WEIRTON - Despite beating Weir handily at home in December, Magnolia coach Mark Blair said he was worried about going to the Carl Hamill Fieldhouse on Monday night to play the Red Riders.
Turned out, Blair's concerns were unfounded as his Blue Eagles (9-6) led throughout the game except for twice briefly in the first quarter and rolled to a 49-35 victory.
Magnolia senior all-state candidate, Mallory Chapman, a four-year starter who has scored more than 1,000 points, added another 31 to her portfolio as she almost outscored the Red Riders by herself.
"I was really worried about this game playing on the road," Blair said. "Sometimes we don't play well on the road and Weir is getting better. This game worried me a lot.
"But Mallory definitely is our go-to girl. She's our only senior. She's our leader. She's our coach on the floor. She averages about 18 or 19 points a game so she's the one we look for when the game gets tight."
The two teams battled back and forth in the first quarter until Grace Berisford found nothing but net from 3-point land to give the Blue Eagles a 13-11 lead going into the second quarter
Magnolia steadily pulled away, but Weir senior Maddie Dalrymple made a foul shot and a layup, closing the gap to five points at 26-21 going into halftime.
Junior Raegan Stead swished a 3-pointer to open the second half and Alyssa Shingle sank two from the free-throw line as the Riders tied the game at 26-26.
However, Chapman scored eight unanswered points and the Blue Eagles never looked back as they went into the fourth quarter in command by 36-29.
Chapman, who got a lot of her points with nine field goals in the paint but also stepped outside to can three from behind the arc, went to work again to open the fourth quarter. She scored nine more unanswered points and teammate Taylor Ludewig tossed in a duce to arm Magnolia with an insurmountable 47-29 lead with 5:03 left in the game.
By this time, the Red Riders got fumbleitis and didn't get a shot off until the 4:15 mark of the fourth quarter. They finished with 16 turnovers in the game.
"We had no answer for Chapman," said veteran Red Riders coach Bill Smith, whose team dropped its 11th game in 14 starts. "She's a handful. ... I don't have anyone that can match up with her.
"We run into spells like we had there in the second half. It seems like the first day of practice sometimes. It drives me crazy"
The Red Riders retaliated with their 1-2 punch of Shingle and Stead. They scored 14 and 12 points, respectively and also led Weir with seven rebounds apiece.
The Riders were playing without senior starting forward Ashlynn Drizake, who received a head injury in a loss last week to Madonna.
"They can't do it by themselves," Smith continued. "We need some of the other girls to step up as they did in our win at Bishop Donahue last Saturday.
"They're good kids and they work hard. They give us all they got."
Chapman, who also led Magnolia with seven rebounds, got scoring help from Berisford and her younger sister, Kelsi, who scored 7 and 6 points respectively.