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Toppers advance to 2-4A semifinal

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Boys basketball: Sanders, LA team defense come up big Tuesday night

By Mike Cote

Less than a month ago, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team was sitting at 1-3 in the District 2-4A standings, languishing near the basement.
But the Hilltoppers pulled things together late in the season and won some big games when they needed to.
Now, the Hilltoppers are headed to the district semifinal contest.
Tuesday night, in front of a hostile crowd at Griffith Gymnasium, the Hilltoppers earned another key victory and took a huge step to gaining a bid into the Class 4A tournament.
Los Alamos withstood a late push by the Española Valley Sundevils, who moved to within two points with three minutes remaining, to win Tuesday’s District 2-4A quarterfinal contest 42-37.
Forward Bobby Sanders had one of the biggest performances of his prep career, while Nick Baker buried a big 3-pointer to quell the Sundevils’ late rally.
With Los Alamos clinging to a 2-point lead with 2:14 left, Baker shook off his defender near the top of the key and connected from long distance to put his team back up by five. Baker’s shot seemed to take the wind out of Española Valley’s sails and all but nailed down Los Alamos’ victory.


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