Steers obliterate Tularosa Eagles

........................................................................................................................................................................................

After coming off a Nov. 29 win against Tularosa, a Class 2A playoff team from a year ago, the Magdalena girls basketball team built on their early momentum by beating Evangel Christian 95-26 on Thursday evening.

The opening-round victory in the Steer Stampede pushed Magdalena’s record to 2-0, while the Eagles fell to 3-1 on the year.

Breann Baca scored 14 points in the first two quarters to help give her team a 52-15 halftime lead, and the Steers just kept rolling from there. Baca finished with 18 points while Shia Mexicano scored a game-high 21 for Magdalena. Clarrisa Gomez added 16 points and Octavia Herrera and Ashley both scored 10.

It was nothing short of a blow-out win from the get-go for the host team, and the talented, young Steers displayed a relentless attitude from the opening tip.

“This team being as young as it is and kind of green, there’s a lot of talent out there,” Mag head coach Wally Sanchez said.

And despite their youth, on paper the Steers reiterated the fact that no matter who they face on the hardwood, they’ll use their depth to try and wear down opponents.

“That’s what we did against Tularosa. We played nine people. We’ve always done that,” Sanchez said. “The way we play on defense, you can’t play five people for 32 minutes like that. So that’s one of the nice things about playing that style, the girls know if they work at practice they’re going to play in the games.”

Magdalena overpowered the previously undefeated team by utilizing a healthy blend of inside and perimeter play.

Early in the first quarter, Mexicano hit a 3-pointer, then stole the ensuing Eagles’ inbound pass to score five straight points and set the tone. Then just five minutes into the opening half, the Steers went on a quick 9-0 run to make the score 15-4. Magdalena would outscore Evangel Christian 37-11 from that point on in the opening half.

For Sanchez and his squad the overwhelming win gives the Steers a strong foothold going into both the remainder of the Steer Stampede and the regular season as well. The head ball coach has already seen some things in this year’s team he hadn’t necessarily seen in the past.

“We’re going to keep trying to put it together and stay consistent. We can still be more consistent on offense, and especially on the defensive end,” Sanchez said.

“But I saw some things tonight I hadn’t seen in a couple years. Number one, a lot of help on defense. Number two, helping the helper, and like I just told the girls I saw more boxing out tonight then I’ve seen in the last couple of years. So I’m very pleased with the defensive fundamentals.”

Depending on the outcome of Friday’s game, Magdalena will either play at 11 a.m. or 4 p.m. today. Check the sports section at www.dchieftain.com for updates.