Mag boys on a roll again
The Magdalena boys basketball team is now on a four-game winning streak after beating Menaul on Jan. 25 and Jemez Valley on Jan. 26.
Both victories come in District 2-1A play and help the Steers keep pace in league play with first-place To'hajiilee. Mag is now 15-1 overall and 4-1 in district. It will play host to the first-place Warriors on Feb. 1 in a pivotal league match.
Menaul fell to 9-7 overall and 2-2 in district.
Against the Panthers last Friday night, the Steers stayed true to form and hopped out to an early first-quarter lead. Menaul kept the contest close though, and at halftime the Magdalena lead was 29-21.
But this team seems to have a certain knack for blowing games open in the third quarter, and the Steers outscored the Panthers 22-8 to open the second half and build a 51-29 lead. Mag went into cruise control in the fourth and finished off the 70-43 victory.
Dre Montoya led the Steers with 30 points coming on an 8 for 15 shooting performance and going 7 for 13 from 3-point range. He added two assists, three rebounds and four steals. Tyler Julian followed up a 27-point game against Alamo-Navajo on Jan. 22 by scoring 17, shooting 50 percent from the field and throwing in 10 assists. He also grabbed six rebounds and stole the ball three times.
Michael Chambers had eight points in the win, Barak Stephens threw in five and J.B. Britton and Zach Pino both scored four points.
On Saturday the Steers made the 150-mile to Jemez Valley to take on some more Warriors, and again Mag returned home with an important league victory.
Jemez Valley could muster just 16 points in the first half and Magdalena jumped out to a 23-point halftime lead. In the second half, the Steers' defense was equally relentless in holding the Warriors to only seven more points, and Mag went on to a 66-23 win.
Four Steers players scored in double-digits and Britton tallied a season-high 15 points on 6 for 10 shooting, and added nine rebounds and a steal. Montoya led Mag again in scoring with 20 points and nabbed four rebounds, while Julian scored 16 points and had six assists, four rebounds and five steals. Chambers messed around and almost had a triple double as he equaled a season-high in scoring himself with 13 points, rebounded seven balls and led Mag with nine steals.
With the loss Jemez Valley dropped to 3-13 and 0-5 in District 2-1A play.
After the all-important matchup with To'hajiilee on Friday, the Steers will travel to Foothill on Saturday then return home again Feb. 8 for a rematch with Desert Academy. The 7-6 Wildcats are the lone team to beat Magdalena this season.
Tipoff against the Warriors on Friday evening is slated for 6:30 p.m.