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Academy tops LA in quarterfinals

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By Mike Cote

ALBUQUERQUE – A rough second quarter did in the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team Wednesday morning at The Pit.

The Hilltoppers turned the ball over 7 times during the second quarter of Wednesday’s game against Albuquerque Academy, leading directly to 8 Academy points as they were outscored 18-6 in the quarter.

While the Hilltoppers made several comeback pushes in the second half, they would never trim the lead down further than 8 points as the Academy Chargers went on to win Wednesday 56-47.

The loss ends Los Alamos’ season. For the fourth year in a row, Los Alamos gets knocked out in the state Class AAAA quarterfinals.

For the Chargers, they will potentially end up with a huge match-up Thursday against the Española Valley Sundevils, who play later today against Grants in the quarterfinals.

Academy came out Wednesday with heavy defensive pressure upfront, which led to most of the turnovers in the first half. Although Los Alamos was able to contain its turnovers in the second half, the damage was done.

Hilltopper forward Austin Wolstein had a big first half, scoring 8 of his 15 points, tying him with star center Alex Kirk for the team lead. Academy was paced by point guard Dylan Gordon, who led all scores with 20 points.

Los Alamos actually outscored Academy 28-22 in the second half, but Academy connected on enough free throws down the stretch to preserve the lead.

The Hilltoppers end their season with a record of 19-10.