Boys basketball: LA hangs on to top Bernalillo in tourney

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By Mike Cote

They will live to play at least one more day. That day is today.
In the opening round of the District 2AAAA boys basketball tournament, Los Alamos’ Hilltoppers took control in the third quarter, then hung on in the tense late moments to pick up a win over the Bernalillo Spartans and advance to the quarterfinals.
Bernalillo’s Brandon Saiz was fouled behind the 3-point circle with under :03 remaining with a chance to tie Monday’s ballgame, but, after hitting his first two free throw attempts, couldn’t convert the final attempt. The miss gave the Hilltoppers a 41-40 victory in the opening round and puts them in tonight’s second round.
Los Alamos (7-20 overall, 3-6 in 2AAAA) will face Santa Fe at Toby Roybal Memorial Gymnasium. The winner of tonight’s game will move on to Thursday’s semifinal at Capital and put itself in position to earn at least an at-large invitation to the Class 4A state tournament.
“We’re playing for our life,” Hilltopper guard Nick Baker said following the victory.
Baker played a huge role in keeping his team alive Monday. After a quiet first half, Baker scored nine of Los Alamos’ 15 points in the third quarter as the team held a 30-27 lead heading into the final eight minutes.

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