Boys basketball: LA hits 33 free throws in district-opening win at Taos

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By Mike Cote

TAOS — Following Wednesday’s game, the free throw lines on the floor at Taos may have to be repainted.In its District 2AAAA opener, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys varsity basketball team shot a whopping 48 foul shots, thanks to 29 fouls by the Taos Tigers.The Tigers wanted to take the Hilltoppers out of their offensive sets with hard fouls in the paint, most of them landing on the person of Alex Kirk.But Kirk and the rest of the Hilltopper squad were up to the challenge Wednesday, nailing 33 of those 48 attempts en route to a big 70-50 win over Taos.Wednesday’s game was the district debut for both schools.“It’s a very hard game to play,” Hilltopper shooting guard Martin Romero said. “It gets you out of your rhythm, out of your tempo. When you go to the line instead of running the floor, which we like to do, it’s hard.”Taos bludgeoned Kirk, Los Alamos’ 6-foot, 9-inch sophomore center, every time he went up for a shot in the second quarter. He got off just one quick shot in the quarter — which was off-target — without getting hacked.But Kirk made the Tigers pay, calmly sinking all 10 of his free throws in the second quarter to help the ’Toppers build a 36-31 lead at the half.Kirk would go on to finish the night with 24 points on a 16 of 19 performance from the charity stripe.

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