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Blue Beats Gold in Alumni Game

January 10, 2018
BY R.J. GOODE - For the Wetzel Chronicle , Wetzel Chronicle

Former Magnolia Blue Eagles - from 2007 through 2017 - gathered on Dec. 23 for the inaugural Magnolia Boys Basketball Alumni Game.

Players were separated into two teams, Blue and Gold. The Blue team was coached by Mark Blair, while the Gold team was coached by Larry West. Blair outdueled West in a hilarious 83-80 thriller. The game was played in two 20 minute halves.

Right off the tip, 2011 grad Matt Sapp got two of his game-high 24 points as he gave the Gold team a 2-0 lead. The rest of the first half featured several entertaining moments for the Gold team. Sapp would end the half with 10 points. 2007 grad Jonas McEldowney connected on two from downtown on his way to eight first half points, while 2016 grad Derrick Blain connected on a three ball at buzzer, finished the opening half with seven points. 2013 grad Stephen Rogalski had six markers, while 2012 grad Nick Blatt had three points. The 2008 grad Ben Bridgeman had two of the 39 first half points.

Article Photos

Photos by Teran Malone
Above, coaches and participants of the inaugural Magnolia Alumni Basketball Game pose for a team photo.

For the Blue team, in the first half, 2016 grad Kyle Ritz stole the show, scoring 15 points, while 2008 grad Scott Berry added nine points, and 2014 grad Eric Smith and 2013 grad Mark Winters each had five.

2017 grad Tyler Williamson and 2008 grad Jake Blatt each drained a three ball, while a pair of 2016 grads rounded out the scoring in the first half as Tyler Anderson had two and Mitch Winters had one. The Blue team led the Gold team, 43-39, at the half.

The Gold team cut the deficit to 13 points in the second half. Sapp stayed hot as he connected on four triples on his way to 14 second half points, while Nick Blatt, McEldowney, and fellow 2007 grad Zach Blair each had six. Blain and Bridgeman both had a trey, while 2012 grad Jayson Keller had two and 2014 grad Zach Willhoite one point. The Gold team put up 41 points in the second half for a total of 80.

The Blue team's second half was highlighted by Mark Winters and Scott Berry as Winters scored 19 and Berry had 13. Williamson drilled another trey, while Ritz had two and Anderson had one for a total of four second half points to give them 83 for the game.

Scoring for the Gold team were Sapp with 24, while McEldowney added 14. Blain followed with 10 points, while Nick Blatt sank nine.

Rogalski and Blair each had six points while Bridgeman netted five points. Keller tallied a deuce, and Willhoite sank a free throw.

For the Blue team, Mark Winters had 23 points while Berry added 22 and Ritz 17. Williamson finished with six points while Anderson added five points. Jake Blatt tacked on three points, and Mitch Winters sank a freebie at the free throw line. The only person who didn't score was 2013 grad Sam Brookover. He did pull down numerous rebounds.

There were 21 three balls made in the game, with the Gold hitting 11, and the Blue team 10. Leading the way was Sapp with four, while Mark Winters and McEldowney each connected with three.

There were a total of 58 buckets in the game. Sapp knocked in a total of nine, while Berry, Ritz and Mark Winters all knocked in eight.

A neat fact from this game was that all members of this game made at least one trip to the state tournament with Mitch Winters, Tyler Anderson, Tyler Williamson, Kyle Ritz and Derrick Blain were members of the 2015 Class A state champions.

The Gold team was assisted by Tommy "Coach K" Kacor and Preston Boswell, who was on the gold roster but not playing. The Blue team was assisted by Magnolia Head Coach Dave Tallman. The referees were Dillon Potts and Joey Asturi, graduates of River High School donating their time. All the proceeds will go to the Wetzel County Relay For Life.

Next year could see decade teams play, with an all-day




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