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BOYS' BASKETBALL: Magnolia Victorious, 74-50

Triumph sets up match with Clay-Battelle

March 2, 2013
By RICK THORP, Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

MOUNDSVILLE - Friday night was classic Magnolia.

And that was bad news for Wheeling Central.

The Blue Eagles used an 11-3 second-quarter run as a springboard to a convincing 74-50 victory in a West Virginia Class A Region One, Section One final at a jam-packed John Marshall Field House.

Article Photos

Wheeling Central’s Chase Harler (14) sets up a play in the zone while Magnolia’s Kyle Elliott (4) looks to defend.

The triumph sets up a rubber match against Clay-Battelle at 7 p.m. Thursday in New Martinsville. The winner heads to the state tournament, while the loser goes home.

The same scenario will play out in St. Marys where the Blue Devils will welcome the Maroon Knights. Tip there will also be at 7 p.m.

St. Marys topped Clay-Battelle, 64-51, in the Section Two final.

''Stephen (Rogalski) is playing awfully good right now and Mark (Winters) played his best all-around game of the year,'' Magnolia coach Dave Tallman said as his players cut down the nets in celebration.

''And I can't say enough about Kyle Elliott and his defense. He did a great job on (Wheeling Central's Chase) Harler.''

Rogalski and Winters both poured in 22 points as the Blue Eagles (20-4) won their 11th straight and third in three tries against Wheeling Central this season.

Winters surpassed the 2,000-point mark and trails Ted Talkington on the all-time list.

''There's a good chance we may see them again,'' Tallman said of the Maroon Knights. ''There is no doubt in my mind they are a great basketball team. We just played really well.''

An Elliott jumper gave Magnolia a 14-10 lead to end the first quarter. But the Blue Eagles went on the game-changing spurt to start the second and led 36-19 at halftime.

Magnolia shot a blistering 56 percent (14 of 25) from the field during the first half, compared to 22.5 (7 of 31) for Central.

Shooting was certainly a problem for the Maroon Knights (12-12). But Coach Mel Stephens said his team's trouble went beyond that.

''I thought they really outhustled us,'' he said. ''They got the loose balls and the rebounds. If we get some of those it might had been a different game.

Rogalski canned a 3-pointer then dropped in a layup off the glass to give Magnolia its largest lead at 44-19 early in the third.

''He's just a great athlete ... he's so fast,'' Tallman said of Rogalski who, along with Winters, made four treys on the night.

''When you give him space he's hard to guard.''

Harler scored eight of his team-high 18 points during the third quarter, but Magnolia maintained its margin thanks to its suffocating defense.

''They might be the best team in the state, really,'' Stephens said. ''We've played them three times now and they've gotten better every time.''

David Park backed up Harler with 14 points.

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