Girls basketball: Toppers, Devils tied for 2-4A lead

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Teams face off tonight in valley, Sundevils have won 7 of last 8 vs. LA

By Mike Cote

If you thought the Los Alamos-Española Valley boys basketball game Tuesday night was the only big hoops game of the week, you’re wrong.
The girls game between Los Alamos’ Hilltoppers and Española Valley’s Sundevils tonight should have just as much, if not more, impact on the eventual outcome of District 2AAAA.
Tonight’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Edward Medina Gymnasium in Española.
The Hilltoppers, having won five of their last six contests, all against Class 4A schools and including two district victories, are among the state’s hottest teams right now. But, aside from a nondistrict contest against Sandia, their lone loss during the current streak, the Hilltoppers will have their toughest test of that stretch tonight.
The Sundevils (13-2 overall, 2-0 in 2AAAA) were last week’s No. 6 team in the state — the new statewide coaches’ poll, due out today, wasn’t available as of press time — and are the two-time defending District 2AAAA champions.
To get its district season started, Española Valley scored big victories over both Santa Fe, 52-20, and Capital, 53-37.
While Española Valley is currently the only team in 2AAAA to have posted double-digit victories, its schedule has been relatively soft. It has played just two Class 4A teams other than its two district opponents, splitting those contests on the floor, although Piedra Vista had to vacate its early season win against the Sundevils because of eligibility problems.
It has, however, posted two wins over Pojoaque, including a 10-point decision Jan. 11. Los Alamos fell by two points to Pojoaque in its first game of the season.
The Hilltoppers, however, aren’t the same team they were when they started the season and head coach Tarah Logan is hoping her charges can prove that tonight.
“It’s going to come down to who can play together as a team the most,” she said. “It’s about not getting shaken or rattled.”
In the past two years, the Sundevils have dominated this series. The Sundevils swept Los Alamos in three games in 2008-09 and took four of five head-to-head contests last season, including knocking the Hilltoppers out of the Class 4A playoffs.
For its part, Los Alamos (8-10, 2-0) knocked off Bernalillo and Santa Fe in two impressive outings last week to set up this early district season showdown with Española Valley.
The Hilltoppers have gotten big things out of their bench during their current win streak, particulary McKenzie Logan and Anna Scott.
Logan actually led Los Alamos in scoring in both the district contests so far, dropping in 14 against Bernalillo and 11 against Santa Fe.
She was the top scorer in both games, and was also Los Alamos’ second-leading rebounder against Santa Fe, clearing seven boards.
Scott, meanwhile, has provided a couple of big sparks off the bench. She had four steals in the second quarter against Bernalillo which got the Hilltoppers going after a slow first quarter on the road.