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For three-plus quarters, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team got a taste of how far it had come in less than a calendar year.
For a good chunk of the fourth quarter, however, it also got a taste of what can happen when it doesn’t execute.
The Hilltoppers opened their 2011-12 season with a victory over the Kirtland Central Broncos Tuesday night at Griffith Gymnasium. The Hilltoppers built up a 21-point lead in the third quarter but the Broncos went on an 18-6 run stretching nearly six minutes late.
Before disaster struck, however, Los Alamos got a big fast break bucket from Nick Baker with 1:38 remaining. Baker would also take a charge on a Kirtland Central move to the basket late to help seal a 62-53 victory.
While the end of the contest got a little hairier than the Hilltoppers were happy with, no one was complaining about starting the season off with a win.
“We’ve come too long of a way not to be successful,” Hilltopper guard Daniel Salazar said. “We’re constantly learning off each other, we’ve got good people coming off the bench. We’ll just keep getting after it.”
The win in Tuesday’s game was the first at Los Alamos for new head coach Fil Dominguez.
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