Steers boys vying for district tourney title

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

The Steers boys are one step closer to a District 2-1A tournament championship after beating Mountainair Tuesday in the opening round, then handling Jemez Valley on Thursday to advance to the league finals today at To'hajiilee.

Magdalena improved to 25-2 (14-20) on the season.

On Feb. 26, the Steers pounced on the Mustangs early en route to a 76-23 victory. Mag led 19-2 after the first quarter, 47-9 at halftime and 59-17 after three.

Dre Montoya led the Steers with 26 points, eight assists and seven steals and shot 50 percent from 3-point range. Tyler Julian tallied 20 points and 10 assists for the double-double and Sedrick Apachito had 12 points and 13 rebounds.

The Steers shot 39 percent from the field as a team, and 26 of their buckets came off assists. They also racked up 20 steals and turned the ball over just nine times.

Mag also defeated Jemez Valley on Thursday night in the district tournament semi-finals, but final scores and stats were not available by Chieftain press time.

The journey to To'hajiilee to play the Warriors this evening for the tourney championship will indeed be a daunting one for the Steers. Magdalena is currently ranked five spots ahead of the Warriors in the latest rankings, but To'hajiilee handed the Steers an 84-69 defeat the last time they met on Feb. 19. Mag shot a chilly 30 percent from the floor that night and the raucous crowd should give the Steers all they can handle in what should be a great ball game.

Either way both squads will make the playoffs and either one of them has the capability to do some damage in the tournament.

Tipoff in To'hajiilee this evening is scheduled for 6 p.m.