Prep Player Profiles
The Lone Senior
Magdalena’s Camille Mansell has played with head coach Wally Sanchez for five years and has been a starter three of those seasons. With that experience, Mansell finds herself taking on a leadership role this season as the only senior on a very young team.
“She has played on some very successful teams as a younger player,” Sanchez said. “Sometimes when the kids move up and it’s their turn to be focused on, they can’t handle the pressure. Camille is just the opposite,” said Sanchez.
A quiet leader, Sanchez said, Mansell never loses her cool and always gets after it because she has a competitive fire.
“She has really come through the past eight years,” the coach said.
Basketball is a family tradition for Mansell, as her older sister Angelina Mansell also played for coach Sanchez.
At 5-foot-7-inches tall, Mansell is quick and can outplay shorter guards and can hold her own against the larger players. She also handles the ball well and is a good shooter. Mansell has been the leading scorer for the team many times this season, often in the double digits.
The Young Gun
Breann Baca of Magdalena High School’s girls basketball team is young but you wouldn’t know it when you watch her play. The eighth-grader is starting as point guard for the Lady Steers after being promoted from junior varsity early in the season.
Baca got her break when she was invited to go along with the varsity team to a game against Moriarty.
“I gave her a shot. No questions she has the ability; it is raw,” said Magdalena head coach Wally Sanchez. “She has always played above her class. I knew that in spite of her size she would make a good point guard and she came through.”
Each game is still a learning experience for Baca, who still makes some mistakes but is improving every game. At 5-foot-7-inches tall Baca is taller than most of Magdalena’s point guards of the past but has filled the role and created a good perimeter with the help of teammates Nicah Montoya and Kameron Armstrong.
Baca will most likely get to play varsity for five years, but coach Sanchez warned her to always look over her shoulder.