Boys, girls hoops squads showing promise

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By Mike Cote

So far, Gerry Washburn’s crystal ball has been spot-on.Washburn, head coach of the Los Alamos Hilltopper varsity basketball team, thought his team might take its lumps during the early part of the season, but also that it should improve during that time.With Saturday’s loss at home — the game was originally scheduled for Highland High School in Albuquerque but was switched to Los Alamos when Highland rolled into town as Los Alamos was packing to leave Saturday afternoon — the Hilltoppers now stand at 4-3 with two outings awaiting them.The ’Toppers will face Kirtland Central at home in its next contest, then follow that up with a trip to the Memorial Medical Center Holiday Hoop-la in Las Cruces, where they will face El Paso (Texas) Hanks in the first round Dec. 27.All games in the Hoop-la will be played at the Pan American Center, the home floor of the New Mexico State University Aggies. The tournament runs through Dec. 29.Kirtland Central is one of the most successful girls basketball programs in the nation and El Paso Hanks is highly regarded in and around Marty Robbins’ favorite city.The upside for the young Hilltoppers, who had just two players coming into the season with any significant varsity playing experience, is that they’ll have plenty of time to get ready for each game.

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