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In the first round of Roswell’s Poe Corn Invitational, the Los Alamos Hilltoppers stole one. Or, to be more precise, they stole 18.Los Alamos stole the ball 18 times from the Piedra Vista Panthers Thursday night en route to a solid 74-58 win at Roswell High School.Nik and Ben Allen were credited with nine steals between them Thursday against the Panthers, while Doug Hardy had three steals and Jack Russell had two more as the ’Toppers cruised to victory.Los Alamos head coach Alan Kirk said Piedra Vista wanted to push the ball inside on offense, but the ’Topper defense clamped down inside very well, cutting off Piedra Vista’s interior passing, leading to the steals.Piedra Vista turned the ball over a grand total of 22 times Thursday, and further hurt its cause by shooting a paltry 8-for19 from the free throw line. Los Alamos had 15 turnovers, four of those coming after the game was well in-hand, and hit 11 of 15 attempts from the foul line.“Overall, we did well,” Kirk said. “The steals were the big issue. We were able to get back on defense and steal the ball.”Los Alamos moves on in the winner’s bracket with a game against co-host Roswell tonight.
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