Blue Eagles Fall In Regional Finals
Magnolia overcame a 13-5 deficit after eight minutes of play against Ravenswood March 11 and knotted the score at the break. However, the energy used was not enough to sustain a fourth period advantage and the Blue fell, 41-36, in the West Virginia Class AA Region I, Section Two Championship at the Pit in Ravenswood.
After the dreadful first period, Magnolia scrapped and clawed its way with a 15-7 run, thanks to some outstanding defensive pressure and clutch shooting to break even with the Devils at 20.
Blue Eagle sophomore Traeh Keller led the assault with 12 points, swishing the first of four treys during the second period to help the Blue Eagles head to the locker room tied and the momentum in their favor.
Keller’s second and third baskets from beyond the arc equaled the total output of the Devils, who managed to connect on only 3-14 field goals during the third stanza.
In the fourth period – with the Blue Eagles up three points – Ravenswood senior Bruce Patterson stepped up to tally half of his game-high 16 points in the final eight minute. With less than two minutes remaining in the game, Magnolia rallied to take a two-point lead.
Jayson Keller, off the bench, missed the front-end of a 1-1, Ravenswood rebounded and took the ball over the division line for a successful three-point basket to put the Devils up by one.
The Eagles’ offense got a little sloppy and they turned the ball over on two straight trips and Ravenswood took advantage. However, the Eagles still made a run, but they committed two consecutive fouls to force a 1-1 for Ravenswood. Although the Devils missed on both attempts, poor boxing out by Magnolia allowed the Devils to rebound their own misses and take precious time off the clock.
Later, the Devils sealed the deal on a couple of successful throws at the charity stripe that would send them to the state tournament and drop Magnolia to 16-8 on the season.
Traeh Keller paced the Blue Eagle scoring with four treys, while Matt Sapp added seven markers, including a basket from beyond the arc. Jared Blatt was held to six points, but still had a double-double with 10 blocks and 12 rebounds. Jayson Keller added four charity tosses, while Andrew Robinson nailed a basket from beyond the arc. Jon Rine finished off the Blue Eagle scoring with two points.
“We had a good run and the kids gave me everything they had for 32 minutes and left it on the court,” said Magnolia Head Coach Dave Tallman.
The Eagles had only one starter back from a season ago and only two with varsity experience. However, they will lose starters Andrew Robinson and Jon Rine to graduation, but will return a flock of Eagles next season, including Jared Blatt, Matt Sapp, Andy Huggins, Traeh Keller, Josh Yost, Mason Rine, Landon Herrick, Jordan Moore, Jayson Keller, and Nick Blatt that have all seen considerable varsity experience this season.