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Eagles Heading To State

By Staff | Mar 16, 2011

The Magnolia Blue Eagles went on a 19-11 run in the final eight minutes to punch their ticket to the West Virginia Boys’ State Tournament with a 38-34 victory over Ravenswood in the Class-AA Region I co-finals at Magnolia High School March 9.

Trailing for the biggest part of the game, Magnolia woke up in the second half, scoring as many points in the fourth period as they did in the first three stanzas combined.

Highlights of the first three periods included Matt Sapp’s getting in foul trouble and having to sit out most of the first period. Hunter Campbell got a steal at mid-court and took it the distance for a nice bucket. The Eagles shot a horrendous 5-23 from the field in the first half for 21 percent, and were 3-8 from the free throw line for 37 percent.

The third period was a carbon copy of the first two periods with the Devils holding a 23-19 lead heading into the final period of play.

Magnolia Head Coach Dave Tallman relied on his two returning senior starters to get them to the Dance. Sapp, who was held scoreless and limited to only three shots in the game up to that point, netted seven big points, including a triple to open the fourth period. Fellow senior Jordan Moore netted five markers, including a basket from beyond the arch that gave the hosts the lead for keeps. That forced Ravenswood head coach Mick Price to call a timeout.

After the rest, Magnolia sophomore Stephen Rogalski drained another three-point basket, followed by a Mark Winters jumper to give the Big Blue its biggest lead of the night at 32-25.

The Ravenswood Red Devils rallied to within 34-31 on a put-back and a pair of free throws with 48 seconds remaining and had several opportunities, but failed. Winters hauled down the final Devil miss and hit Sapp in stride to push Magnolia’s advantage to five.

Ravenswood drained a basket from beyond the arch to pull within a deuce with 12 seconds remaining. But, Winters banked in a jumper that clinched the Eagle win.

The win enables the number four seed Magnolia Blue Eagles to reach the Dance for the second straight year and the opportunity to reach 20 wins with a victory March 17 against the number five seed Keyser Golden Tornado.

That contest gets underway at 9 p.m. in the Charleston Civic Center.