A streaky offense kept Magdalena girls from delivering a knockout blow, but the Steers’ hustle on defense kept Mesilla Valley Christian School at bay for a 42-32 District 2 1A win on Jan. 21.
The win evened the Steers’ record in league play after Magdalena dropped a 62-51 game on the road in overtime against Reserve.
The loss may have tempered the Steers’ defense, which was extra scrappy and produced the turnovers that Magdalena turned into its 10-point win. The brute force her team displayed didn’t escape Steers’ coach Sara Sue Olney’s notice.
“I think a lot of it is we know that our defense is our specialty,” Olney said. “We’ve got to be better at that. On offense, a lot of times, we try to attack the basket strong, and you’ll sometimes get a call, and you sometimes won’t get a call. We’ve just got to continue to bang it in there and be solid and hopefully take care of our bodies.”
When it came to the “no calls,” Olney was likely referencing the brutal beating sophomore scorer Jorianne Mirabal took in scoring her game-high 16 points that came at the sacrifice of hitting the floor very hard on four different occasions under the bucket.
Despite becoming a walking bruise, Mirabal only got two trips to the line and 14 of her points came off seven field goals.
Getting the win in game two of district play was essential to Olney.
“We have to maintain home-court advantage. Every game that we play in our district is important. We’ve got to win at home and hopefully grab some wins on the road for us to be contenders,” Olney said.
The Steers have eight district games, split equally between home and on the road.
The most significant factor playing against the Steers is streaky play.
“We have to be more consistent. We had a tough game in Reserve in overtime. We started off this first half (Mesilla Valley) a little slow, and I think we kind of knew we were going to win, so I think we didn’t play as solid as we needed to in the first half, but we picked it up in the second. We have got to have some more people that usually contribute who aren’t contributing be solid and more consistent. I think we’ll be fine.”
While it is still early in league play, Cliff is 2-0, and Magdalena is in a four-way tie with Animas, Quemado and Reserve for second place. Cliff, at 14-2 overall, appears to be the frontrunner, but the scale could tip in anyone’s favor.Quemado, and the Steers play host to Reserve on Feb. 4.
Jema Ganadonegro 7, Elia Cleveland 6, Irene Martinez 2, Kambree Montoya 2, Jorianne Mirabal 16, Gerleanzy Ganadonegro 9.