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Kirtland crushes Hilltoppers in first-round action

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By Mike Cote

KIRTLAND — If the Kirtland Central Broncos can stay as hot as they were Friday night, a blue trophy just might be in their future.

In the opening round of the Class AAAA state girls basketball playoffs, the Broncos, one of the most celebrated teams in the nation, were on fire on both ends of the court, routing the visiting Los Alamos Hilltoppers 62-33 and ending the Hilltoppers’ season.

While Los Alamos had some rough spots in the first half and played with fire in the belly in the second half despite being in a huge hole, Kirtland Central drilled nine 3-pointers in the course of the contest — six in the first half — from all areas of the floor.

Los Alamos, which has been a defensive-oriented team all season, actually played decent defense but Kirtland Central ran its motion perimeter offense nearly flawlessly and nary threw a bad pass in the game.

Topping the No. 4-seeded Broncos at home would’ve been a pretty major upset, something the Hilltoppers were well aware of going into Friday’s ballgame.

“I had hoped they were looking past us,” Los Alamos head coach Tarah Logan said after the team ended with two straight losses to close her rookie coaching season. “But a good team like (Kirtland Central) doesn’t do that.”


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