Lady Steers basketball

Magdalena senior Nicole Bilbo continued to fight to the end despite the team being down by a wide margin.

After a convincing round of 16 victory the Magdalena Lady Steers were eliminated during the quarter finals in a fifth versus fourth seed matchup. An early 8 A.M. game, The Lordsburg Lady Mavericks were able to best the Steers on neutral ground at the Santa Ana Sports Complex by a score of 74-43.

“We did not execute our game plan in the first half,” Steers Head Coach Marleen Greenwood said. “We knew that they (Lordsburg) had a tall girl in the middle going into the game and we were unable to stop her. Once we dug ourselves into a hole we could never recover despite executing well in the second half.”

That tall player Greenwood refers to for the Lady Mavericks is junior Madison Miller. At just shy of six and a half feet, Miller dominated in the paint both on the glass with rebound opportunities while also scoring 22 points in the first half alone. Magdalena had no answer for the opposing player. Lady Steers freshman Hailey Apachito had a few sweet floaters to keep them in the game, but it was still a big deficit heading into the locker room with Lordsburg leading 40-17.

In the second half the Lady Steers gained a bit of ground thanks to tenacious defense against a Lady Mavericks team that came out in ‘phone it in’ mode. Senior Nicole Bilbo had two straight steal and score possession, also hitting a long distance three in the fourth.

“I wish that I had played more aggressively,” Bilbo said. “There were times when I played well but overall in the game I didn’t take the right shots or try the right passes I normally would which hurt the team.”

While at a height disadvantage, interior players like sophomore Jonnie Willie were a tough route to go through for Lordsburg as Magdalena was contesting shots no matter who came into the lane.

“I feel like we could have done better today,” Willie said. “We should have finished our shots. I could have got more rebounds and jumped higher.”

Lordsburg staved off the second half battle by the Lady Steers as they were on the way to a  second round victory. Lady Mavericks Head Coach Rodney Plowman was celebrating with his team to move onto the next round.

“We did ourselves justice and played our game today,” he said. “We worked the ball inside to our big girls and cleaned up on the glass. We knew going in that they (Magdalena) pressed a lot and we fortunately were able to break that press no problem.”

Magdalena Coach Greenwood was disappointed in the loss, but also praised her team in the press room after the game.

“This team deserves an applause for this season,” Greenwood said. “Our girls played great and left nothing on the court. They deserve to hang their hats high.”

The Lady Steers finish the year at 24-6, a vast improvement from its 18-11 campaign during the 2018-19 season. They also went undefeated in District 6 play at 8-0.

As for the Lordsburg Lady Mavericks, they have no time to rest as they face off against the number one overall seed Penasco Panthers in the semifinals on March 12.