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  • Prep basketball: LA upset bid falls short at Farmington

    For a half, it appeared like the Los Alamos boys basketball team was on its way to pulling off the biggest upset in the Class 5A state tournament.

    But the upset bid fell short after No. 3 Farmington outscored the 14-seeded Hilltoppers 35-15 in the second half en route to 53-40 win in the first round Saturday night in Farmington.

    "They (Farmington) picked up their game," Los Alamos coach Mike Kluk said. "They got on a roll and we got into trying to catch up with 3s. We quit attacking and that hurt us."

    The Scorpions advanced to the quarterfinals, where they'll face No. 6 Los Lunas Wednesday at the Pit in Albuquerque. Los Alamos' season ends at 13-15 overall after falling to Farmington for the second time this season.

    Nick Granger led the Scorpions with a game-high 17 points, while Sol Rascon finished with 14.

    The backcourt duo of junior guards Ramon Roybal and Antonio Trujillo paced Los Alamos with 12 points apiece. All of Roybal's points came from 3-point range, while Trujillo knocked down two triples. Junior guard Jack Stewart added 11 for Los Alamos.

    "We definitely could've done better," Stewart said. "We collapsed as a team. That comes with the maturity. I think next year we'll comeback even stronger."

  • ’Toppers track begins 2017 season at Chile Quad

    The pursuit to regain dominance in Class 5A begins Saturday for the Los Alamos girls track and field team.
    The Hilltoppers look to build on 2016’s success by starting off strong in 2017 at the Chile Quad, which is Los Alamos’ season opener and is hosted by Albuquerque Academy.
    Los Alamos will compete against Academy, Sandia Prep and St. Pius.
    Relay teams are expected to lead the Hilltoppers, who have six runners returning from first-place finishers at state. Three runners from the 1,600 sprint medley are returning and three are also coming back from the 4x100 relay team.
    Los Alamos returns last year’s triple jump second-place finisher Elizabeth Lockhart.
    In distance events, the Hilltoppers will look to Zoe Hemez and Paulina Burnside to garner points against Academy’s loaded distance runners.
    Los Alamos has dominated the Chile Quad the past two seasons and is looking to win its third straight season-opening meet.
    Youth will lead the Los Alamos boys track and field team in 2017.
    And that youthful team will have its hands full in the season-opening Chile Quad Saturday at Albuquerque Academy.
    The Hilltoppers are matched against St. Pius, Sandia Prep and two-time defending state champion Academy. The Chargers have dominated this meet for the past two seasons.

  • LA softball opens season at St. Pius

    The Los Alamos softball team will begin its 2017 campaign Saturday.
    The Hilltoppers will face St. Pius in a doubleheader at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Albuquerque.
    Los Alamos will have to replace 10 players from last year’s team by relying on upperclassmen that garnered varsity experience in the past two seasons. Among those returners are standout juniors Jordan Jaramillo and Jayde Tucker.
    Seniors Taylor Collins and Mariah Mauro will also provide experience for a Hilltoppers team that’s sporting four freshmen on its 2017 roster.
    Getting off to strong start is key for Los Alamos, which started last year’s season losing four of its first five games.
    The Sartans return the majority of its 2016 squad that struggled and went 6-20.
    Los Alamos will look to win its third straight game against St. Pius.

    Season overview

    If the Hilltoppers can have success in the openers against St. Pius, it can give them some momentum going into a tumultuous schedule.
    After competing in a three-day tournament from March 9-11, Los Alamos will have three consecutive road games, at Pojoaque Valley, and at Belen (doubleheader), before competing in the three-day Kristen Griego Invitational in Rio Rancho.

  • Prep basketball: ’Toppers visit Farmington in state tourney 1st round

    Los Alamos boys basketball coach Mike Kluk said there was a sense of relief when Farmington popped up as the No. 3 seed for the Class 5A state tournament.
    The 14-seeded Hilltoppers will travel to face No. 3 Farmington in the first round at 6 p.m. Saturday in Farmington.
    “I don’t think we’ll have any surprises from Farmington,” Kluk said. “They are who they are. And we are who we are. We’ll just have to see how it goes.”
    There wasn’t any surprise when Los Alamos received the 14 seed, but the sense of relief came after the Hilltoppers knew that they weren’t going to face District 2-5A foes No. 4 Española Valley and No. 2 Capital in the first round.
    With the exception of its first game against the Sundevils, Los Alamos struggled to deal with the speedy and much more explosive teams that topped District 2-5A. Farmington doesn’t have the same type of speed that hurt Los Alamos during district play.
    “(Farmington) is a completely different team from an Española or a Capital,” Kluk said. “We match against them better. The smaller quicker and aggressive teams have a tendency to give us fits. I don’t think Farmington is that much quicker than us.”

  • Prep baseball: LA falls to Las Cruces in St. Pius tourney

    The Los Alamos boys baseball team dropped its opening round game of the St. Pius tournament.

    The Hilltoppers fell to Las Cruces High 8-0 in five innings Thursday in Albuquerque.

    The Bulldawgs opened the scoring with three runs in the first inning and one in the second and 2 in the third. They sealed the shutout victory by tallying two more runs in the fifth.

    It was the first time Los Alamos had been shutout since March 24, 2016.

