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AFTER 100 YEARS, Hurricane's first appearance in the state tournament was a memorable one, with the Redskins pushing No. 2 seed Beckley to the brink before running out of gas in a 63-54 loss.
Senior point guard Rasaan Harris said Wednesday that the team's postseason run has altered the perception of a community that has traditionally put baseball and football ahead of his sport of choice.
"It wasn't just our school, I mean, it was everybody, the whole community; the city of Hurricane and Putnam County in general," Harris said of the support shown to the team. "There was just signs and banners and everything through the whole community.
The support figured heavily in the attendance for the morning session, which was officially announced as 7,419.
"We did that for them," he said of their season, which ended with a 20-6 record. "They did it for us. We made history, and it feels good."
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MAGNOLIA SENIOR Mark Winters finished his career as the school's all-time leading scorer, but there was another member of the Blue Eagles' starting lineup connected to that title.
Winters surpassed former West Virginia guard Ted Talkington as Magnolia's all-time scoring leader but before Talkington, there was John Boswell. A 1989 Class AA All-State selection, Boswell finished his career with 1,279 points and at the time was the school's all-time leader.
Boswell's son, freshman Preston Boswell, is the Blue Eagles' starting point guard. He had five points, three steals and an assist in Magnolia's loss to Wheeling Central.
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MAGNOLIA COACH Dave Tallman guided the Blue Eagles to the 2000 state title in the school's first appearance at the state tournament. Three years later, he won his second championship in the school's second berth, making the Blue Eagles 6-0 in the state tournament.
Since then, Magnolia has gone 1-5 in the state tournament, with its only win during that time being a 2007 quarterfinal upset of No. 2 Bluefield - the only time a No. 7 has defeated a No. 2 under the seeding format that began in 2005.