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It was nearly a stunning upset. It was nearly a game that could’ve instantly reversed the Hilltoppers’ fortunes.
Clawing back from an 11-point deficit at the half Friday night, Los Alamos’ boys basketball team dropped in 19 third quarter points, one of its most productive quarters of the season.
But with 3.0 seconds remaining, Los Alamos star Nick Baker was whistled for a ticky-tack foul at the baseline. Capital Jaguar veteran Mikey Lopez hit two free throws and Daniel Salazar’s desperation 3-pointer from half court just sailed wide of the bucket as the Jaguars escaped Griffith Gymnasium with a 52-50 victory.
Los Alamos, in need of a boost heading into the second half of the District 2-4A season, might have found it anyway taking a top-tier Class 4A team like Capital down to the wire, but a victory over the Jaguars certainly would’ve fit that bill.
“It’s frustrating,” said Hilltopper senior Thomas Russell. “I think we’re about four possessions away from being 4-0 (in district). Our demeanor’s down because we lost a close one. We had the No. 4 team in the state on the ropes. We’ve got to come back and we’ve got to be ready for Bernalillo.”
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