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Blue Eagles Repeat As OVAC Champs

By Staff | Feb 17, 2016

Photos by Bruce Crawford The Magnolia Blue Eagles pose after defeating Fort Frye to win the OVAC Class 3A championship.

Magnolia’s Preston Boswell opened the 2016 OVAC Class AAA title match-up with Fort Frye by making two straight steals and converting them both. He then scored a basket frombeyond the arc after re-entering the game after getting a bloody nose on his second steal to give the Eagles a 9-0 advantage they never relinquished in a 63-57 win Feb. 13 at Ohio University Eastern.

The Cadets finally got on the board at the 3:40 mark, but two more MHS steals, with the later one swiped by Tyler Anderson and converting it to give Magnolia a 11-2 lead.

Off a Boswell rebound, Preston would hit Anderson in stride for another two points. The Cadets got their second basket with 40 seconds remaining. After a Magnolia turnover, Anderson grabbed a Cadet miss and rifled a pass to Boswell who tickled the twine from downtown to give Magnolia a 16-4 advantage after one period of play.

The Cadets opened the second stanza with a basket, while Anderson swished the front end of a two shot foul. Fort Frye then recorded a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer, before the Eagles’ Kyle Ritz hit Boswell with two straight long passes for four more Blue Eagles points.

After two Cadets made free throws, Ritz answered with two of his own for a 23-16 Magnolia lead.

Magnolia’s Tyler Anderson converts a basket after making a steal in the first quarter of play.

The Cadets quickly answered with a deuce, but Boswell matched that with two freebies, while Brooks Parsons netted the last points with a jumper at the buzzer to give Magnolia a 27-18 lead at the break.

The Cadets started to heat up, and sank a basket to open the second half scoring. However, Anderson and Boswell took turns hitting from beyond the arc to help extend their lead to 35-23 at the 5:15 mark.

After a Carter Lang three-ball, Fort Frye hit 8-of-13 free throws, and a Justin Anderson basket, while the Eagles finished off the period with three free throws, two Boswell and Mitch Winters buckets, and a Tyler 3-pointer to give Magnolia a 10-point advantage with eight minutes remaining.

The Cadets opened the final period with a pair of free throws, but again the Eagles responded as Ritz hit Derrick Blain going back-door for a Blue Eagles basket.

Blain answered a Cadets bucket, with a driving lay-up, before Fort Frye dialed up 10 points against four Boswell free throws to give Magnolia a 56-52 lead with a little more than a minute remaining.

Winters gave the Eagles a little breathing room with a basket, but Fort Frye answered with a quick bucket of its own with 41 seconds remaining and called a timeout.

Winters was fouled and calmly sank both baskets to push the Magnolia lead back up to six points.

However, Layton sank his fourth 3-pointer to pull to within three, with 24 seconds remaining. Boswell and Blain closed the game out with free throws for the games last points to give Magnolia its first OVAC Class-AAA crown on an even year.

“Winning an OVAC title isn’t easy,” Magnolia Head Coach Dave Tallman said after going back-to-back for the first time in school history. “What made me think of that was we put a thing on the wall of when we won them. It was odd to see that there was not an even year. The OVAC is a great conference. It’s a lot of volunteers who work on this tournament. Plus having my son winning the Class 5A championship and to be able to win back-to-back OVAC titles, it’s just wonderful.”

Four Cadets scored in double figures as Lang led the way with 17 points, Justin Anderson,13; Carter Kiefer, 12; and Derick Layton, 11.

Boswell tallied 34 points, including three 3-pointers, while hauling in six boards, dishing out five assists, and making just as many steals to pace the Blue Eagles.

Tyler Anderson netted a career-high 12 points, including a three-ball, while making three steals. Winters tallied eight points and cleaned the glass with nine rebounds, while Blain contributed five points, four boards, and made three steals. Ritz only scored a pair of free throws, but he was a force on the boards, and his outlet passes were responsible for numerous Magnolia easy fast break points.

Parsons scored a basket. Tyler Williamson and Zach Haught didn’t score, but they played a big role in getting their teammates a chance to put the points on the board with their unselfishness play.

Blue Eagles Fly By Seminoles, 58-43

Preston Boswell paved the way for the Magnolia Blue Eagles’ 58-43 win over the visiting Monroe Central Seminoles in the OVAC Class AAA semifinal Feb. 11 inside the MHS HammerDome.

The Eagles opened the game with a 6-0 spurt and used a 9-0 run halfway into the second stanza, before the ‘Noles outscored Magnolia 5-2 the rest of the way to end the second period with the Eagles on top, 27-11 in a slow-down affair.

Monroe Central came out firing, hitting their first two baskets from beyond the arc to open the second half to close the gap to 27-17. But after a Mitch Winters’ deuce, the Seminoles again struck from outside to pull within single digits.

After a pair of Monroe free throws, the Eagles would close the last 44 seconds of the third quarter with a 9-0 run to grab a 44-26.

Magnolia would extend its lead to 22 points in the final period before the Seminoles responded and trimmed the lead to 15 at games end.

Boswell led all-scorers with 22 points, while Winters followed with a double-double, 19 points and 13 rebounds to pace the Blue Eagle offense. In addition, Derrick Blain knocked down 11 points, including three buckets from beyond the arc. Kyle Ritz only tallied four points, but his presence inside and his outlet passes gave the Eagles a big lift. Tyler Anderson only scored a basket, but he too was a force everywhere and kept the hot outside shooting Seminoles in check with his defense.