Combination of miscues leads to tough-to-swallow loss

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If only the Magdalena boys basketball team hit more shots.

If only the Steers didn’t dig themselves a 10-point, first-quarter deficit.

If only they didn’t turn the ball over that one possession, or secured the rebound on that other one.

If only Jory Mirabal could finally beat Bosque School.

The echo of basketball truisms filled the stands Saturday at Steers gym. Magdalena came up a possession short in a soul-crushing 42-40 district loss to eighth-ranked Bosque School.

Yet for all the armchair coaches, the real coach, Jory Mirabal, said one factor didn’t cause the Steers to lose. It was the sum-total of little lapses that led to the outcome.

“It’s not just rhetoric when you tell the kids every possession counts, every turnover matters,” he said. “It’s easy to say so and so turned over the ball, but a lot of times when you look deeper into it, that was caused by multiple factors.”

Chief among them was the fact that Magdalena’s posts are either golden gooses or goose eggs. This time, they were the latter, combining to go 2-of-11 from the floor.

Mirabal said he can’t figure out why his big guys suddenly, and without cause, shrink.

“It’s not out of a lack of touches,” he said. “Everybody wants our post to do more. Some games they’re all-stars. Other games, they don’t do a whole lot.”

For a quarter, the Steers were equally guilty of doing just that.

They trailed by 10 points, but sliced into Bosque’s lead and were within three at the half. Entering the fourth, they led by two and had their biggest lead of the night (7) with three minutes left.

“And then we had some inopportune calls and some inopportune turnovers that led to our demise,” Mirabal said.

Andres Rivera poured in 14 and Gabe Chavez had 10 to lead Bosque. The Steers shot just 35.7 percent from the field (15-of-42).

“It was a battle of two teams that play a very similar style,” Mirabal said. “It was kind of a prize fight, two teams taking turns taking punches. A lot of fans got their money’s worth. To have played a pretty solid game and give it up there at the end … It was heartbreaking.”

 


-- Email the author at iavilucea@dchieftain.com.