Senior Kael Stephens had a game-high 26 points against Logan.

BERNALILLO–Magdalena senior Kael Stephens scored 26 points to lead the No. 1 ranked Steers to a 68-39 romp over No. 8 Logan in tthe boys state Class A basketball quarterfinals at Bernalillo High School on March 8.

Stephens’ performance highlighted a night that saw four Steers in double figures as the two-time defending state champion moved to 30-0 on the season. The win also marks the Steers’ 45th consecutive win, giving Magdalena the No. 3 spot in New Mexico boys basketball. Hobbs owns the top two places with 53 (1965-67) and 49 (1979-82).

Magdalena has no time to ponder records as it turns around to face upset winner Clovis Christian today at 4:45 p.m. The No. 11 Eagles (20-10) upended No. 5 Cliff 65-41.

Clovis and Magdalena matched up in December, and the Steers dished out a 51-37 win. Local fans shouldn’t be looking for a cakewalk after a somewhat sloppy (by Magdalena’s standards) offensive game against Logan.

“Tonight, we had small stretches of possessions, where we just started throwing the ball all over the place and taking early shots and things that weren’t needed,” Steers coach Jory Mirabal said. “In that type of a game against the teams we’re going to play, we can’t do that if we plan on winning.”

Of course, other teams need to be able to score to win, and there was little wrong with Magdalena’s defense. In their first-round game against To’hajiilee, the Steers gave up just 15 points, and their 54 points allowed over two games is the Class A tournament’s best.

“Overall, I felt especially defensively, I mean, that’s where we’re at all the time playing tough defense. So you can live through some of that, but I just felt like some of those offensive possessions tonight. I wish we had maybe four or five of them back in the first half and a couple of them in that third quarter, and we’re probably looking at even a different score. I’m pretty nitpicky, though,” Mirabal said.

That’s excusable when you want to lead your basketball team to a third-straight state championship and have all the tools to do it. Considering the Steers held one of the best shooting guards (Brock Burns) to just 14 points – it’s probably fair that Mirabal nitpicks for a reason.

It took a little while for Magdalena to warm up its team chemistry against Logan. Like all teams facing a No. 1, the Eagles had nothing to lose, and Logan was hyped after beating No. 9 Legacy Academy in an upset 46-39 in the quarterfinals.

Sophomore Jeff Stuteville is surrounded on the inside.

Sophomore Jeff Stuteville got the Steers pumped with big baskets in the paint and led a 17-point first-quarter charge with five points. The Eagles had few answers for the Steers’ rebounding, and sophomore Joseph Zamora also came up big inside with 14 points. The Steers’ post also showed off his outside game with a three-pointer.

Stephens led the way from behind the arc for the Steers as he nailed a trio of long-distance dialups when he wasn’t working the inside for a dunk.

Senior standout D’Shaun Vinyard drew a double-team every time he touched the ball and scored 10 points. His decoys on offense led to his teammates getting great opportunities.

(See more Magdalena photos here PHOTO GALLERY: No. 1 Magdalena beats No. 8 Logan 68-39 – El Defensor Chieftain (

Now the focus switches to Clovis Christian while attempting to ignore the white elephant in the room as Fort Sumner House makes its way through the other side of the tournament bracket.

Magdalena also has to deal with moving to the Rio Rancho Event Center to play today at 4:45 p.m. Many teams have spoken about the difficulty of depth perception and television lighting. It’s a problem that Magdalena has dealt with many times.

“When you get out there, and you start looking around and worrying about this and the reflection of the lights on the Jumbotron down here on the floor and, and all that kind of stuff – it can throw a team off,” Mirabal said. “But our kids, I have our game travels, we play defense, we look inside first.”


Kael Stephens 26, D’Shaun Vinyard 10, Jeff Stuteville 13, Joseph Zamora 14, Clayton Atwood 2.