Boys basketball: Toppers meet Panthers in Poe Corn 1st round

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By Mike Cote

While it won’t have to be concerned with Elks, the Los Alamos boys varsity basketball team may have to watch out for aliens.Los Alamos will play in its second consecutive tournament this week. The Poe Corn Invitational starts Thursday, co-hosted by Roswell and Goddard High Schools.The tournament has been striving to become more of a tournament for Class AAAA competition, and seven of the eight teams are AAAA New Mexico schools. The only interloper is Catalina, a team from Tucson, Ariz.The Hilltoppers start the tournament at 6 p.m. Thursday when it takes on a familiar foe, the Piedra Vista Panthers. That game will be played at Goddard.The two teams met Dec. 7 as part of a very successful two-day swing through the Four Corners area for the Hilltoppers. In the first of a two-game set, the Hilltoppers knocked off the Panthers 70-58. They would go on to beat Farmington the following day 42-30.Those two wins sparked a 5-game victory streak for Los Alamos, which, following a knock-down, drag-out loss to Pojoaque, won its most recent contest over a pretty good Socorro team in the Ben Lujan Tournament third-place game, 77-60.Los Alamos head coach Alan Kirk said he’s hoping to meet up with one, or, if he’s lucky, both of the Roswell schools.

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