LA falls to arch-rival Española Valley

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Boys basketball: Sundevils pick up a win in offensively punchless contest

By Mike Cote

ESPAÑOLA — The good news for the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team is that its defense is still performing as well as it has all season.
Unfortunately, that was about the only good news to come out of Tuesday night’s game.
The Hilltoppers dropped a big District 2-4A contest to their arch-rival, the Española Valley Sundevils, at Edward Medina Gymnasium. The Hilltoppers managed just three points in the first 10 minutes of the ballgame, although because the Sundevils weren’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard either, the Hilltoppers trailed just 18-11 at the half.
Los Alamos made a push in the third quarter to take the lead heading into the final frame, but Jeremy Romero’s big fourth quarter propelled Española Valley to a 37-33 victory.
“Every team has a stud and we have Jeremy,” Sundevil veteran head coach Richard Martinez said afterward. “He was able to hit some shots for us.”
Martinez guided his team to the state Class 4A championship last season, but right now, the Sundevils would be in serious danger of missing out on the playoffs altogether. However, Tuesday’s win moved the Sundevils (7-12 overall, 1-2 in 2-4A) into the third-place logjam in the district race with the Hilltoppers (7-13, 1-2) and the Santa Fe Demons (5-13, 1-2) — Santa Fe beat Española Valley and Los Alamos beat Santa Fe last week.
For Los Alamos, it is now in serious danger of falling to 1-3 after the first half of the district season with perhaps its toughest contest, a home date with Capital (15-4, 2-0), still to come Friday night. Capital topped Bernalillo 78-74 in Santa Fe Tuesday night to take sole possession of first place.
“Every team in district has to hold serve at home,” said Los Alamos head coach Fil Dominguez. “Any team in district could win any game, but you want to win, you have to hold serve at home.”
Los Alamos played good enough defense to win at Española Valley, but the offense, which showed signs of life against Santa Fe, couldn’t get on track except for a spurt in the third quarter.
Just 1:38 into the second half, Los Alamos erased Española Valley’s halftime lead. Bobby Sanders scored two quick buckets and Daniel Salazar drained a 3-pointer from the wing as part of a 10-0 run, giving Los Alamos its first lead since the opening period.
Salazar finished with nine points to pace the Hilltoppers, who shot just 10-for-36 from the field (27.8 percent).
While the Sundevils didn’t shoot remarkably better Tuesday (35.7 percent), Romero caught fire in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 of his team’s 15 points, including the game-icing free throws with under 30 seconds remaining.


Española Valley 37,
Los Alamos 33

Los Alamos     3     8   14     8—33
Española Valley     4    14   4     15—37

Los Alamos — Thomas Russell 2-7 3-4 7, Daniel Salazar 3-10 1-2 9, Nate Carver 1-10 0-0 2, Bobby Sanders 2-4 2-5 6, Nick Baker 1-2 4-5 6, Salvador Salaiz 1-1 0-0 3, Xavier Dennison 0-1 0-2 0, Seth Drop 0-1 0-0 0, Skyler Veenis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 10-36 10-18 33.

Española Valley — Jozzeb Martinez 1-6 0-0 2, Jeremy Romero 6-11 6-7 19, Jesus Chavez 1-2 1-2 3, Marty Herrera 1-2 0-0 2, Jared Garduño 1-3 0-0 3, Kyle Gaines 0-2 0-1 0, Gabriel Borrego 0-0 0-0 0, Joaquin Schoeppner 0-1 2-2 2, Nathan Cordova 0-1 4-4 4, Daniel Velasquez 0-0 2-2- 2. Totals 10-28 15-18 37.

3-point goals — LA 3-17 (Salazar 2-6, Salaiz 1-1, Carver 0-6, Russell 0-1, Sanders 0-1, Baker 0-1, Drop 0-1), EV 2-5 (Romero 1-1, Garduño 1-1, J. Martinez 0-2, Gaines 0-1). Total fouls — LA 15, EV 17. Fouled out — Herrera (4th, 4:39), Sanders (4th, 2:18). Technicals — None.

LA vs. Santa Fe boys basketball game

It is too bad the Monitor did not have an article on the Santa Fe game. Baker lit it up and it was an exciting game. I guess since the Toppers won it was not worthy to make this newspaper.

Unfortunately, topperfan, the

Unfortunately, topperfan, the Hilltopper coaching staff doesn't feel it's important to call the Monitor with results after the games we can't attend.