It was a showdown of Socorro county rivals with host Magdalena going up against the Warriors. The stands were jam packed for the final game of the tournament. This was expected by most to be a highly competitive matchup. It was anything but as the Steers pulled away early and won 49-18.
Both wearing the famous #23 Michael Jordan jersey, Jaxson Mirabal and Adadrian Jackson squared off for the opening tip. Magdalena secured the ball first and Kyle Julian capitalized with a long range three that had him shimmying his way back on defense. Mirabal followed that up with a “Greek-Freak” type block against Lino Baca which really got the crowd going.
Socorro players appeared to be beating themselves as they could not buy a basket in the first half. Jackson was the only player able to find the net in the second quarter as the Warriors went to the locker room down 25-5 at the half.
With a comfortable lead, the Steers slowed down the tempo and played possession basketball to milk the clock. Play was briefly stopped in the third quarter when Jaxson Mirabal took a hard foul to the face then slammed to the ground which resulted in his nose bleeding on the court.
After heading back to the locker room he came back into the game and played the fourth quarter with gauze in both nostrils. Mirabal had a block and layup on the first two possessions he was in on.
Almost identical time wise to the Lady Steers game, Jory Mirabal pulled his starters with 2:02 remaining on the clock. Magdalena took down the Warriors 49-18.
“First of all I don’t just speak for myself but I know the rest of the team feels the same way as well,” Kyle Julian said. “Socorro is a really talented group with some amazingly good athletes. We have nothing but respect for them. Our team just came out hungry tonight and had the mental focus that was helped by the energy of the fans here and that got us a win.”
The Warriors look to bounce back from the loss as they head to Truth or Consequences New Mexico high school for the three-day Rio Grande Shootout this weekend. Its first home game will be against the Bosque Bobcats on Dec. 13.
Off to a 3-0 start, the Steers look to continue their early season success as they head to Melrose High school for the American Heritage Tournament. They will host the Cliff Cowboys on Dec. 15 along with the Lady Steers.