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It’s one of the toughest tournaments in the state and both the Los Alamos Hilltopper basketball teams are right in the middle of it.
Both the Hilltopper boys and girls hoops squads will take part in the Joe Armijo Classic starting Thursday. The Armijo Classic is an eight-team tournament hosted by Albuquerque Academy.
Traditionally, the Armijo Classic has involved some of the top teams in the state and this year is no exception. Included on the boys side of the bracket are three defending state champs, while the reigning 5A champ will be the first round opponent of the Hilltopper girls in the other bracket.
Los Alamos’ girls will take on Las Cruces Mayfield in the first round of the Armijo tournament. That game is set for 2:45 p.m. Thursday.
The tournament continues through Saturday in Albuquerque.
Mayfield’s Trojans (3-2) haven’t exactly gotten off to a rollicking start in 2011-12, but have played a tough schedule, including losing to Hobbs and Gallup in the Tip-Off Classic.
Los Alamos (3-1) enters the tournament off a 49-23 victory on the road against Moriarty. In that game, Hayley Each scored 14 points but slammed her head on the floor in the fourth quarter. McKenzie Logan added 12 points.
On the boys side, Los Alamos got on the tougher side of the draw — neither side is weak, however — taking on Class 5A Sandia at 1 p.m.
The only victory for Sandia (1-2) this season came against Class 3A Sandia Prep Nov. 28.
Los Alamos will play either Hope Christian, arguably the best program in the state, bar none, for the past several years, or Class 5A Rio Rancho, in Friday’s second round.
Española Valley’s boys and girls are both in the tournament as well, but neither Los Alamos team would meet up with the Sundevils before Saturday, if at all. Española Valley’s boys take on Eldorado Thursday, while Española Valley’s girls meet Rio Grande in the first round.