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Ralph Allen
LAHS head coach Mike Kluk talks to his team during a timeout. With a 62-53 loss to Albuquerque Academy in the district tournament, the season has ended for the Hilltoppers.
LAHS falls in first round of district tourney

A season that began with so much promise for the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team ended suddenly this week, as the Hilltoppers fell to Albuquerque Academy 62-53 in the first round of the District 2-5A tournament.

Much like most of the team’s district games, this contest will be remembered for LAHS’ inability to finish.

This became a theme during the Hilltoppers’ season-ending 11-game losing streak, specifically in close losses against Academy, Capital and Del Norte.

And much like those games, LAHS started strong in the district tournament. In the first quarter, the Hilltoppers connected on nine shots, including three 3-pointers. Two came from Ramon Roybal and the other came from Antonio Trujillo.

While LAHS shot well from the field in the opening quarter, Academy shot well from the free-throw line, going 6-8, as the Chargers’ strategy was to get the ball inside as often as possible in an attempt to get the Hilltoppers’ forwards into foul trouble.

LAHS only had three true inside presences active for the game, Ivan Balakirev, Michael Naranjo and Gabe Holesinger, making it difficult for any of them to play aggressively.

Thanks to the strong outside shooting, the Hilltoppers led 21-17 after the first quarter.

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