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SANTA FE – A big loss to another District 2-4A team made the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team’s long journey to salvage its season considerably longer.
Los Alamos was in need of a win to get its season back on track, but its offense never got on track Tuesday. Los Alamos was limited to just four points in each of the first two quarters as it fell to the Santa Fe Demons 43-24 at Toby Roybal Memorial Gymnasium.
The Hilltoppers were held scoreless for nearly five minutes to open the game, then had a four-plus minute drought to close out the first half.
With Tuesday’s loss to the Demons, the Hilltoppers (2-21 overall, 1-5 in 2-4A) are now officially out of district title contention and are looking at a second straight finish in the 2-4A basement if they can’t rally in their final two games of the season.
It was a slow, plodding game for both teams, which combined for just 13 field goals in the first half. There were few offensive fireworks beyond a huge slam dunk by Santa Fe’s Keanyn Evans and no players got into double-figures – the top scorer of the night was Hilltopper Scott Gasway, who finished with 7.
For Santa Fe (6-17 overall, 4-2 in 2-4A), it kept pace for the top spot in the district along with Española Valley, which clung through a late comeback attempt at Capital to win 63-62. That win snapped a two-game skid for Española Valley, which lost to the Demons and the Bernalillo Spartans in the immediate fallout from the suspension of head coach Richard Martinez.
Bernalillo was idle Tuesday and is half a game back of the Sundevils and the Demons.
Los Alamos earned its first district win over Capital last week and looked to be making strides with its offense, particularly its transition game.
But Los Alamos has suffered back-to-back lopsided losses since then, with the team being unable to sustain any kind of point production.
The Hilltoppers converted just 11 of 38 attempts from the floor (28.9 percent) and misfired 8 times from the foul line in 10 trips.
The 24 points by Los Alamos was its second-lowest output of the season.