Blue Eagles Tame Wildcats
Paden City jumped out to a 6-2 lead to start the game, but the Blue Eagles went on a 10-0 run, eight of which came from the Eagles defending state scoring champion Preston Boswell, to grab a 12-6 advantage.
The Big Blue used an 18-7 run to end the opening stanza, to go on top 20-13 after one period of play.
In the period, the Wildcats sank three baskets from beyond the arc, two by Aaron Heasley and another by Zach Yeater, while Logan Carroll tallied two jumpers.
In the second period, Kyle Ritz opened the Blue Eagle scoring with four straight baskets, while Boswell added nine points to help Magnolia build a 45-32 advantage at the break.
The three-ball again kept the Wildcats in the game as Yeater sank a trio of baskets from beyond the arc, while Heasley drilled two and sank a bucket.
After intermission, Carroll picked up his third and fourth fouls for the Wildcats, but played the rest of the game without fouling out.
Heasley and teammate Hayden Hizer each drilled a 3-pointer in the third period, while Devin Price netted six points to help Paden City trim its deficit to 11 points by the end of three periods.
Meanwhile, Boswell netted eight points and Tyler Anderson sank a pair of baskets for Magnolia to keep the Wildcats at bay.
In the final quarter, Hizer sank one of two free throws, before the Big Blue scored the next 11 points to push its advantage to 71-49. Mitch Winters scored 10 of his 12 points, while Boswell tallied the other six points to pace the Eagles in the period.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats’ Yeater and Heasley accounted for 13 of the Wildcats’ 16 points, including three of their team’s 13 3-pointers to keep Paden City in the game.
“Those kids played their hearts out for me, those fans and this school,” veteran Paden City coach Fred King said.
“You have to have someone to step up when a kid like Luke Cooper goes down, and we had a few that did.”
Boswell scored 16 of his game-high 39 points in the first period, while Winters tallied 10 of his 11 points in the fourth, and Ritz netted eight of his 11 points in the second period to lead Magnolia. The two hauled in 20 of the 37 Blue Eagle rebounds.
In addition, Tyler Anderson netted four of his six points in the third, while Derrick Blain and Zach Haught each sank a pair of baskets.
Heasley led the Wildcats with 24 points, including six bonus bombs, while Yeater sank 22 points, including six 3-pointers. Price added 10 points, while hounding the Blue Eagles defensively with his aggressive play. Carroll and Hizer each netted four points for all the Wildcat scoring.
“Give Paden City a lot of credit, they hit eight three pointers in the first half to stay in the game, and five of those were pretty closely contested,” Magnolia coach Dave Tallman said. “It’s always nice to beat a local rival like Paden City, especially one that is in your region. And what can you say about Preston? I have told him before that I don’t give him all the credit he deserves because he gets so much of it everywhere else. I just hope the fans really appreciate what they are seeing in this kid.”
After a game with River on Tuesday the Blue Eagles will head out to Tyler Consolidated to play North Marion in the Silver Knights tournament opener Friday night. Win or lose they will play Saturday.