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JACONA – With about 10 minutes to go, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team was in a position to make a run at the Pojoaque Valley Elks.
Two minutes later, the game for the Hilltoppers was all but over.
Los Alamos trailed by just 9 points after a well executed bucket by Skyler Veenis on a nice entry pass from Franklin Archuleta, that coming at the 2:01 mark of the third quarter.
But things began to unravel for the Hilltoppers immediately.
They would surrender 12 points in the next two minutes, mostly off turnovers in the backcourt, and manage just five points for the rest of the game in a 58-25 loss at Ben Lujan Gymnasium.
Los Alamos made just one shot from the floor in the second half and none in the fourth quarter as Pojoaque Valley’s guards stepped in front of pass after pass late in the game to force 11 Hilltopper turnovers in the final 10 minutes.
The loss Tuesday night spoiled the debut of new head coach Mike Kluk, who took over Monday for Fil Dominguez after Dominguez abruptly resigned.
“We quit coming to the ball,” said Kluk of the inauspicious finish of the Hilltoppers Tuesday. “They were coming to the ball hard and we weren’t coming hard. Once they lost that momentum, it was hard to get it back.”
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