NEW MARTINSVILLE - Barnesville coach Chris Pack could do nothing but sit there and watch what Magnolia was doing once the ball was tipped to begin their OVAC Tournament semifinal contest.
Magnolia 6-0 lead. Barnesville timeout. 7:07 left in the first.
Magnolia 13-4 lead. Barnesville timeout. 5:20 left in the first.
The Magnolia trio of Hunter Campbell (42), Drew Keller (22) and Jayson Keller (33) swarm Barnesville’s Zack Dornon (14) during Tuesday night’s game in New Martinsville.
Photo by Josh Strope
It was that kind of game and things only got better for Magnolia en route to an 84-47 thumping Tuesday at Magnolia High School.
''Magnolia played at a really high level and we played at a really low level,'' Pack said. ''When that happens, you get beat badly. I'm not sure we ever really got off the bus.''
The Blue Eagles (17-2) seem to be clicking on all cylinders as they look to defend the Class 3A championship Saturday against Fort Frye at Ohio University Eastern. The Cadets - champions in 2A last season - topped Shenandoah, 64-58, in the other semifinal.
Magnolia started the game the way any coach would want.
Stephen Rogalski drove to the hoop off the opening tip for a score. After a Barnesville miss, Rogalski went back to the hoop for another basket. A Barnesville turnover led to an easy basket underneath by junior standout Mark Winters.
''All we have been talking about playing hard and getting better,'' Magnolia coach Dave Tallman said. ''We are healthy and you saw what the real Stephen Rogalski was like (Tuesday night). He really got us out quick.
''They tried to play us in a 1-3-1 zone and we just kept pounding it off the boards. I think top to bottom, we may have played our best game of basketball.''
Magnolia exploded for 30 points in the first quarter and never looked back. At halftime, the Blue Eagles were up 30 (47-17) and the starters played for less than 4 minutes of the third quarter before giving way to the bench players.
Even assistant coach Mark Blair got in on some of the action as Tallman stretched out and relaxed as the final minutes ticked off the clock.
''We do that and Coach Blair does such a good job,'' Tallman said. ''Coach Blair spends so much time making sure the gym is ready and when he gets an opportunity to do some coaching, he really enjoys that.''
Winters recorded a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds, followed by 15 points from Rogalski. Tyler Myers came off the bench and drained three 3-pointers on his way to 11 points.
Tyler Fitzpatrick paced the Shamrocks (10-9) with 12 points.
''(Magnolia) is heads and tails better than anyone I've seen in the OVAC,'' Pack said. ''I'm not sure that if you wouldn't match them up against anyone in the OVAC that they wouldn't beat them.''