.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Boys basketball: Toppers sweep a pair on the road

-A A +A
By Mike Cote

They were the kind of performances Alan Kirk had been waiting to see, for a number of reasons.On the first big road trip of the season, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys varsity basketball team picked up two impressive wins. On Friday, the Hilltoppers knocked off the Piedra Vista Panthers 70-58, coming back from a four-point deficit at the break. The ’Toppers came right back on Saturday to knock off the Farmington Scorpions 42-30. Both contests were played in Farmington.The ’Toppers did some good things in both those game. Against Piedra Vista, ’Topper guard Ben Allen dropped in 21 points, his best outing of the season, and against Farmington a tired ’Topper team used its bench liberally, and the bench players were up to the challenge, providing good minutes.“Ben broke open against Piedra Vista,” Kirk said. “We’ve been waiting for that to happen. We’ve wanted different kids to step up in different games.”Allen, who had a rough night in his previous outing against St. Michael’s, scored 11 points in the fourth quarter to lead Los Alamos to the win.In that fourth quarter, Los Alamos’ defense held the Panthers to just five points in the final stanza. The two teams were deadlocked at 53-53 after three periods.Los Alamos trailed 38-34 at the break, but Alex Kirk, Los Alamos’ 6-foot-9 center, picked up seven of his 23 points to lead the team offensively.Alan Trujillo added eight points and Michael Helland chipped in seven more for the Hilltoppers against the Panthers (1-1). Panther Kyler Garrison had a game-high 26 in a losing effort.In the game, Los Alamos hit 19 field goals, including six from 3-point range, and was an impressive 14 of 16 from the foul line.On Saturday, Los Alamos (4-1) had to play some disciplined defense, as Farmington’s Scorpions were passing the ball around between 8 and 10 times per possession before shooting.But the defense was up to the task, holding Farmington to under double-digits in every quarter but the final quarter.The Scorpions were looking mostly for outside shots after some early attempts to attack the basket were thwarted by Kirk. But even the outside game was hard to come by.“The guards played tough defense,” coach Kirk said. “They (the Scorpions) didn’t have good opportunities.”Kirk said his team was both tired from the grueling four-hour bus ride up to the Four Corners and from the game the night before. That’s where the bench came in handy.Doug Hardy provided some quality minutes off the bench, putting in 10 points Saturday. Jack Russell also gave the Hilltoppers some good substitution minutes.Along with the fatigue, Los Alamos guard Nik Allen got in some early foul trouble — he still finished the game with 12 points — and three Hilltoppers were unavailable because they were taking a college entrance exam Saturday.Alex Kirk finished with a game-high 16 points, the first time this season he’d been held under 20. He also grabbed 12 rebounds on the night.Skylr Corley had eight points to lead Farmington (0-3).