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LA holds off Pojoaque Valley at home

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By Mike Cote

The things the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team started to show in its season opener, it sustained through four quarters Friday night.
Los Alamos put together a good run early on in the contest and the Pojoaque Valley Elks could never overcome that early deficit. Los Alamos used an efficient offense and made some big defensive stops when it needed to in a 53-47 victory at Griffith Gymnasium.
Hilltopper 6-foot center Hayley Each, battling a cold Friday night and held out of the starting lineup, dropped in 17 points coming off the bench, 12 of those in the second half including a big bucket with under 5 minutes remaining to quell a mini-run by the Elks.
It was the bounce-back showing the Hilltoppers were hoping for after a disappointing loss in their opener to the St. Michael’s Horsemen. But Friday night, instead of struggling to score points in the second half, the Hilltoppers kept up their offensive momentum, turning a 7-point advantage at the break to a 35-23 edge with 3:19 remaining in the third quarter.
The Hilltoppers’ win spoiled the Los Alamos debut of veteran coach Ron Drake with his new team. Drake, who resuscitated an Española Valley program that was on life support and led the Sundevils to four straight district titles, made the move this offseason to Pojoaque Valley.


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