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The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team came back from a 33-29 deficit Saturday to defeat the Grants Pirates 55-48 at Griffith Gymnasium.
Los Alamos held Grants to only 4 points in the third quarter to reclaim a slim lead which it would never relinquish.
It was a big win for Los Alamos Saturday, coming on the heels of a 44-37 loss to the Piedra Vista Panthers on the road the day before. Los Alamos started at the Goddard Holiday Classic today facing Portales.
With Saturday’s win, the Hilltoppers improved to 5-5 on the season and 4-2 against Class 4A teams.
Hayley Each had one of the biggest games of her career. Each, the Hilltoppers’ 6-foot-1 center, had 25 points, 17 in the first half and 11 of Los Alamos’ 13 points in the first quarter. She also finished with 14 rebounds.
The Hilltoppers had trouble finding support for Each in the first quarter — the only other Los Alamos score came on a breakaway — but Kiana Zerr, coming off the bench, came up big in the second quarter, hitting 8 of 8 from the foul line.
Zerr had 14 points — a last second bucket of hers was waved off at the buzzer — connecting on a pair of field goals in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory.
Grants (6-3), which had a fantastic 2011-12 season, culminating in the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs, lost its best player, Teige Zeller, over the offseason to the Los Lunas Tigers. Grants still has some talent back for this season, but isn’t the same team it was.
For the Pirates, Sydney Mares had 17 points, doing the majority of her damage at the free throw line, where she was 11-for-16.
The Hilltoppers challenged the Pirates’ shots well throughout, but committed numerous silly fouls to put the Pirates at the stripe. The Hilltoppers were whistled for 22 fouls, which equaled 39 foul shot chances by Grants.
Grants actually sent Los Alamos to the line 34 times in the game as well.
Los Alamos finished 16 of 35 from the field, with Each connecting on 9 of 13 chances from the floor.
No other Hilltopper had more than three field goals.