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  • LA sports briefs 12-2-12

    The Los Alamos hockey team will travel to Durango, Colorado to face Durango Area Youth Hockey in a doubleheader on Saturday and Sunday.

    The Hilltoppers are coming off a 2-1 victory against rival Taos on Nov. 18. It will be Los Alamos' second and third games of the season.

    Durango has faced Cibola twice and Amarillo twice so far this season.

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    The Los Alamos wrestling team will begin its 2016-17 season at 4 p.m. tonight by hosting Tierra Encantada at the Los Alamos High School Auxiliary Gym.

    Los Alamos will be looking to win its second consecutive season opener against Tierra Encantada.

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    The Los Alamos swimming and diving teams will compete in the APS Invitational on Saturday at West Mesa High School in Albuquerque.

    Both Hilltopper teams (boys, girls) are coming off a second place finish at the Peter B. Barney Memorial Relays, the opening meet of the season.

    Los Alamos is expected to compete against Albuquerque High, Atrisco Heritage, Cibola, Del Norte, Eldorado, Highland, Manzano, Rio Grande, Sandia, Valley, Volcano Vista, West Mesa, Cleveland, Rio Rancho, Albuquerque Academy and Las Cruces High.

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  • Pajarito set for opening day

    After having to delay its opening day, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area is now ready to begin its Winter Season.
    Pajarito kicks off ski season Saturday with top-to-bottom skiing and snowboarding on the Aspen Lift with access to Bruce’s Boulevard and Lone Spruce. Additional terrain may be available as conditions permit, including beginner terrain.
    “Pajarito picked up eight inches of fresh snow with this latest storm and our snowmaking team has been very productive with our snowmaking efforts recently so we’ll open with top-to-bottom skiing,” said Tom Long, general manager of Pajarito. “Everyone will be ready to kick off Pajarito’s ski season on Saturday.”  
    Pajarito’s Aspen Lift will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Discounted lift tickets are available at Pajarito’s ticket office, lift tickets are $29 for all skiers and snowboarders. Pajarito will temporarily close on Monday to allow its crews to continue making snow with the goal of opening additional terrain. Pajarito will resume mountain operations with lifts turning Dec. 9 through Dec. 11. Pajarito will then be open daily Dec. 16 through Jan. 1 during the holiday season. For additional operating dates beyond Jan. 1, visit skipajarito.com.

  • Prep girls basketball: ’Toppers fall at VV

    The Los Alamos girls basketball team fell to 2-2 on the season by dropping its toughest contest so far this season 45-30 against Volcano Vista on Tuesday in Albuquerque.
    The Hilltoppers began by matching the Hawks intensity and led 6-5 to finish the first quarter. However, Volcano Vista began to pull away in the second quarter, using a 10-1 run midway through the frame. The Hawks eventually led 22-15 at halftime.
    Los Alamos stayed within distance in the quarter and cut the lead to 26-20. But the Hawks answered and finished the quarter with an 11-5 run to lead 35-27 going into the fourth quarter.
    Volcano Vista clamped down on defense in the fourth frame and only allowed five points during the frame.
    The Hawks outscored Los Alamos 8-5 in the final eight minutes.
    The 45 points was the most Los Alamos has allowed this season, while 30 is lowest its scored on offense.
    The Hilltoppers played Belen on Saturday after the Los Alamos Monitor’s print deadline.    

     

  • Prep boys basketball: ‘Toppers run past Pintos

    Finishing strong was something the Los Alamos boys basketball team wanted to do better after its season opener.
    An impressive second-half performance led to the Hilltoppers improving to 2-0 after defeating Moriarty 62-37 on Tuesday at Griffith Gym.
    “We came out moving much better in the second half,” Los Alamos coach Mike Kluk said. “We were able to stretch a 10-point lead midway through the third quarter up to 16 points by the end of the quarter. With Moriarty now having to spread their defense to try to pressure more, we were able to find openings and extended our lead in the fourth.”
    Los Alamos got off to a 10-7 lead in the first quarter and extened its lead to 16-11 with four minutes left in the first half. Moriarty roared back with a 7-4 run to end the second quarter and cut the Los Alamos lead to 20-18 at halftime.
    The Hilltoppers began to pull away in the third quarter by taking a 34-24 lead midway through the frame. Los Alamos scored 10 more points in the quarter to take a 44-28 lead into the final frame. Michael Naranjo was key in the Hilltoppers third quarter success, as the junior forward scored seven points and went 5-for-5 from the free throw line in the quarter.
    The Hilltoppers doubled up Moriarty 18-9 in the final eight minutes to earn their first 2-0 start since the 2009-10 season.

  • Prep girls basketball: ’Toppers outlast Pojoaque Valley

    The Los Alamos girls basketball team gained some needed momentum going into a rough stretch against high-caliber opponents.
    The Hilltoppers (2-1) won their second straight game by defeating Pojoaque Valley 47-43 on Saturday at Griffith Gym. On Tuesday, Los Alamos traveled to face Volcano Vista (after the Los Alamos Monitor’s print deadline). Then, in a span of five days, beginning on Saturday, the Hilltoppers will host Valencia, Santa Fe and Cibola.
    Saturday’s win could give Los Alamos some confidence offensively, as it struggled to hit open shots in its first two games. But the Hilltoppers used its defense to find open transition opportunities and in return scored a season-high 47 points. Defensively, Los Alamos continues to press aggressively and capitalize from its team speed.   
    That team defense showed up early against Pojoaque, as the Hilltoppers didn’t allow a point until the 5:05 mark if the first quarter.

