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Boys basketball: LA knocks off Capital in finale

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By The Staff

Alex Kirk had a huge night for the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team as it tripped up Capital in its season finale Saturday.

Kirk, the 6-foot, 11-inch junior center for the Hilltoppers, scored 31 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as the Hilltoppers beat Capital’s Jaguars 60-39 Saturday in Santa Fe.

Capital kept the game close throughout the first half, but in the third quarter Los Alamos started to pull away. In the fourth quarter, Los Alamos dominated.

“In the second half, we only gave up 18 points,” Los Alamos head coach Alan Kirk said. “The kids played really well. It was good to see that kind of effort.”

With the win, the Hilltoppers improved to 18-8 on the season. Los Alamos, which already clinched second place, was awaiting on the result of Saturday night’s Española Valley-Bernalillo game, which was not reported by press time.

If Bernalillo managed an upset over the District 2AAAA-leading Sundevils, that would force a one-game playoff Monday. If not, Los Alamos would host the District 2AAAA tournament semifinal game Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

To support Kirk’s big night, Jack Russell finished with six points, as did JR Chalmers. Corey Clark finished with six rebounds.

It was the first win for the Hilltoppers over the Jaguars in three meetings this season — one was a nondistrict contest at the Poe Corn Tournament in Roswell in early January.

“We changed a few things,” Kirk said. “We gave them fewer opportunities. We didn’t get as rushed. We had some turnovers, but we didn’t get rattled.”