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The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team held a 4-point edge late against the Volcano Vista Hawks, but struggled in the final three minutes of Tuesday night’s contest.
The Hilltoppers dropped the road contest to the Class 5A Hawks, 46-42.
While the loss was disappointing, worse still for the Hilltoppers was a late injury suffered by Thomas Russell. Russell, one of the team’s premier players, rolled his ankle on a putback attempt in the fourth quarter.
It was the second time Russell had injured the ankle, the first being in the preseason, but he stayed in to the contest long enough to sink two free throws to give Los Alamos a 4-point advantage.
It’s unknown if Russell will have to sit out for any length of time with the injury, although Hiltopper head coach Fil Dominguez said Russell sounded optimistic that his missed time would be minimal.
Unfortunately, the Hilltoppers wouldn’t be able to hold on to the edge. Volcano Vista played pressure defense late that got the Hilltoppers out of rhythm.
“At the end of the game, we only finished with like 11-12 turnovers,” Dominguez said. “For most of the game we did fine handling the pressure, just the last couple of minutes, we just couldn’t get into our offense while being pressed.”
Tuesday’s game marked the return to the roster of senior Bobby Sanders, who sat out until the start of the semester. Sanders had a solid start to his season, finishing with 10 points, second on the team behind Russell’s 12.
Nick Baker finished with seven points along with another good showing on the defensive end.