Magnolia Claims Its Fifth OVAC Title In Eight Years
Fort Frye 65
The Magnolia Blue Eagles raced out to a 38-18 lead at the break and withstood a gallant Fort Frye comeback to win its fifth OVAC title in eight years by the score of 67-65 inside the Ohio Valley Eastern Campus Gymnasium Feb. 23.
The Eagles held an 18-12 lead after the opening period and extended it to 38-18 at the break, doing whatever they wanted to do offensively, while holding the Cadets in check defensively throughout the first half.
The second half played out a little differently, as the Cadets made the way to the hole a little more difficult for the Eagles and the Fort closed the gap to 45-34 after three to make things interesting.
A conventional three-point play and a bonus bomb by the Cadets pulled them to within four points, 50-46, at the five minute mark of the fourth period. The Eagles’ Derek “Dead-Eye” Blain knocked in back-to-back baskets from beyond the arc to push the Magnolia lead back to double digits with a little over two minutes remaining,
Following a Kyle Ritz deuce, the Cadets pulled together a nice run and closed in on Magnolia, 58-53, that forced Magnolia called a time out. After the time-out, Spencer Campbell knocked down a jumper to give Magnolia a seven-point lead with a little over a minute remaining in regulation and forcing the Cadets to foul.
Magnolia finished the game swishing 6-8 free throws to nail the coffin shut. Fort Frye would knock down a pair of three-balls late for the game’s final points.
Campbell scored a game-high 26 points, including three baskets from beyond the arc, while Preston Boswell stuff the stat sheet with 19 points, including a triple. He also made four steals and dished out seven assists.
Ritz scored eight points and hauled in seven boards, while Blain and Mitch Winters each netted seven markers, with Winters pulling down five rebounds.
Monroe Central 85
The Eagles’ Spencer Campbell scored six of his career-high 29 points in over-time, and Mitch Winters tacked on his first triple-double, to help the Cardiac Kids to claim a 92-85 OVAC Class-AAA semifinal victory over the Monroe Central Seminoles Feb. 20 in Woodsfield.
The Big Blue top guns, Campbell and Preston Boswell, opened the game with back to back deuces before the ‘Noles sank their first bucket. Baskets by Boswell and Campbell, followed by a Kyle Ritz deuce, gave the visitors a 10-2 advantage rather quickly. But, the ‘Noles’ Tanner Burkhart tickled the twine twice from long range to pull Monroe Central to within a deuce.
However, Boswell added a deuce and sank the back end of a two-shot foul and Campbell put back a rebound to give Magnolia a little breathing room at the 3:30 mark of the opening period.
After a deuce by the ‘Noles, Mitch Winters claimed his first basket off a nifty assist by Derrick Blain. Monroe Central had seen enough and called a time-out. After the break, Campbell lofted a runner to give Magnolia a 19-10 advantage, but the Seminoles scored the game’s next nine markers to tie the game at 19 after one period of play.
Ritz opened the second frame with a deuce, but Monroe Central evened things up with a two-pointer. However, a basket from Campbell dropped in and Boswell swished a pair of two-pointers that caused the Seminole Head Coach Scooter Tolzda to call a quick time-out.
After the respite, the ‘Noles netted four straight baskets mixed in with four Magnolia free throw misses to take their first lead of the game at 29-27 at the four-minute mark of the second period.
However, the Eagles responded with a 9-0 run to regain the lead before the ‘Noles sank a triple. Ritz sank two free-throw attempts to give the Big Blue a 38-32 advantage. Monroe answered with a deuce, but Boswell tickled the twine from beyond the elbow to push the Magnolia lead to 41-34 at the break.
Winters owned the boards in the first half, grabbing eight, while dishing out four assists, while Campbell and Boswell netted 31 of the Blue Eagles 41 points.
In the second half, the Seminoles came out rejuvenated, scoring eight straight markers to grab a 42-41 lead, before Winters netted a deuce. Although Monroe followed with its own deuce, Magnolia would go on a 7-0 run that forced another Monroe time out halfway through the third stanza with Magnolia back on top, 50-44.
Both teams traded buckets before Boswell netted a pair of three-point baskets, mixed between a ‘noles’ triple. After a pair of Monroe Central buckets, Campbell sank the final bucket of the third period to give the Blue Eagles a 60-53 advantage heading into the fourth period.
Winters drained the second of a two-shot foul to open the fourth. After a MC triple, Boswell netted the back end of a two-shot penalty throw. After another Central bonus bomb, Boswell swished the front end of a two-shot foul attempt for a 63-59 Magnolia lead.
Winters and Boswell added two-point buckets, but the Seminoles responded by netting seven straight points before Boswell swished a pair of charity tosses for a 69-66 advantage late in the game.
Monroe Central scored a deuce, but Blain tickled the twine from deep beyond the arc for his only bucket of the night. The ‘Noles swished the back end of a two-shot free throw, and Campbell answered with a deuce. However, the ‘Noles scored with a pair of made charity tosses and another triple to knot the game at 74.
Boswell was quickly fouled and calmly sank both, while Campbell netted the first of a two-shot bonus to give Magnolia a three-point lead. However, Central nailed a long bonus bomb that tied the game up at 77.
It looked like the Eagles were going to win it in regulation, but the ‘noles’ Cole Howell rejected two Magnolia shot attempts, including a Campbell shot, that gave them a chance at the buzzer. But, the shot went in and back out to send the game into overtime.
Monroe Central scored one free throw to open the OT, but Ritz scored a deuce to put Magnolia up by one. Central again netted one of two free throws to knot it up again. But Magnolia scored the next six points to grab a 85-79 lead with 1:22 left in the four-minute overtime period.
Campbell scored his third bucket of the game in the OT, and Boswell cashed in on two free throws to extend the Blue Eagle lead to 89-79. MC wouldn’t go down with quietly and swished two long triples, sandwiched in by a Boswell free throw, while Ritz ended the game with a lay-in at the buzzer.
Boswell led all scorers with 39 points, including four baskets from beyond the arc, while dishing out nine assists. He also sank 7-11 free throws in the fourth and overtime periods.
Winters recorded 11 points, 14 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists for his first triple-double of the season. Campbell netted a career-high 29 points and dished out seven assists, while Ritz contributed 10 points, and Blain a drilled a triple.
Burkhart and Morton each netted 21 markers, while Brown knocked in 20 points, and Zach Johns tallied 15 points to pace the Seminoles.
The Magnolia Blue Eagle Boys’ Freshmen Team closed out the season with a 7-2 record, winning their final games against the Wheeling Park Red Team, 60-37; Tyler Consolidated, 48-47; and a 45-37 victory over Linsly.
Demarco Smith tallied 55 points in the final three outings, while Garrett Babe netted 35 markers in two games. He didn’t play the finale because of a fractured elbow he received in the Tyler Consolidated contest.
Jarrett Moore sank 10 points in the first two games before exploding for 25 points in the victory over Linsly. William Nice added 23 markers, while Devin Shimp and Stanley Moore tallied three and two points, respectively.
In the first six games of the season, Babe netted 43 points, while finishing the season with 78 points. Smith paced the Eagles with 105 points, while Moore sank 98, and Brooks Parsons tallied 53 points in three games before moving up to the junior varsity and varsity team.
In addition, Nice finished the season with 44 markers, while Shimp netted 29 as the top scorer for the freshmen team.