Boys basketball: Toppers lose to Jaguars on Friday

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team again kept things close Friday night, but couldn’t knock off a tough opponent.
The Hilltoppers lost their third straight district game Friday night at Capital, succumbing to the Jaguars 59-50.
Los Alamos head coach Matt King said it was a frustrating loss for the Hilltoppers (5-17 overall, 1-3 in 2AAAA), who felt just a few possessions late in the game could’ve changed the outcome.
“We had Española and Capital our last two games and our kids expect to beat them,” he said. “Our kids expect to win these games, we haven’t yet…but we expect to be in those games and we expect to finish.”
Los Alamos had one of its most efficient games on offense of the season, with Thomas Russell, on an injured foot, dropping in 20 points and Nick Baker adding 16. Los Alamos moved the ball well in the half-court and got the ball to its two best finishers to keep in the ballgame.
Unfortunately, the Hilltoppers couldn’t find a defensive stop when they needed one late. Instead, the Jaguars (12-6 overall, 2-1 in 2AAAA) were able to draw contact and go to the free throw line. The Jaguars shot 39 free throws in the contest, connecting on 32.
King said he thinks Los Alamos is very close to putting something together so that it might be able to come out on top in some of its final four remaining district contests.
“The key for us is finishing games in the second half,” he said. “Every team in this district is really good. There’s not a night off in this district. We need to take advantage of our home games because winning on the road in this district is really tough, but we have confidence going into any game we play.”
Also Friday, the Bernalillo Spartans (10-9, 1-2) upset the Santa Fe Demons (6-10, 1-2) 59-47 in Santa Fe.
Española Valley (3-0 in 2AAAA) is on top of the district, followed by Capital. Santa Fe, in third place, currently holds a half-game lead over Los Alamos, which holds a half-game lead over Bernalillo.