Blue Eagles fall in Overtime to St. Marys
Magnolia gave home standing St. Marys all they wanted and then some on Friday night in a Class AA, Region 1, Sectional game, before falling 57-54 in overtime. The Blue Eagles led 12-9 after the first period of play, but St. Marys came back to take a one point 30-29 halftime lead.
The Blue Eagles came out of the locker room fired up however and took control in the third eight minutes behind senior star Mady Winters scoring and rebounding to go up by seven heading into the final round. The home standing Blue Devils were up to the challenge and tied the game with a 13-6 fourth quarter to extend the game five more minutes. The OT. period was nip and tug until the Blue Devils went up by three on two consecutive trips to the free throw line with just seconds left on the clock. The Blue Eagles couldn’t connect on a couple easy shots and time ran out giving the hosts the win, moving them to (15-3) and into tonights match up with Williamstown who fell to top seed Parkersburg Catholic. Magnolia will take on Catholic tomorrow night at 7 p.m.
Winters led all scorers in the contest with 22 points, but scored just two points in the fourth quarter and overtime period. She also collared 11 rebounds for another double-double on the year. Senior guard Leneica Grimm backed up Winters with 12 points, while Jenna Blain added nine markers. Mikia Litton hit two 3-pointers for six points to add support.
St. Marys was led by Zoe Davis with 21 points including 11-14 from the free throw line, she was backed by Kylie Wright with 17 markers. The Blue Devils shot just 29 percent from the floor but connected on 18-29 from the free throw line, while Magnolia hit on 11-15.
Defeat Ritchie County in
Sectional Basketball Action
Magnolia made a statement on Tuesday, April 13, that the regular season records don’t always mean that much when tournament time rolls around. Using their height and a stiff defense, the Blue Eagles captured a 53-38 victory over the favored 11-5 Rebels of Ritchie County, in a Class AA Region I, Section 1 semifinal game.
While Magnolia won only five of 18 regular season games, their competition during the season made a huge difference.
“We’ve talked all week about the postseason is a new season,” Pilant said. “They’ve worked so hard and we’ve seen some real bright spots in the second half of the season. They’re playing a little bit better. We played a very tough schedule this year. We told them to just keep playing and it’ll pay off.”
Ritchie County was held to only three first quarter points by the Blue Eagles defense, causing the Rebels to go 1-16 from the floor. However the Eagles only managed eight points of their own and were outscored by Ritchie 12-9 in the second frame for a 17-15 halftime score.
Magnolia had trouble in the first half getting the ball up court and ended with 14 first half turnovers, giving the cold shooting Rebels and opportunity to get back in the game.
The Blue Eagles did a better job limiting turnovers in the second half, and went on an 11-0 run in the third to take a commanding lead. Ritchie hit a three pointer to tie the game at 18, before Magnolia got inside buckets from Jenna Blain, Holland Estep and Mady Winters. After a Ritchie timeout, Magnolia got another basket from Blain and Estep drilled a long three to give the Blue a 29-18 advantage near the mid-point of the third.
Winters accounted for two more third-quarter field goals to give her six points in the frame, helping Magnolia take a 36-26 lead into the fourth. The Blue Eagles had only one third-quarter turnover.
“We’ve actually struggled coming out in the third quarter,” Pilant said. “It’s been our roughest patch and we normally go on a three-minute spurt where we turn the ball over and tonight they executed in the third quarter. We stressed to them — take care of the basketball and hold them to one shot and they did a great job executing the game plan in the third quarter.”
The Blue Eagles went up by 16 in the fourth quarter and were never threatened the rest of the way as they received a double-double from Winters with a game high 16 points and a huge 24 rebounds. Estep may have had her best night of the season as she contributed 13 points including three 3-pointers and hauled in 10 rebounds.
“Everybody knows who Mady Winters is, so that’s not a surprise,” Pilant said. “But Holland is really coming around. She’s playing aggressive and grabbing everything that comes her way. She’s able to go outside and shoot and she’s able to go inside. It’s hard to stop with her height and her strength.”
The win moves Magnolia (6-13) to the title game on Friday against top seeded St. Marys on the Blue Devils court.