MAGDALENA – Magdalena went into the 2022-23 basketball season with the goal of developing its inside game. On Jan. 12, things looked on track as sophomore post Joseph Zamora scored 30 points to lead the No. 1 Steers (15-0) to an 88-38 win over Capitan.
It was a big night on offense for the Steers, who got 16 points each from seniors Kael Stephens and D’Shaun. Coach Jory Mirabal played his entire roster and started digging into his bench early as Magdalena established a stunning 34-6 lead after the first quarter.
“I liked what we did as far as taking care of the basketball and just pretty much just took over the game and didn’t force anything,” Mirabal said. “We had players looking out for each other on the high and low.”
Zamora’s confidence has been developing throughout the season, and against Capitan, he displayed the ability to score from the inside and outside. Zamora nailed three shots behind the arc and nine buckets from the field.
Building a big lead allowed Mirabal to work out various lineups, but before that happened, Zamora and Vinyard lit up the scoreboard as they scored 12 points apiece over the first eight minutes.
“We are still trying to put some combinations together like we did the first half that we may need to use down the line,” Mirabal said. “In the second half, we went to a senior group because, for some of these guys, it will be the last time they play against Capitan. Then we went with a next year group to give them some opportunities to develop those combinations.”
Jacob Markland, Matthew Parker and Kaleb Castanon came in during the second quarter and contributed to the Steers’ numbers. Overall, the Steers picked up 17 points from their bench.
“It’s important that we get players in so they can develop that continuity they need in game situations,” Mirabal said. “Even with a 30-point lead, you still work on yourself as a team. You saw Jeff (Stuteville) and Joseph out there with some of the guards from the JV team to give them the opportunity to work on that continuity.”
Magdalena can provide plenty of offensive highlights. Still, more than anything, the Steers’ defense throttles teams into submission, and there was no backing off as Capitan managed just six fourth-quarter points.
The Steers open District 2 A play on the road against Reserve on Jan. 19 and return home to face Tularosa (non-district) on Jan. 20. Magdalena will complete a three-day run of basketball against Mesilla Valley Christian School on Jan. 21.
Lambert Ganadonegro 2, Ayden Herschbach 2, Kael Stephens 16, D’Shaun Vinyard 16, Josh Baca 3, Kaleb Castanon 2, Jeff Stuteville 6, Krae Stephens 0, Joseph Zamora 30, Jacob Markland 5, Matthew Parker 4, Clayton Atwood 2.