Blue Eagles Overpower Silver Knights, 77-29
The Magnolia Blue Eagle Boys’ Basketball Team defeated the Silver Knights of Tyler Consolidated, 77-29 in the opening round of the West Virginia Class-AA Sectional held at the HammerDome in New Martinsville March 1 to claim its 17th win of the season.
The Eagles’ Jordan Moore fired in two straight baskets from beyond the arch, before the Silver Knights sank a deuce to open the first period of play. Moore would answer with his third trifecta and Matt Sapp would sink a floater off a nice feed by Zach Wilhoite when the Knights’ Head Coach J.C. Kimble had seen enough and call an early time out.
After the break, the Knights’ Zach Knowlton and Corey Lowe would cut the deficit to 11-9 before the Blue Eagles would counter with the final seven points of the period, ending with a Nick Blatt jumper for an 18-9 advantage after one period of play.
Tyler would sink the first of two free throws to open the second period, but the Big Blue would then heave it too to their 6’7” giant Mark “Special K” Winters in the paint, who would tally two straight buckets.
Magnolia would grab a rebound off the defensive glass and would call a time out. Sapp would post down low and net a nifty two-point bucket and the Knights would quickly call a time out after Magnolia would go to a press.
However, the break didn’t help the visitors, but Stephen Rogalski got a feed off a turnover and sank a basket from beyond the arch. After another steal by Jayson Keller, Winters would put back a miss for a 31-10 lead. Keller would grab a Knight miss and go coast-to-coast and put in a dazzling reverse lay in, and Moore would do the same on the next possession.
Magnolia would show good discipline the rest of the period, moving the ball around and making easy buckets to go into the locker room up, 39-14.
To open the second half, Magnolia would heave it inside to Winters who nailed four straight buckets to push the Magnolia advantage to 49-14 with 5:15 showing on the third period clock.
Senior reserve Leif Lallathin nailed a deuce to push Magnolia over 50 and Justin Wade and Rogalski would finish the third period with buckets, for a 63-18 Blue Eagle lead.
Tyler added 11 points against the Magnolia subs in the fourth period, while the Eagles netted 14 points. “Our effort was good in a must win citation and the kids responded well,” said Magnolia Head Coach Dave Tallman. “There won’t be as much pressure Friday because of the design of the tournament set-up, but we obviously would like to play here at home, especially the way we are playing at home right now.“
After a 28-point night in the Eagles’ last victory against Parkersburg South, including seven triples, Moore netted 11 of the Eagles’ first 18 points before sitting the bench with foul trouble against Tyler. He would finish the night with 13 points. After a slow start, Winters tallied 16 points. He would grab six boards and knock away two Silver Knight shots to pace the home team.
Sapp, added 13 points, while Rogalski netted 10 points, including a pair of baskets from beyond the arch, off the bench. Starters Keller and Blatt added four and two points, respectively, while also adding four assists and two blocks, respectively.
Magnolia had 17 steals and all 12 players scored, including hauling in at least one rebound. Justin Wade added four points; Mike Winters, five points; Leis Lallathin, three points; Hunter Campbell, two free throws; and Zach Wilhoite and Tyler Myers each added a deuce.
Knowlton and Lowe paced the Silver Knights with eight and seven points, respectively.