Befuddled by Magnolia’s loss at state

Well, it’s that time of year again.

The calendar has turned to the month of March and the madness already has started.

While the best part about this month in terms of basketball is the chance to win a state title for prep hoops, the hardest aspect of it without question has to be the disappointment of falling short and not being the last program standing.

I’m sure there are few people associated with the Magnolia boys basketball program who thought Wednesday afternoon was going to turn out the way it did with a stunning 58-35 loss to Wheeling Central in the Class A state tournament quarterfinals.

Even though Magnolia had knocked off the Maroon Knights three times this year, the fourth win wasn’t in the cards. Wheeling Central’s David Park hit all five of his 3s in the first half en route to game-high 26 points and the Blue Eagles were just never really in the game.

Turning the clock back to last week, it was a lot of fun to watch the Parkersburg South girls roll past Hedgesville in Charleston in the Class AAA state quarterfinals. Although I didn’t cover very many Patriot girls games this year, one didn’t need to watch head coach Scott Stephens’ squad too many times to understand they had a load of talent.

The good news, as it turned out to be, was that Patriot talent – albeit it fairly young – jelled together exactly at the right time and gave Parkersburg South and its fans some great memories for a lifetime.

On a side note, I wanted to share this story just in case anyone out there didn’t hear about it.

I should preface this by saying I did my fair share of broadcasting basketball games while at Salem-Teikyo University and when one does that sort of thing it’s inevitable your tongue is going to get twisted and things come out wrong from time to time. After all, the brain likes to work at a high rate of speed and sometimes what comes out isn’t exactly what was supposed to.

During the Patriots’ semifinal triumph versus Morgantown, I was listening to the game at work and enjoying – as I always do – taking in all the action from the great radio voice of Fred Persinger.

At one point in the broadcast, Patriot Miranda Workman was fouled in the act of shooting and went to the free throw line. Persinger was describing the action when he had one of those rare moments and said that Miranda Lambert was at the foul line.

As I was listening I thought to myself did Persinger just say country music star Miranda Lambert was shooting free throws? No sooner had my brain processed that statement Persinger made about the most professional save I’ve ever heard. Without barely a pause he replied something along the lines of “excuse me, Miranda Workman. If Miranda Lambert is shooting free throws we really have a story at the Civic Center.”

All I could do was chuckle.

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