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The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team got the win it needed Friday night, but not the help it needed.
With its upset win over the Española Valley Sundevils Tuesday night in the valley, Los Alamos kept alive its chance for half of a District 2AAAA regular season title, but needed to beat the Capital Jaguars Friday and get some help from the Bernalillo Spartans.
The Hilltoppers came through Friday, knocking off the Capital Jaguars 60-39 at Griffith Gymnasium, but the help didn’t arrive. Bernalillo, which sits at the bottom of the 2AAAA standings, couldn’t pull off what would’ve been one of the bigger upsets in Class AAAA this year, with the Sundevils prevailing 66-39.
Los Alamos (15-11 overall, 5-2 in 2AAAA) finishes the regular season in second place and will host the district tournament semifinal game Thursday night. The winner of Thursday’s game — between the winner of Capital and either Bernalillo or Taos — will advance to the district title game Saturday at Española Valley.
But because of a rule change that went into effect last season, the team emerging from the district semifinal game is not awarded an automatic state tournament bid.
For Hilltopper head coach Tarah Logan, though, that’s not a concern as long as her team continues to play the way it has the last two games.
“Everyone’s shooting more and we have better shot selection,” Logan said. “We’re getting a lot of good looks. They weren’t falling in the first half, but in the second half we had the hot hand.”
Taylor Ealey was one of the Hilltoppers who had the hot hand in the second half, scoring 20 of her game-high 26 points in that half. Bryanna Richins finished with 13 points and Sarah Worland and Shelby Courtright both finished with six.