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Although the Los Alamos Hilltoppers scored a lopsided road win Saturday night, it won’t have much opportunity to savor the flavor, for a variety of reasons.
Los Alamos throttled the cellar-dwelling Bernalillo Spartans Saturday at Bernalillo, 58-24, but it has much bigger fish to fry this week.
Tuesday, the Hilltoppers will face the Española Valley Sundevils, a game the Hilltoppers must win to keep any hope of a regular season district title alive. Following Tuesday’s game at Española Valley, the Hilltoppers will host the Capital Jaguars Friday night, another potential must-win game for them.
While Los Alamos seems to have some mojo going into this week, head coach Tarah Logan is quick to point out that her team seemed to have a good thing going headed into its first meeting with Española Valley Jan. 31 and that game didn’t turn out so well for Los Alamos.
“Last time we played Española, we were coming off a 49-point win against Bernalillo,” she said. “We’re not taking anything for granted.”
Los Alamos played its first game against Española Valley without the services of starting point guard Tyree Richins, but Richins made her presence felt Saturday against the Spartans.
Richins turned in her best performance of the season, finishing with 16 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. She slashed her way to the basket throughout the game, and when she wasn’t finishing her trips into the lane with layups, she was finding open teammates for easy buckets.
Richins tied with Taylor Ealey for the game high.
Defensively, guard Sarah Worland finished with six steals Saturday.
Los Alamos wasted little time taking control of the game, outscoring the Spartans 19-3 in the first quarter. It built a 40-11 edge by the half.
“Our goal in the first quarter was to run them out of the gym,” Logan said. “We were so much taller, (the Spartans) couldn’t get more than one shot at the basket.”
The Hilltoppers’ 58 points was their third best output of the season. Their most productive offensive night, 70 points, also came against the Spartans in the teams’ first meeting Jan. 28.
Bernalillo (2-19 overall, 0-5 in 2AAAA) has broken 30 points just once in its last five games, that coming, interestingly, against district-leading Española Valley. Its next game, Tuesday against Taos, could decide which of those teams hosts the opening round 2AAAA tournament contest.
Even with a win Tuesday, Los Alamos will have to hope beyond hope that the Spartans trip up Española Valley’s Sundevils (16-6 overall, 6-0 in district) Friday night for Los Alamos to have a crack at the regular season 2AAAA championship.