds, while Wilhoite, Boswell and Campbell each sank a dozen markers. Rogalski tallied eight points, while Elliott, Smith, Mike and Mitch Winters each tallied two points.

With the win, Magnolia will take on Wheeling Central, who also on Tuesday night, in the Region I, Section I Championship Friday at 7 p.m. inside the John Marshall Field House.

Magnolia 66,

Beckley Christian 58

Magnolia finished the regular season at home Feb. 22 against Greater Beckley Christian and sent the Crusaders home with a 66-58 loss.

The Eagles held an 18 to 11 first quarter advantage, with Winters leading the way offensively with a pair of two pointers and a threeball.

In the second frame, it was Wilhoite leading the charge with three deuces and a free throw, while Winters netted a pair of deuces and a charity toss to push the Blue Eagle advantage to 29-23 at the break.

In the third period, Wilhoite would score five baskets and three free throws, while Boswell heated up the scoring with a threeball and a two-pointer that gave the Blue a 48-37 advantage with eight minutes remaining in the game.

Boswell continued to tickle the twine in the fourth frame, connecting from downtown twice and swishing six of eight free throws. Meanwhile, Wilhoite netted a trio of two-pointers and swished five of nine charity tosses to lead Magnolia in the period.

Winters scored a game-high 34 points, while grabbing 11 rebounds and blocking one shot to lead the Blue Eagles. Wilhoite followed with 16 markers and pulled down seven boards, while Boswell netted a dozen points. Rogalski ended the Eagle scoring with four points and four steals. Elliott hauled in nine rebounds.

“It’s been great playing along with these seniors,” said Boswell, a freshman, after the game. “They took me in and have taught me so much.”

Magnolia 90,

Parkersburg 85

Zach Wilhoite scored a career-high 33 points to lead the Magnolia Blue Eagles to a 90-85 senior-night victory over the Parkersburg Big Reds Feb. 21 inside the MHS HammerDome.

Sam Brookover scored the game’s first basket, and the combination of Wilhoite and Mark Winters tallied the rest to lead the Blue to a 16-11 lead after one period of action. However, the Big Reds would take a 31-30 lead into the locker room.

In the second half, Winters sank a pair of triples and a pair of deuces to go along with a trio of freebies to help the Eagles gain a 51-50 advantage.

In the fourth frame, Wilhoite and Preston Boswell gave the Eagle offense a nice one-two punch, scoring 14 of the team’s 39 points of the period to garner the hard-fought MHS victory.

Wilhoite finished with a double-double, 33 points and 10 rebounds, while dishing out three assists and blocking a Big Red shot. Following Wilhoite in scoring was Winters and Boswell with each tacking on 21 points. Winters added seven rebounds, seven assists, and made one steal.

In addition, Stephen Rogalski swished three bonus bombs, while Kyle Elliott, Garrett Emch, and Sam Brookover each netted a deuce for the Eagles.

Magnolia 89,

Madonna 72

The Magnolia Blue Eagles sank 18 of 22 free throws to carry them to lift them to an 89-72 victory over Weirton Madonna in a regular-season match-up Feb. 20 in Blue Don territory.

Both teams made 31 goals and the Blue Dons sank one more triple than the Eagles. However, the hosts converted only one of five charity tosses and that proved to be the difference.

Magnolia would connect on six of its first seven shots to race out to a 14-2 lead with Mark Winters driving one home after making a steal on the other end.

The Blue Dons would later go on an 11-0 run to make it 19-18, Magnolia. But, the Eagles’ Zach Wilhoite sank a deuce to put the visitors up three points after period one.

The Eagles would match their first quarter offering by scoring the game’s first seven points of the second period. Magnolia would extend its advantage to 28-18 before heading into the locker room at the half with a 46-32 lead.

Magnolia made 16-27 shots from the floor in the first half, with six of seven coming from downtown. Winters led the offensive charge with 22 points.

In the third period, Madonna out shot Magnolia 25 to 19, but the Eagles would start the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run that included another Winters jam to put the game out of reach.

Winters tied his career-high 38 points that included four baskets from beyond the arc. He also was seven of eight from the foul line and grabbed eight rebounds. Wilhoite followed with 19 points and Stephen Rogalski with 12 markers that included two triples and 4-4 at the stripe.

In addition, Preston Boswell contributed eight points, while Kyle Elliott netted five, with both players sinking a threeball. Spencer Campbell finished with three points, while Garrett Emch and Mike Winters each netted a deuce.