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The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team earned its first victory of the season and the first victory of head coach Matt King’s career by outlasting the Belen Eagles.
The Hilltoppers did a lot of good things Tuesday night to make up for their struggling shooting as they knocked off the Eagles on the road 35-29. The Hilltoppers had their best team defensive effort of the season and did well on the boards to limit the Eagles’ offensive chances.
King, who is in his first season with the Hilltoppers, said he was thrilled to see his team do what it took to earn the victory.
“A big part of that is the kids getting more experience playing together,” King said. “Adversity makes you tougher. When you face adversity, you can do one of two things, either quit or get tougher.”
With the Hilltoppers (1-4) struggling through the early part of their season, King said a win will be a big psychological help, especially heading into the very tough Joe Armijo Invitational tournament this week — see story at right.
Los Alamos actually was able to create some decent offensive looks Tuesday against Belen, which had previously beaten Moriarty, a team Los Alamos lost to Nov. 30.
It was also the first win of the season by the Hilltoppers over a Class AAAA opponent.
“We hope it’s a big boost,” King said. “We’re still about the process. We talked about that when we were losing and we’ll talk about that when we’re winning…but practice will be more fun today than it was yesterday.”