By TRACY WATSON
For The Intelligencer
NEW MARTINSVILLE - Right about the time the post-season approaches in high school basketball is about the time you can pick out the teams that are just plain going to be "tough outs."
Those are usually the teams that are playing good, team oriented basketball when it counts the most.
Fresh off its victory in the OVAC championship game last Saturday, Bishop Donahue is one of those teams, a fact the Bishops put a big exclamation point after Monday night against West Virginia Class A, Section One foe Magnolia.
Chaice Truex paced five double-figure scorers with 24 points and added 13 rebounds while Jared Yates got Donahue off to a quick start, hitting five threes and scoring all 17 of his points in the first half, as the Bishops used teamwork and consistency to post a 87-73 triumph against the Blue Eagles at Magnolia High School.
"Absolutely fantastic," Bishops coach Tom Wise said of his squad. "It's the first time we have played them in many years and to come in here and get a huge road win, just fantastic."
Fantastic was a word Wise could have used in describing just about every aspect of his team's game and every player who took the court.
Only seven of the nine players who played for the Bishops scored in the game, but each and every one contributed. From Truex's big night to Yates' first half effort, to Hunter Kaschke's play in relieving Yates, who picked up his third personal foul in the second quarter.
Yates nailed a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter while the Bishops, who grabbed a whopping 47-27 edge off the glass on the night, collected 13 rebounds and led 21-17 after one chapter.
The senior sharp-shooter was at it again in the second as Yates drained three more 3s and Truex added eight more points as the visitors pushed the margin to 46-34 at the break.
"Jared Yates was just huge for us in the first half," Wise said. "He really stepped up his game and that is the best that he has shot the ball in a long time."
With foul trouble setting in on both sides in the third, the scoring slowed down a little, however, Magnolia (11-6) did use a quick 7-0 burst to start the quarter to cut the margin down to five at 46-41. It got to five on two more occasions before senior Zach Willhoite picked up his fourth foul at 3:51 and the Bishops again began pulling away.
With Donahue hitting 16 of 20 from the line in the fourth quarter the margin grew to as much as 23 at 74-51 midway through the fourth quarter.
"I thought we did a pretty good job on the boards, and definitely limiting them to just one shot," Wise said. "We are getting on a little bit of roll now and I think a lot of that comes from believing in ourselves.
"These kids are giving it all they got and there is just a bunch of good things happening. We just won the OVAC a few days ago, now to come here and get a huge win for sectional seeing. Overall, I think this was a pretty good statement."
Jesse Padlow also finished with 17 for the Bishops, including an 11 of 13 showing at the stripe, while freshman Taylor Straughn added 15 and Bryce Jones 11. Padlow also had nine rebounds while Lavonte Hampton pulled down eight.
"We went with our big lineup in Winters, Ritz and Willhoite, and we talked about assuming every shot will be missed and getting a body on someone, but it was just a lack of effort (Monday)," Magnolia coach Dave Tallman said.
"And our post defense got even weaker when (Willhoite) got into foul trouble and we fell apart again and playing with a little bit of pride early in the third. It seemed like we had so many shots go down and then come back out, but we need to put more emphasis on defense and just have a better effort.
"Honestly the only thing positive I can say about my team is that we are 7-0 when we play teams in their gym. We have lost a couple tough games on neutral courts and I really can't explain why we have lost four at home.
"But we have a few more big games this week, so we really need to find some answers before it is too late."
The Blue Eagles had three players combine to score all but 11 points in the game with sophomore Mitch Winters dropping in a team-high 22 while adding nine rebounds. Spencer Campbell and Preston Boswell tallied 20 each.
Magnolia doesn't have very long to try and find the answers that Tallman is seeking as the Eagles travel to the Charleston Civic Center to battle Buffalo on Wednesday before seeking revenge for two of their home losses this weekend at Paden City on Friday night and Bishop Donahue on Saturday afternoon.