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No All-State preseason pick? No problem.
Playing without its star point guard, Tyree Richins, the Los Alamos Hilltoppers still managed to continue its current winning streak Tuesday night with a victory over the Belen Eagles.
Los Alamos center Taylor Ealey dropped in a game-high 20 points as the Hilltoppers knocked off the Eagles 43-29 Tuesday night in Belen.
Richins stayed at home Tuesday, feeling under the weather, but Los Alamos’ reserves picked up their game in her absence.
The Hilltoppers didn’t get much going in the first quarter offensively, scoring only four points, but held the Eagles to just two points in that same eight minutes.
Following the first quarter, Los Alamos head coach Logan said, the Hilltoppers saw what they were going to have to do.
“The girls were pretty nervous to start with,” Logan said. “They got off to a slow start, not a bad start, but a slow start...but then they realized they were going to have to win this game with or without Tyree there.”
Things picked up a little bit in the second quarter, with the Hilltoppers outscoring the Eagles 13-7 to take a 17-9 lead into the break.
Belen (3-7), which has had an up-and-down season so far on the offensive end, managed only 7 points in the third quarter as well.
Ealey, who has been a major spark on offense during the Hilltoppers’ current 5-game win streak, also finished with 6 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.
Shelby Courtright had 8 points and 3 rebounds Tuesday, while Sarah Worland finished with 6 assists and had a pair of steals.
With Richins out, Belen attempted to press the Los Alamos guards most of the night, but with limited success.
On its current win streak, which includes victories over three Class AAAA teams, Los Alamos (9-6) has won by an average margin of 26.4 points.
Prior to this stretch, Los Alamos had managed to score more than 40 points on just two occasions.
“Right now, it’s team chemistry,” Logan said. “Everybody has decided that they need to play their parts, whatever those may be. They’ve learned to rely on each other and they’ve decided that they can win these games.”
Los Alamos will return home Friday for another important Class AAAA contest, that one against Del Norte (8-5), which already has victories over the Hilltoppers’ District 2AAAA opponents Bernalillo and Capital.
With its 2AAAA opener slated for next week, Los Alamos has already earned wins over seven different Class AAAA teams.