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DEMING — A cool 18-of-18 from the free throw line nailed down a 63-54 Los Alamos victory at Deming High School Saturday, sending the Hilltoppers to the ‘elite 8’ next week in the Class AAAA State Basketball Tournament in Albuquerque.Twin guards Ben and Nik Allen dictated much of the game’s tempo and the inside play from 6-foot-9 Alex Kirk boosted the ’Toppers to a 15-point lead midway through the third period.Deming (12-18) whittled at that lead and pulled to within three points on three different occasions in that third period.Los Alamos ballooned the lead back up to eight points in the fourth period, but the Wildcats whittled away at it and made it a two-point game with 1:37 to play.“I had no idea Deming would be this strong and that gym was loud,” Ben Allen said after knocking down 8-of-8 free throws down the stretch to secure the win. “I give them props...they are a really good team.”Both teams got off to a slow start with the ’Toppers posting a 10-8 edge.Kirk, Los Alamos sophomore post, was saddled with his third foul and sat out the final 3:30 of the second period. The ’Toppers bench responded by boosting the lead at half to a 28-18 bulge. “Our bench really supported out kids on the floor,” Los Alamos head coach Alan Kirk said.
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