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The Los Alamos Hillltopper girls basketball team bounced back from a rough outing Thursday to upend a long-standing rival Friday.
Los Alamos put together perhaps its most complete game of the young 2009-10 season to top the St. Pius X Sartans 49-44 in the consolation bracket of the Joe Armijo Invitational Tournament.
That tournament, hosted by Albuquerque Academy, concluded Saturday with the Hilltoppers falling to the Hope Christian Huskies in the fifth-place game. The Hilltoppers led most of the way but two late free throws awarded to Hope on a call Los Alamos head coach Tarah Logan disagreed with gave the Huskies a 33-32 victory.
Despite Saturday’s loss and a lopsided loss in the first round to Sandia, Logan thought things went alright for her group.
“I’m pleased with the way things are going,” she said. “Thursday we played a really tough team, (Friday) we played a really good game and (Saturday) we played a good game, but the chips didn’t fall our way at the end.”
Hilltopper forward Shelby Courtright was named to the All-Tournament Team Saturday. She finished Saturday’s game with 13 points and 7 rebounds.
During the early part of the decade, Los Alamos and St. Pius were intra-district rivals and had some knock-down, drag-out meetings during that time.
Friday, Los Alamos led for much of the contest. After a nip-and-tuck first quarter, Los Alamos outscored St. Pius 12-9 in the second quarter to take a 24-20 lead into the break. It led 36-32 after three quarters.
“I was really pleased with the girls,” Logan said of Friday’s win. “They settled down and ran their offense. They had discipline in everything they did and they stayed cool on defense. They stayed in control and wee able to pull it out.
Against the Sartans, Taylor Ealey had 12 points, while Sarah Worland came up with 11 points to support the offensive effort. Tyree Richins finished with 8 points, Courtright had 7 and Cassidy Reeves finished with 6 in the first varsity game of her career.