Back on the winning track

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By Mike Cote

The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team got back on the winning track Friday night in Bernalillo.


Los Alamos put together a big third quarter to blow open Friday night’s District 2AAAA game against the Bernalillo Spartans.

Beating the Spartans’ full-court pressure, Los Alamos dropped in 21 points and held the Spartans to just 8 points.

The Hilltoppers prevailed Friday night 64-42 to keep pace in the district race.

Following a disappointing loss Monday night at Capital, which put the Hilltoppers in serious danger of dropping down into third place in the 2AAAA standings, the Hilltoppers led virtually the entire way Friday night.

“We played OK,” Los Alamos head coach Alan Kirk said. “Some little mistakes were overemphasized by good, hard recovery play. When we made a mistake, we’d jump back and do something good to overcome it.”

Bernalillo tried to keep the pace of the game slow in the first half, but then started to put the pressure on Los Alamos’ guards to open the third quarter.

Los Alamos was up to the challenge, finishing with 20 assists on the night to just 12 team turnovers, one of the team’s best ratios of the season.

Brandon Owens had perhaps his best game of the season Friday against Bernalillo (4-19 overall, 1-4 in 2AAAA), finishing with 11 points, one of four Hilltoppers who posted double-figure scoring.

Los Alamos was paced by Austin Wolstein and Alex Kirk. Both players dropped in 18 points while Wolstein pulled down 11 rebounds. Kirk had eight rebounds and nine assists.

Zach Parks had 13 points including a 3-pointer and Wade Archuleta finished with 6 assists.

“The passing was a lot crisper, more on-point,” coach Kirk said.

Los Alamos (16-7 overall, 4-2 in 2AAAA) will conclude its regular season this week with two big contests. Los Alamos travels to Española Valley Wednesday night and hosts Capital Saturday in a game that could well determine the district’s runner-up — Española Valley’s Sundevils are a virtual lock to claim their fourth-straight regular season district title.