Magdalena Steers get a win at Alice King Invite

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The Magdalena girls basketball team traveled to Moriarty over the weekend to participate in the Alice King Invitational, and it returned home with a victory and two losses.

The Steers lost (5-2) Portales (4-2) 49-27, beat Bernalillo (0-5) 50-29, then fell to Miyamura (3-3) 64-41.

This year was the 39th edition of the annual tournament honoring former New Mexico First Lady Alice King, who was a lifelong resident of the Estancia Valley and a Moriarty graduate. Former three-term Gov. Bruce King, who died November 2009, and his wife Alice, who died in December 2008, were long supporters of education and children's issues in New Mexico.

All of the opponents Mag faced during the tournament compete in higher classes, and despite dropping the two contests, head coach Wally Sanchez wrote via email that his team came away with a ton of experience and didn't back down to the bigger schools.

Against Portales on Thursday night, the Steers fell into a 21-8 halftime hole and simply couldn't recover in the second half. The Lady Rams, a state semi-finalist from last season, eventually lost to undefeated Class 5A Las Cruces in the tourney championship.

When they played Bernalillo on Friday evening, the Steers used a strong defensive second half to overpower the 4A Spartans. Bernalillo scored only 14 points in the game's final two quarters.

During the Miyamura game, the Patriots used their overwhelming experience to consistently outscore the Steers quarter by quarter. Miyamura has no freshmen or sophomores on its roster.

Sanchez wrote his team pressed for all 96 minutes of the tournament and the competition against larger schools will be beneficial when they take on other Class 1A schools this season.

"As usual, the Magdalena girls will play anybody, anywhere as they have one of the toughest schedules of all 1A schools," Sanchez wrote.

The standout players of the tourney for the Steers were Clarissa Gomez, Danielle Gordon and Ashley Tafoya.

Magdalena will hit the road on Dec. 20 when they travel to Hatch for a rematch with the Bears. The Steers beat Hatch Valley 37-30 on Dec. 8. Tip off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.