Boys basketball: LA knocked out of tourney by St. Pius, 57-50

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By Mike Cote

ALBUQUERQUE — Second verse, same as the first.Wednesday’s meeting was the second of the season between the Los Alamos Hilltoppers and the St. Pius X Sartans, and the two games weren’t all that different.Los Alamos held an edge for a good percentage of both games, St. Pius came back in both games, and the Sartans managed to get some breathing room and close it out at the end of both games.The difference was the stakes.The Jan. 15 meeting at Griffith Gymnasium was a nondistrict contest between a slumping Hilltoppers’ squad and one of the top-rated teams in Class AAAA. Wednesday’s game was for the right to advance to the state AAAA semifinals.St. Pius escaped University Arena, better known as The Pit, with a 57-50 win, this coming after Los Alamos led for most of the first three quarters and held a 50-47 edge late in the fourth quarter.It was a disappointing finish for shooting guard Ben Allen and point guard Nik Allen’s careers.“We had it and we let it slip out, not taking care of the ball,” Ben Allen said following Wednesday’s loss, which knocked the ’Toppers out of the state bracket and closed the curtains on the careers of two players who will surely go down in the lore of Los Alamos High School basketball.Both had a solid outing Wednesday, exactly as one might expect.

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