Tigers, Trojans will take on Hilltoppers at tourney

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By Mike Cote

Both the Los Alamos Hilltopper basketball teams will compete in one of the toughest tournaments of the regular season starting Thursday.

The Joe Armijo Invitational, hosted by Albuquerque Academy, gets going Thursday morning. The bracketed tournament includes some of the top boys and girls teams from the Albuquerque area.

In the opening round, both Hilltopper teams could be tested. The Hilltopper girls will take on Los Lunas at 1:15 p.m. while boys will play the Las Cruces Mayfield Trojans at 4:45 p.m.

Mayfield (3-4) is something of an unknown quantity at this point. Of their seven games played on the season, the Trojans have faced just one from New Mexico, Chaparral. The other six have been from the El Paso, Texas, area.

The Trojans qualified for the Class 5A tournament last year with a 16-14 record but were bounced out in the first round by Eldorado.

Neither Mayfield nor Los Alamos have been exactly blowing up any scoreboards this year. Los Alamos is averaging just 37 points scored per game while Mayfield has managed 43.6 points per contest.

Los Alamos' girls down low will have a tough test Thursday as well. Los Lunas' Teige Zeller, who led the Grants Pirates to grabbing the No. 1 seed in last year's Class 4A playoffs, transferred to Los Lunas in the offseason.

Zeller, a 6-2 center, is among the most feared players in the state, and her presence at Los Lunas immediately makes the Tigers a legitimate Class 4A contender.

Among the marquee matchups this year are Hope Christian and Cibola on the boys side and Española Valley vs. Volcano Vista on the girls side in Thursday's first round.




(all games in East Gym)


Thursday's first round


Volcano Vista vs. Bernalillo, 8 a.m.

Hope Christian vs. Cibola, 9:45 a.m.

Albuquerque Academy vs. Rio Rancho, 3 p.m.

Los Alamos vs. Mayfield, 4:45 p.m.


Friday's second round


Volcano Vista-Bernalillo loser vs. Hope Christian-Cibola loser, 11:30 a.m.

Academy-Rio Rancho loser vs. Los Alamos-Mayfield loser, 1:15 p.m.

Volcano Vista-Bernalillo winner vs. Hope Christian-Cibola winner, 8:15 p.m.

Academy-Rio Rancho winner vs. Los Alamos-Mayfield winner, 6:30 p.m.




Seventh-place game, 8 a.m.

Fifth-place game, 11:30 a.m.

Third-place game, 3 p.m.

Championship game, 8:15 p.m.




(all games in East Gym)


Thursday's first round


Cibola vs. Hope Christian, 11:30 a.m.

Los Alamos vs. Los Lunas, 1:15 p.m.

Academy vs. Oñate, 6:30 p.m.

Española Valley vs. Volcano Vista, 8:15 p.m.


Friday's second round


Cibola-Hope Christian loser vs. Los Alamos-Los Lunas loser, 8 a.m.

Academy-Oñate loser vs. Española Valley-Volcano Vista loser, 9:45 a.m.

Cibola-Hope Christian winner vs. Los Alamos-Los Lunas winner, 3 p.m.

Academy-Oñate winner vs. Española Valley-Volcano Vista winner, 4:45 p.m.




Seventh-place game, 9:45 a.m.

Fifth-place game, 1:15 p.m.

Third-place game, 4:45 p.m.

Championship game, 6:30 p.m.