Eagles Give Knights All They Could Handle, But Fall, 61-45
The Magnolia Lady Eagles fell 61-45 to the visiting Lady Maroon Knights of Wheeling Central Jan. 24 in a contest that was even ball during the first half. However, turnovers, weak rebounding and poor shooting dogged the home team throughout and ultimately did it in.
Central got on the scoreboard first at 6:33 remaining in the first quarter, when the Maroon’s sophomore guard Emily Bucon sank the back end of a two-shot free throw. Less than two minutes later, Lady Eagle senior guard Padyn Ludewig drained a field goal to start Magnolia rolling, but it was quickly neutralized by another deuce from Central’s Molly Kurtz.
Both teams seemed tentative and unwilling to pick up the pace of a back-and-forth game and the first quarter ended 13-12, Maroon Knight advantage.
Magnolia inbounded the ball to begin the second frame and turned it over to Wheeling Central, who responded in kind. With Magnolia now in possession, the ball went to Dallas Mullett, who scored a bucket that was quickly answered by the visitors. However, Ludewig drained a threeball to make the score 17-15, MHS, who then called a time out to rest a bit and reassess.
When play resumed, Wheeling Central’s Cassie Sorge, a senior guard, dropped in a two-fer to tie the score at 17. But, Lady Eagle Jordan Babe untied it with her own bucket at 4:30 remaining in the half.
After a Central time out, Magnolia’s Mallory Chapman cashed in from downtown, but two good free throws from Central gave the Maroon a 23-22 lead with 1:19 left in the quarter. Mullett ended first-half scoring with a deuce that gave the Lady Eagles a 24-23 advantage at the break.
During halftime, the MHS cheerleaders previewed a drill that they hope will be a winning performance at the OVAC cheering competition next month at Wheeling’s WesBanco Arena.
In the third quarter, a reinvigorated Lady Maroon Knight team caught a cadence and started pulling ahead, starting with a bomb from Bucon, followed by a deuce from sophomore forward Colleen McCormick that gave the Maroon its widest lead so far of the game, 28-24. With 5:22 remaining, Babe drained the second of two foul shots to narrow the gap for Magnolia.
Moments later, Magnolia took the ball on a turnover and worked it to junior forward Marissa Bosley, who was sent to the charity stripe where she made good on one of two free throws. Chapman then sent a threeball through the hoop to tie the score at 28.
Magnolia sent Central’s McCormick to the free throw line twice in about as many minutes, but all she could cough up was one point, which was dwarfed by a threeball from Babe. However, the Lady Maroon Knights answered with a deuce that gave them a 31-35 lead. Sorge, not satisfied, dropped a threeball, which was answered by a Ludewig deuce
With 1:30 left in the quarter, Wheeling Central increased the pressure quickly when it made good on two free throws, followed by another bomb from Sorge. Another Magnolia foul sent Bucon to the stripe where she made good on one of two foul shots. But a Central twoball followed to give the Maroon a 46-33 lead.
Magnolia missed two free throws, but Bosley compensated by making two and narrowing the gap to 46-35. However, a foul sent the Lady Maroon back to the stripe, where they made it 48-35 to end third quarter scoring firmly in the lead.
Magnolia inbounded the ball, but a Maroon foul sent Mullett to the stripe, where she sank both free throws. Soon after that, however, Magnolia incurred a technical foul on a discrepancy with a referee and Central’s Libby Altmeyer converted for the visitors. Seconds later, Altmeyer scored a twoball.
With Magnolia now in possession, Ludewig charged the key for a successful layup, previously in this game, not her best of attempts. Bosley later went to the line for two and made one, which was answered later by two good free throws from the Knight’s McCormick. Bucon put up another two points to widen her team’s lead to 55-40.
Central picked up another three points and called a time out. The game resumed with an inbound ball by Central that ended with Babe at the foul line, where she added a point for the hosts. Two or so minutes later, Wheeling’s Bucon committed her fifth foul and left the game, and Ludewig again found herself at the foul line where she made both shots. With 2:08 left in the game, the score read 43-58 in favor of Central, who would hit for another three points to end its scoring at 61.
However, as if in defiance, Bosley snatched a rebound, dribbled down court and laid in an uncontested deuce for Magnolia, making her team’s final score of the game.
On shooting, both teams were about even. From the floor, Wheeling Central was 36 percent on 11 more attempts than Magnolia. From the stripe, Magnolia finished 55 percent on seven more shots than the Lady Knights, who went 60 percent.
Ludewig led the offensive attack for the Lady Eagles with 18 markers, followed by Bosley with 10 points, while Babe and Mullett coimbined for 13 points. Other players adding to the score were Chapman with five and Harlan, a deuce.
Next for the Lady Eagles is a contest at home against Tyler Consolidated Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. On Feb. 4, they travel to Oak Glen for a rematch, also at 7 p.m.