  • Prep girl's basketball: ’Toppers tame St. Mike’s

    The Los Alamos girl’s basketball team improved to 1-1 on the season with a 39-36 win against St. Michael’s on Tuesday in Santa Fe.
    Senior forward Shannon Irwin gave the Hilltoppers a 37-36 lead, after hitting a free throw. Senior Ashley Logan provided the final points for Los Alamos with a pair of clutch free throws. Logan also came up with a big block in the final defensive stand.
    The Hilltoppers continued to use its strength on the defense, as they only allowed four points in the first quarter and two in the final quarter.
    However, the Horsemen outscored Los Alamos 18-8 in the second quarter to take a 22-19 lead at halftime. St. Michael’s continued to apply pressure taking a 34-30 lead into the fourth quarter.
    In the final eight minutes, Los Alamos outscored the Horsemen 9-2.
    Sienna Ahlers led the Hilltoppers with 14 points.  
     

  • Prep boys basketball: LA outlasts Valencia in opener

    Mike Kluk said that not many teams would match up in size with his Los Alamos boys basketball team.
    Tuesday was a good indicator of that, as the Hilltoppers outmuscled a small Valencia team to a 44-37 season-opening win at Griffith Gym.
    “The bigs did a good job passing in the interior,” Kluk said. “We had some first game jitters. But it was a good first game for us against an opponent that we should beat. We got to practice and see a lot of things.”
    After Valencia got off to an 8-0 start and a 14-9 first-quarter lead, Los Alamos dominated the second quarter defensively, not allowing a single point in the frame en route to taking a 21-14 lead at halftime.  
    “We got on a little streak there and got a big enough lead to hold without giving it away,” Kluk said. “The boys did a pretty good job controlling the ball and ran a lot of clock toward the end. We were trying not to force it but at the same time we were still trying to score.”
    The Hilltoppers continued the pressure on defense in the second half, holding the Jaguars scoreless until the 4:34 mark of the third quarter. Michael Naranjo led Los Almaos with seven points in the third quarter. A Cade Gastway bucket with five seconds left gave the Hilltoppers a 33-24 lead going into the final quarter.

  • Pajarito delays opening day

    Another ski hill in northern New Mexico falls victim to the warm-weather bug.

    Pajarito Ski Area announced Wednesday that it will delay its winter season to Dec. 3. The ski area was originally scheduled to conduct its opening day on Saturday.  

    Pajarito joins Sipapu Ski Resort, Taos Ski Valley and Ski Santa Fe on the list of ski areas that have had to postpone its winter season due to record-breaking warm weather during late fall and early winter.

    "Although we’ve had a successful snowmaking push and picked up four feet of snow Monday night, we have made the difficult decision to delay Pajarito’s opening," said Pajarito general manager Tom Long. "We’ve experienced previous seasons that had plenty of early snow and other seasons when winter weather was slow to materialize but it ended up being a fantastic season. With the help of Mother Nature, coupled with our sophisticated snowmaking system, we will be able to provide a great ski season for our guests."

    Snowmaking at Pajarito began Nov. 17 and the ski area had been successful in producing snow but was banking on cooler weather throughout the week to help the process.  

  • LA girl’s hoops falls in opener

    Result-wise, it wasn’t the start the Los Alamos girl’s basketball team wanted.
    But there were some areas of optimism in the Hilltoppers 38-32 season-opening loss to Farmington on Saturday at Griffith Gym.
    Before the season opener, Los Alamos (0-1) first-year coach Josh Archuleta said the strength for this season’s Hilltoppers is team defense. And that was evident in the 38 points allowed. But on offense, Los Alamos appeared to be stale at times and didn’t capitalize on open shots.
    The Hilltoppers perimeter defense was solid, only allowing one Farmington (1-0) triple, which came in the first quarter.  
    Farmington took a 32-25 lead after four quick buckets early in the fourth quarter. The Hilltoppers didn’t score in the final quarter until the 1:25 mark and strung together five more points in the final minute of the game. But the comeback effort was too late, as the Scorpions went up by 13, after starting the quarter on a 14-0 run.
    After a slow opening half, Los Alamos got it going by outscoring the Scorpions 10-3 in the third quarter and taking a 25-24 lead into the final stanza.   
    The Hilltoppers struggled to execute on offense in the second quarter, only scoring six points in the frame, as Farmington took a 21-15 lead into halftime.

  • Rees sends LA hockey past Taos

    Starting the season against a common opponent didn’t faze the Los Alamos hockey team.
    The Hilltoppers began their 2016-17 campaign with a 2-1 win against rival Taos on Friday at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink.
    Los Alamos maintained the North Star trophy, which is won by the winner of each Los Alamos-Taos match up. Friday was the second-straight win for the Hilltoppers against the Ice Tigers.
    Los Alamos made the most out of a five-minute power play with 1:55 left in the final period, as Ben Rees capitalized from a rebound and scored the game-winning goal.   
    The Hilltoppers evened the game three minutes into the second period, after a face off puck leaked to toward the center of the Taos zone and Griffin Matuszak ripped a shot into the net.
    In the beginning of the second period, Los Alamos goalie Zach Brown kept the Ice Tigers from increasing their advantage with four key saves. Brown finished with a stellar 32 saves.  
    Taos opened the scoring when Justin Lucero found himself behind the Los Alamos defense and converted the breakaway goal with 3:05 left in the first period.