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'Toppers can't capitalize on their late chances Tuesday

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Boys basketball> LA is still looking for first district win

By Mike Cote

ESPAÑOLA — With under three minutes remaining, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team had a chance to pull off the upset of the season so far against its arch-rivals.
But a pair of quick turnovers that translated into buckets and some missed chances on the offensive end would cost the Hilltoppers that opportunity.
Los Alamos led 39-36, but Española Valley’s Jared Garduño forced a turnover under the Sundevils’ basket, then was the beneficiary of another turnover forced by his teammates to give his team the lead.
Garduño also dropped in 6 of 6 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter as the Sundevils came from behind to win 47-43 at Edward Medina Gymnasium.
It was a disappointing loss, not just for the fact Los Alamos (1-19 overall, 0-3 in 2-4A) had a shot to upend Española Valley, but how it lost.
The Hilltoppers couldn’t covert a pair of open looks under the basket in the final four minutes of the game, then misfired on a pair of free throws that very likely would’ve made a difference late.
And, with just over 10 seconds left and the Sundevils up by two, the Hilltoppers failed to inbound the ball on the Española Valley’s baseline, getting tagged instead with a 5-second violation that all but ended their upset bid.


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