Toppers are at Griffith this weekend

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Basketball: LA’s teams opened their seasons with losses on the road

Both the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls and boys basketball teams will have their home openers this weekend.
Los Alamos’ girls will host the Pojoaque Elks tonight at 7 p.m. The Hilltopper boys, after tonight’s trip to Sandia Prep, will face the Piedra Vista Panthers Saturday at 5 p.m.
Both Hilltopper teams will be looking tonight to bounce back from season-opening road losses. Los Alamos’ boys fell to the Kirtland Central Broncos 48-25 Nov. 20, while Los Alamos’ girls dropped a 52-46 decision at St. Michael’s Tuesday.
In Tuesday’s contest the Hilltopper girls led for all of the first three quarters. However, the Hilltoppers’ offense, which was very efficient in the in the first half — 11-for-19 from the field — struggled in the third quarter, tallying only six points.
Los Alamos got into foul trouble in the second half which hampered its play on both ends of the court and the Horsemen took advantage.
Tonight, Los Alamos (0-1) will likely have to deal with heavy full-court pressure from Pojoaque (1-1), which is coached by wily veteran Ron Drake, who steered Española Valley to four straight District 2-4A titles before taking over Pojoaque’s program this year.
For the Hiltopper boys, they will face one of the tougher teams in Class 3A, Sandia Prep. The Sundevils (0-1) didn’t get their season off to an auspicious start, however, losing to Class 4A Atrisco Heritage 72-51 in Albuquerque Tuesday night.
To compete this season, Los Alamos (0-1) will need to find better offensive balance than it had in its opener. Los Alamos was held to just 1 point in the fourth quarter against Kirtland Central and Hilltoppers Franklin Archuleta and Simon Heath accounted for 19 of the team’s 25 points. Only two other Hilltoppers scored on the night.
Saturday, the Hilltoppers will have their second game of the season against a Class 4A opponent, Piedra Vista. Piedra Vista plays San Juan (Blanding, Utah) tonight before Saturday’s 5 p.m. tip-off at Griffith Gymnasium.
Piedra Vista (1-0) blasted Navajo Prep 81-35 Tuesday to open the season.
NOTE: Tonight’s girls basketball game will be broadcast on KRSN AM 1490. Gene Mortensen, the “Voice of the Hilltoppers,” will be on the call live from Griffith Gymnasium.