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Despite what could’ve been a disastrous first quarter Wednesday, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team pulled things together in the second half to make a game of it against the St. Michael’s Horsemen.
Los Alamos was shut out in the first quarter of Wednesday night’s contest at Griffith Gymnasium, but its team defense, which broke down in the second half the night before in Moriarty, came through when it needed to. While Los Alamos never led in the contest, or got any closer to the Horsemen than five points early in the second quarter, it managed to keep the final three quarters of the contest respectable.
The Horsemen, one of the top programs in Class AAA and an annual opponent of the Hilltoppers, earned a 43-30 victory in their season opener. The Hilltoppers, meanwhile, fell to 0-4.
Going up against the Horsemen, who have advanced to the state title game twice in the past four seasons, winning the championship in 2006-07, had the Hilltoppers feeling jumpy before the contest.
“For a lot of our kids, part of it was nerves playing a good team,” Los Alamos first-year head coach Matt King said. “The other part of that was ourselves. We’ve had three or four different starting lineups in four games. We’re still trying to figure ourselves out.”
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