    Los Alamos continues play in the tournament Friday and Saturday.

  • LA tennis claims State Wide Invite

    The Los Alamos boys and girls tennis teams dominated their way to a first place finish last weekend.
    The Hilltopper boys and girls claimed the State Wide Invitational Friday and Saturday in Albuquerque.
    The Los Alamos boys outpaced Carlsbad for the top spot. In singles play, George Margevicius defated Hope Christian and Piedra Vista’s top singles but lost to Carlsbad’s Adam Overstreet.
    Andrew Tang won two singles matches, while Thomas Chadwick swept the No. 3 singles bracket. JD Downing, Junseo Kim, Tim Martin and Donald Poston also helped Los Alamos by winning their respective brackets.
    In doubles play, top doubles team of Tang and Margevicius, who swept top doubles bracket, led the Hilltoppers.
    On the girls side, the Hilltoppers outmatched the defending Class 5A state champions Albuquerque Academy and runners up Farmington.
    Sidra Hseih-Ratliff went unbeaten in the top singles bracket, while Katya Skurikhin claimed two wins.
    Lauryn Anaya, Maia Menefee, Kayla Parker, Ann Sherrill, Serena Birnbaum, Rachelle Stokes, Alina Bulthuis and Mackenzie Cook all added singles wins for Los Alamos.
    In doubles, Sherrill and Hseih-Ratliff won two matches, while Skurikhin and Anaya won three.
    Los Alamos will partake in the Chapin tournament Friday in El Paso, Texas.

  • Prep baseball: Toppers split season-opening series

    The Los Alamos baseball team will look to get plenty of pitchers on the mound in 2017.
    The Hilltoppers (1-1) used seven pitchers in their season-opening doubleheader against Sandia Prep Saturday in Albuquerque. In the first game, Los Alamos sent four different pitchers on the mound as it dropped a 4-2 decision. In the second game, the Hilltoppers used three pitchers to claim a 21-7 win and earn a series split against the Sundevils.
    “We want to have at least nine pitchers with double digit innings before the district season,” Los Alamos coach Bryan Neal said. “In order to do that, we’re going to rotate guys in and get everyone developed.”  
    Antonio Gonzales got the start in the opener and pitched 2 1/2 scoreless innings. Jake Rutten replaced Gonzales in the third inning and his back-to-back balks put Sandia Prep’s Zech Vick on third base. Rutten threw a wild pitch that sent Vick to home and gave the Sundevils a 1-0 lead.
    The Hilltoppers responded in the following inning when Travis Gonzales’ 2-RBI triple scored Nick Quartieri from second and Cottrell Fox from first to give Los Alamos a 2-1 lead.

  • Prep boys basketball: LA gets No. 14 seed for state tourney

    The Los Alamos boys basketball team received the No. 14 seed for the Class 5A state tournament.

    The Hilltoppers (13-14 overall) will be at No. 3 Farmington in the first round. It'll be Los Alamos' first trip to the state tournament since 2012. 

    The date and time of the first round matchup is yet to be determined. 

  • ‘Topper baseball set for season opener at Sandia Prep

    The Los Alamos baseball team begins its 2017 campaign with a tough doubleheader.
    The Hilltoppers will visit Sandia Prep Saturday and will play the Sundevils at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in Albuquerque.
    The defending Class 4A state champion Sundevils are coming off a 27-4 season, where they won their second consecutive state title. However, Sandia Prep started the 2017 season with a 12-3 loss against St. Pius Tuesday.  
    Los Alamos lost a lot of talent from its 2016 squad but does have a young rotation of players, combined with eight returners from last year. The Hilltoppers are coming off a 20-9 season and a state quarterfinals appearance.
    James Neal is expected to fill a void in the infield, while Travis Gonzales and Jake Rutton will look to replace last year’s electric starting pitching duo of Connor Mang and Lane Saunders.
    Los Alamos’ top returners will look to guide the team through a challenging schedule that includes participating in two tough regular season tournaments.
    After the season-opening doubleheader, the Hilltoppers will open the St. Pius tournament  March 2 with a matchup against Class 6A contender Las Cruces High. Los Alamos will also play in the tournament the following two days.

  • Prep boys basketball: LA should make state tourney

    The Los Alamos boys basketball team hasn’t been to the state tournament since 2012.
    That should change Sunday when the New Mexico Activities Association announces its 16-team field for the Class 5A state tournament.
    Los Alamos currently stands at 13-14 overall, finished in fourth place in District 2-5A and was ousted by Del Norte in the second round of the district tournament. Not only should the 13 wins be enough to get the Hilltoppers in, but their win at Belen and against Española Valley will standout to the selection committee.
    Playing in Class 5A’s second toughest district will also enhance Los Alamos’ chances of ending its state tournament drought. The Hilltoppers also got a bit of a boost when Taos had to forfeit eight of its nine wins due to playing an ineligible player. One of those forfeited wins was the Tigers’ triumph over Los Alamos on Jan. 10.   
    The Hilltoppers will likely be on the road for the first round, as the top eight seeds will host first round games. Los Alamos is likely to get a 14, 15 or 16 seed and get matched-up with one of the top three seeds.

    Who will LA see in the first round?