Boys basketball: ’Toppers, Sartans to clash tonight

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By Mike Cote

It’s a date the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team circled on its calendar in the preseason.

Los Alamos will travel to Albuquerque to take on the St. Pius X Sartans tonight. Tonight’s game is scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m. at St. Sebastian Gymnasium.

The Sartans (7-7) haven’t yet shown this season they’re the force that bowled its way to a third straight state Class AAAA title, but that’s not to say anyone’s taking them lightly, least of all Los Alamos.

“I think this is going to be tough, especially playing them at home,” Hilltopper head coach Alan Kirk said.

St. Pius graduated its star player from last season, Chris Johansen. So far this season, St. Pius hasn’t found that dominant force on the court, but Kirk said the Sartans are still fundamentally sound.

The Sartans have played a pretty rough schedule so far this season, having faced teams like Eldorado, Hope Christian and Sandia. It has also faced its blood enemy, Albuquerque Academy, twice this season, splitting those two contests.

Despite posting just a .500 record during its nondistrict season, St. Pius has won four of its last five contests, including a 58-54 victory over Academy Friday night in its first home game of the season.

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