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Magnolia Boys Set Tone Early in Downing John Marshall

Postlethwait nets 20 in Eagles’ win

Photo by Kyle Lutz Magnolia’s Levi Cecil, right, drives the baseline against John Marshall’s Brennan Sobutka during Tuesday’s high school hoops action.

MOUNDSVILLE — The Magnolia boys basketball team set the tone early on both sides of the ball during Tuesday’s game against John Marshall. The Blue Eagles scored the first 10 points of the contest while also holding the Monarchs without a field goal until about 15 seconds left in the first quarter en route to a 53-39 victory at the John Marshall Fieldhouse.

“We had the ball in the right hands (Tuesday),” Magnolia coach Dave Tallman said. “Our freshmen are getting better all the time. I thought our defense was tremendous. We kept them under 40 in their gym and we boxed out well. I’m just proud of our guys.”

Those hands were the dynamic duo of Trevor Williamson and Gavin Postlethwait. The two tallied for all 15 of Magnolia’s first quarter points.

Postlethwait was a force all night blocking a handful of shots as well as scoring a game-high 20 points. The 6-foot-6 senior also issued 10 points in the opening stanza.

Williamson knocked down four 3-pointers en route to a solid 19 points.

The Blue Eagles took a 15-2 lead with 52 seconds remaining in the first quarter. However, the Monarchs were able to trim their deficit a tad. Scoring 11 of the next 16 points, they were facing a 20-13 hole.

Wanting to take the last shot of the half, John Marshall wanted to hold the ball as long as possible. Unfortunately, the Monarchs turned the ball over and it was a costly way to end the half.

Magnolia took possession and right at the horn, Kaden Johnson saw his 3-pointer hit nothing but net as the Blue Eagles went into the locker room with a 23-13 halftime lead.

The momentum was there with the Blue Eagles for the rest of the game. And Johnson was still feeling it as he hit his first shot from behind the arc at the start of the third quarter.

“He came out right in the third quarter and we left him alone and he hit another one,” John Marshall coach Chad Clutter said. “Good for him. You shoot those shots and that’s what you play the game for. We should not have been in the situation. We were wanting to take the last shot and we ended having a turnover and they come down and hit a 3. That’s a pet peeve of mine That was a discussion at halftime, for sure.”

The Blue Eagles only allowed one double digit scorer for the Monarchs as he Grant Neiswonger tallied 10 points. Roman Gray had seven points while Braden and Brennan Sobutka both had six.

“We just keep telling them sometimes your best defense is your offense,” Tallman said. “I thought we shot with more patience and had better shot selections. That was a big part of it. We also played pretty good defense.”

After taking an 18-point lead to end the third quarter, Magnolia led by as many as 23 in the fourth.

“I thought we could have been up one at the half. We turned them over a few times in the second quarter and we missed three little bumps and layups that could have been 3-point plays,” Clutter said. “That’s hard to count on those, but that’s what you have to do to get back in a game. I think we had eight steals but didn’t convert on any of that. It was a good game for them (Magnolia). They shot pretty well and moved the ball well.”

Johnson finished with eight points for the Blue Eagles, who have a big game against St. Marys on Friday with sectional seedings on the line.

“We have big game at home against St. Marys,” Tallman said. “I told them the sectionals start this week because it’s huge for seeding. They beat us down at their place, so we really need to have a good win Friday night. That is a tournament game.”

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