Basketball: LA boys have to travel despite seed

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By Mike Cote

One coach was fairly neutral. One coach was hot under the collar.That was the reaction of the Los Alamos Hilltopper basketball coaches to the New Mexico Activities Association’s boys and girls tournament brackets, which were released Sunday afternoon.Both the Hilltopper teams made the cut of 16 in the Class AAAA tournament, which starts this weekend at the homes of the higher seeds.Mostly.Of the two exceptions, both of which are in the boys’ bracket, Los Alamos is one.The Hilltopper boys, who were given an at-large nod as a seven seed, will have to make a long road trip Saturday to play at Deming, the 10th seed in the tournament.The ’Toppers were one of two teams snakebitten by the NMAA tournament rule that a district champion has a home game in the first round. Deming won the three-team District 3AAAA tournament and will host Saturday’s game despite a lackluster 12-17 record this season.“I don’t understand the rule that if you win your district, you get a home game,” Kirk said. “I think it should be based on seeding.”That news didn’t sit well with Los Alamos head coach Alan Kirk.Los Alamos finished third in District 2AAAA this season, which many consider the toughest district in the classification, behind Española Valley and Capital.

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