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Prep boys basketball: ’Toppers go 1-2 in Belen

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Los Alamos shows improvement in tough Hub City Tournament

Last weekend’s Hub City Tournament in Belen provided a real glimpse of an improved Los Alamos boys basketball team.
After dropping a 40-29 decision against Centennial in the first round, the Hilltoppers closed out the tournament with a three-point loss to Class 6A’s Valley and a 63-52 win against El Paso High (Texas).
Valley was ranked No. 10 in the ProView Networks Class 6A rankings going into the weekend and defeated Centennial a week prior. A one-possession loss to the Vikings can be tailored as a positive for a Los Alamos team that only won 10 games last season.
Closing out the Belen-hosted tournament with a win was key as Los Alamos improved to 4-2 on the season after the win.
Timely Trujillo return: Los Alamos’ expected starting point guard made his season debut during the tournament’s opening round after missing the first three games due to a thumb injury. Antonio Trujillo adds needed depth for the Hilltoppers, who are approaching a tough three-week stretch where they’ll face Belen (the Hub City Tournament champion) twice and host St. Pius and Eldorado and will partake in the Poe Corn Tournament in Roswell.
Best start since Kirk: The last time Los Alamos got off to this strong of a start, Alex Kirk was leading the Hilltoppers to a state semifinal appearance in the 2009-10 season. That season was also Los Alamos’ most recent participation in the state tournament.
District 2-5A still strong: Despite losing one of last year’s state quarterfinals teams, District 2-5A still remains as one of the top districts in Class 5A. Defending Class 5A champion Española Valley got off to a 5-0 start, while defending runner-up Capital is 9-0 and won the Bobby Rodriguez Capital-City Tournament last weekend. Del Norte is 4-3 and Albuquerque Academy is 2-5.
The elevated play from Los Alamos will help the competitiveness of the district.
Up next: The Hilltoppers will host St. Pius at 7 p.m. Thursday at Griffith Gym. The Sartans lost by one point against Española Valley on Friday.