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In the chill of winter, there are worse places to be than the southern part of the state.
That’s precisely where the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys and girls basketball teams will be starting Thursday.
Both Los Alamos hoops teams will take part in a pair of tournaments going on in Roswell this weekend. Los Alamos’ boys will make an appearance at the Poe Corn Invitational, hosted by Roswell’s Coyotes, and Los Alamos’ girls will be in the Goddard Holiday Classic.
Both tournaments run through Saturday.
The good news for the Los Alamos boys is they will be going into the Poe Corn tournament with some momentum, coming off their first win of the season Dec. 14 against Bernalillo.
The bad news, however, is that the Hilltoppers will be facing the No. 1 team in Class 4A according to the first MaxPreps rankings of the season, which was released Monday. The Roswell Coyotes are undefeated in seven outings so far and are winning their contests by an average margin of more than 25 points.
The Poe Corn tournament, one of the longest-running basketball tournaments in the state, has featured all Class 4A teams in recent years, including Los Alamos (1-6), which has become an annual invitee.
One of the best aspects of the Poe Corn for competing teams is that tournament sponsors pick up a large portion of their travel expenses.
Meanwhile, the Hilltopper girls (3-5) will take on Gadsden in the opening round of the Goddard Holiday tournament.
Like Los Alamos’ boys, the girls should go into the invitational with their mojo working. The Hilltoppers have won two straight games against other Class 4A teams, most recently a 55-33 shellacking of Piedra Vista last Friday.
Gadsden, located in the town of Anthony, could also prove to be a tough first round opponent. The Panthers are 7-3 and have topped several teams from the southern part of the state and El Paso, Texas.
Friday’s games for both the Roswell and Goddard boys and girls will be at set times, regardless of whether those teams win. Roswell’s and Goddard’s boys will play at 7:30 p.m. at home Friday and the Roswell’s and Goddard’s girls will play at 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Goddard Holiday Classic
Ruidoso vs. Roswell, 11 a.m.
Las Vegas Robertson vs. Goddard, 12:30 p.m.
Gadsden vs. Los Alamos, 2:30 p.m.
Oñate vs. Hatch Valley, 4 p.m.
Ruidoso-Roswell loser vs. Gadsden-Los Alamos loser, TBA.
Oñate-Hatch Valley loser vs. Robertson-Goddard loser, TBA.
Ruidoso-Roswell winner vs. Gadsden-Los Alamos winner, TBA.
Oñate-Hatch Valley winner vs. Robertson-Goddard winner, TBA.
Seventh-place game (at Roswell High), 9 a.m.
Fifth-place game (at Roswell High), 10:30 a.m.
Third-place game (at Goddard), 9 a.m.
Championship game (at Goddard), 10:30 a.m.
Poe Corn Invitational
Piedra Vista vs. Grants (at Roswell High), 6 p.m.
Artesia vs. Farmington (at Goddard), 6 p.m.
Los Alamos vs. Roswell (at Roswell High), 7:30 p.m.
Belen vs. Goddard (at Goddard), 7:30 p.m.
Piedra Vista-Grants loser vs. Los Alamos-Roswell loser, TBA.
Artesia-Farmington loser vs. Belen-Goddard loser, TBA.
Piedra Vista-Grants winner vs. Los Alamos-Roswell winner, TBA.
Artesia-Farmington winner vs. Belen-Goddard winner, TBA.
Seventh-place game (site TBD), noon.
Fifth-place game (site TBD), noon.
Third-place game (at Goddard), 1:30 p.m.
Championship game (at Goddard), 3 p.m.