Oree Foster
Staff Writer, AZPreps365.com

Boys Hoops: Page wins at Striking Eagle Native American Invite

December 27, 2018 by Oree Foster, AZPreps365

The Page Sand Devils built a 25 point lead after three quarters to post a 61-48 victory over the Magdalena, New Mexico Steers in the first round of the eight-team Striking Eage Native American Invitational in Johnson Arena on the campus of University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Wednesday.

It took Page time to settle in. Magdalena outscored the Sand Devils, 13-11, at the end of the first quarter. Paced by Justin Salabiye, Gabe Gomez and Dainian Sloan, the Sand Devils pushed the ball down the floor, playing uptempo in the second quarter. Page rattled the cages for 24 points. Magdalena netted 10 points. The Sand Devils took a 35-23 lead at the end of the first half.

Page clamped down on Magdalena defensively. The Sand Devils' defense contained Magdalena to seven points. Page continued its hot shooting in the third quarter, canning 20 points. When the third quarter expired, Page held a 55-30 lead.

Magdalena stormed back in the fourth quarter, as Page lost its composure. The Steers outshot the Sand Devils, 18-6, in the fourth stanza.

"We played well for three quarters, then didn't play smart to close it out," said Page head coach Gary Skubal. "We did a nice job of containing their guards ... forcing them to drive and then took many offensive charges .... I was very proud of that."

Justin Salabiye led Page, knocking down 18 points and pulling down 10 boards. Gabe Gomez added 13 points, Dainian Sloan netted 11 points and Benjamin Alvarez added nine points for Page.

Page improved its season record to 8-2. The Sand Devils advance into the semifinals of the tournament at 7:30 p.m. today in Johnson Arena.

Jaxson Mirabel and Kyle Julian both scored 10 points apiece and Joren Mirabel tallied eight points for Magdalena.

Magdalena dropped to 8-2. The Steers play at 1:30 p.m. today in a consolation game at Johnson Arena.