Wetzel County Reigns Over Region One
Bishop Donahue 57
The Magnolia Blue Eagles are one stop away from heading to the WVSSAC Class-A state tournament after knocking out Bishop Donahue, 66-57 Friday, March 6, inside a standing room only John Marshall Field House crowd and took care of Wheeling Central, 80-74 to win the Region I, Section I crown Saturday night to advance to the Region I finals.
On Friday, Bishop sank the first basket of the game, but the Eagles’ Preston Boswell’s put back tied it at two. Mitch Winters also put back a miss and Boswell followed that up with a conventional three point play.
After a nifty Bishop Donahue alley-oop, Spencer Campbell cashed in on the Eagles’ third rebound put-back to give the Eagles a 9-5 lead. However, Bishop dialed long distance to pull to within a point, but Derrick Blain sank a deuce to give the Eagles an 11-8 lead after one period of play.
Campbell opened the second stanza with a deuce, but Donahue answered with a pair of free throws. Kyle Ritz added the Eagles’ fourth rebound put-back that forced a Bishop Donahue time out.
After the short break, the Eagles’ Tyler Anderson dialed long distance, but Donahue responded with a two-pointer. Boswell kidnapped a Bishop pass and dished it off to Campbell for a basket. However, Donahue answered with a pair of two-pointers to close the gap to 20-16, Magnolia.
Boswell scored off a nice assist by Derrick Blain. Blain then rejected a Donahue shot and Boswell scooped it up and drilled a deuce. After a charge, Donahue sank a pair of freebies before Ritz sank a deuce.
After a Donahue triple, Blain nailed one from well beyond the arc and Boswell ended the scoring with a deuce to give Magnolia a 31-21 lead at the break.
Donahue opened the second half with a three pointer, but Campbell scored two baskets on a pair of assists by Boswell. However, the Bishops scored a conventional three point play, but the Eagles’ Winters sank a jumper.
From this point, Donahue would score a pair of free throws, but Magnolia countered with a Campbell deuce. Once again Donahue would sink a pair of charity tosses and Magnolia would respond, this time with an Anderson deuce.
Donahue, scored the next five points, but Boswell and Campbell shared the next Blue Eagle tallies to give them a 49-36 advantage that forced another Donahue time out.
After the break, Campbell sank a jumper, but the Bishops would score eight of the next 10 points to close the gap to 48-44 heading into the fourth period.
Winters scored the fourth period’s opening basket, but Donahue quickly answered with a deuce. Ritz added a free throw, but the Bishops sank a deuce. Campbell quickly answered with a basket off a nice half-court pass by Ritz to make the score, 53-48 Magnolia.
After a pair of Ritz misses at the free throw line, he would sink a two-pointer off an assist by Blain.
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However, Donahue answered with a triple, but Ritz, Boswell, and Blain combined on 7-8 free throws before Donahue scored a free throw.
Inside a minute to play, Boswell and Blain each swished a charity toss, while Donahue netted a three-ball. After a pair of Campbell misses at the charity stripe, Blain sank the second of two free throws to end the scoring.
Boswell netted 22 markers, that included three baskets from beyond the arc, while adding six assists, five steals, and four rebounds to lead the Magnolia scoring. Campbell sank 16 points, while Blain tallied nine points, seven rebounds (six of which were offensive), and dished out six assists.
In addition, Ritz dropped in eight points, while Winters tacked on six markers and Anderson sank five points, including a three-ball.
The Eagles improved to 18-5, while the Bishops fell to 19-3 with all three losses coming from Magnolia, The Blue Eagles only sank 16-31 free throws, while Donahue sank 14-19. The Eagles out-rebounded the Bishops 31-15 with 12 coming from the offensive side.
Bishop was paced by Taylor Staughn with a game-high 24 points, that included four baskets from beyond the arc, while Jesse Padlow sank 17 points, and Josh Miller, 11 points.
Wheeling Central 74
Preston Boswell netted a game-high 37 points, including three baskets from beyond the arc, to lead Magnolia to a 80-74 victory over Wheeling Central inside a packed John Marshall Fieldhouse Saturday, March 7.
Boswell started the Eagle scoring with a triple, while Central countered with a deuce to open the game, Boswell nailed a jumper off the glass, while Central swished one of two freebies. However, Central nailed a basket from well beyond the arc to give the top-ranked Maroon Knights a 6-5 lead.
Winters put back an MHS miss for a two-pointer, but the Knights would sink back-to-back triples to go back in front 12-9. After a Boswell deuce, the Knights would connect once more from beyond the arc. But, the Blue Eagles’ Ritz swished a pair of free throws and Boswell netted a deuce to pull to within one at 15-14. Campbell’s put back gave the lead back to Magnolia, and a pair of baskets by Ritz and a deuce by Campbell extended their lead to 22-15 at the 1:27 mark.
Central hit back-to-back three balls to close the gap to 22-21 Magnolia. Boswell scored one of two from the free throw line, before Central nailed another triple to pull back in front, 24-23. However, Winters scored the Eagles’ next four markers, before the Knights added a deuce.
Boswell nailed a deuce and a free throw, while Campbell sank a put-back and Ritz tickled the twine from beyond the arc to give Magnolia a 35-26 advantage at the 3:38 mark of the second stanza.
After a Wheeling time out, Boswell netted a deuce inbetween a pair of Knight two pointers to give Magnolia a 37-30 half time lead.
The Knights out-scored the Eagles 25-21 in the third period, but still trailed 58-55 heading into the final period of play. Anderson swished a bonus bomb and Boswell followed with a deuce to open the fourth period of play.
After another bonus bomb by Central, Campbell brought down the house with a nice alley-oop assist by Boswell. Central nailed a conventional three pointer, but a Boswell rebound basket extended the Eagles advantage to 67-61 at the 3:35 mark.
The Knights scored a deuce and a triple to pull the Knights to 67-66, but a Campbell rebound put-back and an Anderson free throw to go along with four straight Boswell made charity tosses gave Magnolia a little breathing room.
But, Central wouldn’t go away and nailed a deuce at the 44.8 mark. After Ritz tallied one of two freebies, Central stole the inbound pass and in the blink of an eye, pulled to within five points with 21 seconds remaining.
However, Campbell and Boswell sank 5-6 free throws, while Central tallied a pair of two pointers to end the game.
Boswell scored a game-high 37 points for Magnolia, while adding six assists and four rebounds to pace the Big Blue. Campbell followed with 15 points, while Ritz contributed 13 points, including a basket from beyond the arc. He grabbed 11 boards and dished out a half dozen assists. Winters tallied eight points and grabbed double-digit rebounds with 12, while Anderson netted four points and Blain a three-ball.
The win pushed the Magnolia win-loss record to 19-5, while Wheeling Central dropped to 21-3 with two of the three losses coming from Magnolia.
Magnolia will host St Marys, while the Maroon Knights will visit Paden City, both on Thursday at 7 p.m., with the winners heading to the WVSSAC State Tournament Wednesday, March 18, inside the Charleston Civic Center.