Basketball: LA girls ranked 9th in first poll

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By Mike Cote

Exactly one week following the official opening of the New Mexico prep basketball preseason, the New Mexico High School Coaches Association put out its preseason top 10 rankings.
The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team got a top-10 nod in the preseason top 10, while the Hilltopper boys basketball team earned nary a sniff.
The Hilltopper girls, who advanced to the Class AAAA state quarterfinals last season, finished in the ninth spot in the 2010-11 preseason voting.
Voting is done by high school coaches across the state. Only five coaches participated in the AAAA girls basketball poll.
Los Alamos, going into its third season under head coach Tarah Logan, finished with nine total points, placing it one point ahead of 10th-ranked Valencia.
Kirtland Central garnered four of the five first-place votes in girls basketball. Its 49 total points placed it four points ahead of second-ranked Gallup, a newcomer into the classification this season.
Los Alamos’ boys, following the offseason departures of both head coach Alan Kirk and superstar center Alex Kirk, earned just three points in the opening poll of the season, well out of the running for the top 10.
In May, Los Alamos hired former La Cueva and Volcano Vista assistant Matt King to take over for coach Kirk.
Española Valley, which reached the Class AAAA championship game this March before falling in a tight ballgame to the Roswell Coyotes, are the preseason No. 1. Española Valley, Los Alamos’ arch-rival in basketball, earned all but one of the preseason first-place votes and 79 total points.
Roswell, which also won the state title in 2009, got the other No. 1 vote and finished in the second position, two points ahead of Gallup.