Eagles Defeat South; Lose To Monarchs And Riders
Blue Eagle senior guard Matt Sapp recorded 30 points, including 17 of them in the fourth period, to lead the Class-AA Magnolia to a 81-73 victory over Class-AAA Parkersburg South Jan. 3 in a packed HammerDome.
The first half went back and forth, with the Eagles clinging to a 13-12 lead after one period of play. Magnolia would go on an 8-0 run near the end of the first half to take a 29-23 advantage at the break.
The shorter South squad used its high energy and in-your-face defensive play to keep Magnolia to within striking distance, while taking Sapp out of his game in the opening half.
The third period was a classic, as the tempo of the game increased and Parkersburg took over the lead at 47-45. Sapp netted his first field goal of the game in the second half to knot things at 47-47. The bucket not only tied the game, but got the Blue Eagles — and Sapp — out of an offensive funk. Magnolia would go on an 8-2 run from there, keyed by six points from Sapp, to take a 55-49 lead heading into the final period.
Sapp started the final stanza by nailing a basket from beyond the arch and swishing a jumper off a steal that gave the hosts their biggest lead of the night at 60-51.
After being held to seven points and one field goal in the first half, Sapp exploded for 17 points in the final quarter, which included three treys and an 8-8 performance from the free-throw line to help give the hosts the victory.
“We didn’t play really well offensively, but we scored 81 points and we’re happy with that,” said Magnolia Head Coach Dave Tallman. “We are a very small (West Virginia Class) AA school playing a AAA school. We’re just thrilled to death to have the victory.
“I’m glad a lot of people got to see how well he plays,” Tallman said of Sapp. ”He basically put the team on his shoulders in the second half and hit some big free throws and made some crucial shots down the stretch.”
Parkersburg South’s Doug Dennis paced his team with 27 points, while Kyle Johnson and Wes Mitchem each added 17 points.
The Eagles’ Mark Winters backed up Sapp with 19 points, including a three-pointer, and hauled in six boards, while blocking three shots. Jayson Keller netted 10 points, including a pair of triples, while dishing off five assists. Nick Blatt drained seven points and knocked away a season-high seven South shots, while hauling in six rebounds.
The Eagles’ Kyle Anderson came off the bench to tally a pair of baskets from beyond the arch, while Jordan Moore added a deuce and drained 4-4 free throws. Stephen Rogalski also came off the bench to nail a three-pointer, while dishing off a team-high seven assists and eight rebounds.
The Eagles had 31 rebounds, 13 blocks, 19 assists, and made 11 steals, while swishing 21-31 free throws.
Despite outstanding and intense basketball play from both teams, members of the MHS student body, inexplicably, sat on their hands more than they cheered.
The John Marshall Monarchs outscored the Magnolia Blue Eagles, 41-23, in the second half to upset the Blue Eagles in the HammerDome Jan. 5, 63-53.
John Marshall achieved the victory without the services of big man Justin Wade, who was at a football camp in Texas. JM’s victory was the fourth in six outings heading into a Friday night home contest with Steubenville.
“I am not making excuses,” said MHS Head Coach Dave Tallman, “but this is our fourth Class AAA school in a row and we put everything into that win over Parkersburg South on Tuesday. But these are the things you have to do to get ready for the tournament.
“But, if you would have told me anyone could hold us to 53 in our own gym, I just wouldn’t have believed it. We have had games that we haven’t played well and still scored 80. I just have no explanations, but give John Marshall all the credit in the world. They hustled and were quicker.”
The teams battled back and forth for most of the first half before the Blue Eagles finished it with a 13-4 run, with the help of Kyle Anderson’s three baskets, to take a 30-22 advantage into the locker room.
The Eagles went up by 11 points, at 40-29, with 3:11 to go in the third, before the Monarchs caught fire.
The Monarchs went on an 11-2 spurt to trim the Eagle margin to 43-41 heading into the final period of play. Magnolia went up 47-41 with 7:04 to play, but John Marshall went on a 22-10 spree to close things out.
John Marshall senior Luke Lavenski fired in a game-high 21 points, including an 11-14 performance from the free throw line.
Magnolia was only nine of 37 from the floor in the second half and 22 of 70 for the game, while John Marshall tallied 19-29 from the charity stripe, while the taller Eagles made it to the free throw line 10 times, but made good on only three.
The Eagles scored one more shot from the floor, but JM’s huge advantage from the charity stripe, Magnolia’s 22 turnovers, and the Eagles’ poor perimeter shooting (22-70) proved to be the demise of Magnolia.
Matt Sapp and Mark Winters each tallied a Baker’s Dozen for the Eagles, while Jordan Moore capped off a double-double with 11 points, including three baskets from beyond the arch. Moore also pulled down 10 rebounds, blocked two Monarch shots, and hijacked the basketball once.
Other Eagles making a little noise included Anderson with six points; Jayson Keller, five points; Stephen Rogalski, a three-pointer; and Nick Blatt, a deuce. Blatt also added seven rebounds and three blocks in limited action because of foul trouble.
Sapp added a double-double for Magnolia. He hauled in 10 off the glass, added two steals, blocked a shot, and had six assists to go along with his 13 points.
The Blue Eagle junior varsity bit the bullet once again, losing 32-28, as Zack Wilhoite paced the home team with nine points.
Eagle point guard Matt Sapp tied a school record with nine baskets from beyond the arch, but Magnolia dropped its second straight game 71-67 to Weir, Jan. 8 in Weirton.
The Eagles raced out to a 17-14 lead after one period, led by a dozen points by Sapp. However, the Red Riders forged in front with a 22-16 second-quarter performance.
The Riders pushed their advantage to 53-46 with eight minutes remaining in the game. Sapp put the Eagles on his back, scoring 16 of the Eagles’ 21 points, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.
The Eagles sank 13 threes, with Sapp netting nine to go along with his season-high 33 points. Mark Winters added a dozen points, pulled down six boards, and swatted away three Rider shots.
Kyle Anderson came off the bench to swish a pair of three-point baskets, while Jordan Moore tickled the twine once from beyond the arch and pulled down five off the glass. Jayson Keller tallied nine points, including one basket from downtown, while Hunter Campbell tallied two baskets.
The Eagles will participate in the Tyler Consolidated Silver Knights Roundball Tournament Jan. 14-15.