Basketball: LA girls nab No. 12 spot, boys are out

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By Mike Cote

The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team earned a No. 12 seed for the 2011 Class 4A state playoffs.
Los Alamos will travel to Grants Friday night for the first round of the state tournament, where it will meet the fifth-seeded Grants Pirates.
The match-ups for the state tournament were released Sunday night by the New Mexico Activities Association. The tournament continues through March 12 when the state champions are determined.
The Hilltopper girls ended up on the top half of the bracket, which appears on paper to be the tougher of the two sides. Should the Hilltoppers prevail over the Pirates Friday, they would likely face the Española Valley Sundevils in the quarterfinal round next week.
Los Alamos finished second in the District 2AAAA tournament. Española Valley topped Los Alamos 36-25 in the 2AAAA tournament final Saturday night.
On the boys side, the Hilltoppers failed to pick up an at-large bid. The Hilltoppers finished fourth in both the regular season and district tournaments and would’ve needed an at-large nod to get in, but after posting just seven wins — five of them coming against the same two teams — getting a bid was a long shot.
District 2AAAA will be fairly well represented in both the boys and girls tournaments, however, with three teams reaching the bracket on both sides.
Española Valley’s teams both earned top four seeds, while Capital is a No. 7 seed on the boys side and both Santa Fe’s boys and girls snuck in to the bottom quarter of the seedings.
Española Valley’s boys might have had a crack at the top seed in that tournament, but were upset in the tournament championship game by Capital, 44-43 in overtime.
Instead, Gallup earned the top seed in the boys 4A tournament and the Sundevils had to settle for the No. 2 seed.
To the surprise of no one, Kirtland Central earned the No. 1 seed in the girls tournament. Should Los Alamos survive through the first two rounds of state, it would likely be matched up with Kirtland Central in the semifinals.
Kirtland Central won its 18th girls basketball state title last season. Roswell won its second consecutive boys basketball title in 2010, upsetting top-seeded Española Valley in the final.
The Hilltopper girls advanced to the state quarterfinals, but lost to the Sundevils in The Pit. The Hilltopper boys were knocked out by Albuquerque Academy last season, also in the quarterfinal round.
Here are the match-ups for the first two rounds of the state 4A playoffs.

Class 4A girls

Friday, home sites

(16) Santa Fe at (1) Kirtland Central, 6 p.m.

(9) Valencia at (8) Albuquerque Academy, 7 p.m.

(12) Los Alamos at (5) Grants, 6 p.m.

(13) Miyamura at (4) Española Valley, 7 p.m.

(14) St. Pius X at (3) Gallup, 7 p.m.

(11) Piedra Vista at (6) Del Norte, 7 p.m.

(10) Artesia at (7) Deming, 7 p.m.

(15) Santa Teresa at (2) Roswell, 7 p.m.


March 9 (all games at The Pit, times TBA)

Santa Fe-Kirtland Central winner vs. Valencia-Academy winner

Los Alamos-Grants winner vs. Miyamura-Española Valley winner

St. Pius-Gallup winner vs. Piedra Vista-Del Norte winner

Artesia-Deming winner vs. Santa Teresa-Roswell winner


Class 4A boys

First round

Saturday, home sites

(16) Kirtland Central at (1) Gallup, 7 p.m.

(9) Grants at (8) Goddard, 6 p.m.

(12) Aztec at (5) Roswell, 2 p.m.

(13) Los Lunas at (4) Piedra Vista, 7 p.m.

(14) Santa Fe at (3) Santa Teresa, 6 p.m.

(11) Valencia at (6) St. Pius X, 7 p.m.

(10) Albuquerque Academy at (7) Capital, 7 p.m.

(15) Del Norte at (2) Española Valley, 7 p.m.


March 9 (all games at The Pit, times TBA)

Kirtland Central-Gallup winner vs. Grants-Goddard winner

Aztec-Roswell winner vs. Los Lunas-Piedra Vista winner

Santa Fe-Santa Teresa winner vs. Valencia-St. Pius winner

Academy-Capital winner vs. Del Norte-Española Valley winner