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Girls basketball: Toppers beat Jags on senior night

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By Mike Cote

Despite giving the visiting Capital Jaguars a sizeable cushion to open the game, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team still gave its seniors a good send-off Saturday.Los Alamos spotted Capital nine points in the first three-and-a-half minutes of play, but erased that with a 14-2 run to close out the first quarter. Despite a less-than-stellar start and a subpar showing, the Hilltoppers gradually pulled away from the Jaguars, taking a 44-29 win on senior night.Saturday’s game was the final home regular season contest for a pair of Hilltoppers, guards Sarah Ethridge and Jamie Begay.Ethridge made the most of her night, scoring 14 points and lifting five steals, three of which she returned for points on the other end of the court.Ethridge lent support to post player Taylor Ealey, who turned in a double-double Saturday. Ealey finished with a game-high 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, nine on the offensive end.Ealey missed just three shots she took inside the 3-point range Saturday.Other than Ealey, however, the offense was spotty for the Hilltoppers all night long. Not only was Los Alamos amped-up by senior night but trying to stay focused after wrapping up the District 2AAAA regular season title earlier this week.The win, however, kept Los Alamos’ District 2AAAA record at a spotless 7-0 (15-9 overall).Los Alamos has just one regular season game remaining on its schedule, a road contest at Bernalillo Saturday.Capital’s Amy Tafoya led her team with 14 points, 10 of those coming in the first half. No other Jaguar finished with more than four.Following the rough start — Los Alamos turned the ball over on its first four possessions of the contest — the Hilltopper defense would hold Capital to six points in the second quarter and just five points in the third quarter.