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A disastrous first quarter put the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team in an early hole from which it would never recover.
Los Alamos was pummeled by the St. Michael’s Horsemen early and often, with the Horsemen connecting on 7 of 9 shots in the opening quarter en route to a 21-5 first quarter domination.
St. Mike’s cruised the rest of the way to take a 66-36 decision over the Hilltoppers at Griffith Gymnasium.
Matthew Barela dropped in 9 points in the first eight minutes and finished with a game-high 13 points for the Horsemen (1-0), who are the defending Class 3A champions and are considered by many the favorite to repeat.
St. Mike’s had a 15-2 in the first quarter, extending nearly five minutes.
Los Alamos, which slipped to 0-5 and failed to break the 40-point mark for the third time in those five games, got into early foul trouble — the Horsemen were into the double-bonus early in the second quarter while at the same time had been whistled for only four team fouls — which sent forward Xavier Dennison and center Travis Richins to the bench.
Filling in at the forward position was junior varsity call-up Tyler Van Anne. Van Anne, in just one-plus quarter of action, dripped in 10 points, pulled down three rebounds and added an assist.
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