• Game of the week, Nov. 22-29

    The Los Alamos girls’ basketball team will begin its season with a tough test on Tuesday. The Hilltoppers will start its new year by hosting St. Michael’s. Varsity will tip off at 7 p.m. in Griffith Gymnasium.
    The Los Alamos boys’ basketball team will also begin its season Tuesday. The boys will begin their season at Valencia.

    This week's games:

    Girls’ Basketball: St. Michael’s at Los Alamos, varsity, 7 p.m.; junior varsity, 5:30 p.m.; C-team 4 p.m.

    Boys’ Basketball: Los Alamos at Valencia, varsity, 7 p.m.; junior varsity, 5:30 p.m.; C-team 4 p.m.

    Girls’ Basketball: Taos at Los Alamos, middle school, 3:30 and 4:30 p.m.

    Girls’ Basketball: Los Alamos at Pojoaque, varsity, 5 p.m.; junior varsity, 3:30 p.m.; C-team 2 p.m.

  • Hockey team .500 after two weeks

    After two weeks of games, the Los Alamos Hilltoppers’ hockey team is sitting right at .500 with a 1-1-1 record.
    Los Alamos lost a close game in its opener, 5-4, against La Cueva on Nov. 7.
    Last weekend, the Hilltoppers traveled to Odessa, Texas and took on Permian Basin (2-4-1) twice.
    The teams tied the first game Saturday, 5-5, but Los Alamos came back strong Sunday and scored a 6-3 victory to get in the win column.
    Carson Schramm has been Los Alamos’ most-potent offensive weapon so far this season. Schramm has scored seven goals and assisted two more for the Hilltoppers.
    Cory Schramm, meanwhile, has scored twice and assisted three goals.
    Sam Fisher is playing in goal for Los Alamos this year.
    He’s averaged 32 saves a game so far, giving him the third best save percentage in the league — .865.
    Now that the Hilltoppers have ice, it will play its home opener Sunday against La Cueva (1-2-0). The game will start at 9:30 a.m.
    Los Alamos also has a game Saturday.
    The Hilltoppers will travel to Santa Fe and take on the 0-2-0 Blue Jackets beginning at 6:30 p.m.

  • Montaño named district volleyball player of the year

    Several Los Alamos volleyball players won awards from District 2-5A recently, and Brianna Montaño received the district’s biggest honor. Montaño was named the district player of the year.
    Montaño was a weapon on both offense and defense for Los Alamos this year.
    She led the team by killing 46.3 percent of her opportunities, giving her 291 kills on the season. She also served 41 aces, dug 207 shots and received 218 serves. The senior will continue playing volleyball next year at New Mexico Highlands University.
    The ’Toppers also had four players earn first-team honors. Sierra Foley, Samantha Melton and Ashlynn Trujillo joined Montaño on the first team.
    Halie Street and Noelle Gallegos received second-team all-district honors while Elizabeth Anaya received an honorable mention.
    Los Alamos head coach Sharleen Espinoza was also selected as the district’s coach of the year.
    Foley led the team with 313 kills and also served 38 aces.
    Melton set up the vast majority of the team’s attacks; she finished with 673 of the team’s 794 assists.
    Melton also led the team with 59 aces and had 239 digs, as well.
    Trujillo, the team’s libero, led Los Alamos in both digs (374) and serves received (385).

  • Boys ready to compete on the court this year

    Last year, Los Alamos’ boys basketball team had three freshman who started for the team.
    “We competed well last year, but we couldn’t get over the hump,” Los Alamos head boys’ coach Mike Kluk said.
    Los Alamos will be young again this year, but it won’t be quite as young.
    Those freshmen are now sophomores. The bulk of the team is actually sophomores.
    “We’re still fairly young,” Kluk said.
    A season on the court last year and a busy offseason, however, has the team ready to compete.
    “We had a pretty good offseason so I think we’ll be much more competitive,” Kluk said. “I think we’ll put a good product on the floor. Hopefully people will come watch and support them.”
    Sophomores Antonio Trujillo, Jack Stewart, Michael Naranjo, Ivan Balakirev and Troy Hammock return with some varsity experience. The team also has two seniors on its roster, the same number it had last year — Isaiah Espinosa and Nick Koskelo.
    Before its first game Tuesday, the team will have to pick its captains.
    “We need to find out were that leadership is going to come from,” Kluk said.
    What the team lacks in age, it makes up for in height.
    The team has more 6-footers than 5-footers.

  • LA girls basketball ready to reap some rewards

    The winter sports season is just getting underway, but Los Alamos’ girls basketball team has been preparing for months and months.
    “Last April until now, we’ve been at it,” Los Alamos head coach Nestor Trujillo said. “You can’t cheat the grind.”
    The team played about an entire season’s worth of games in over the summer, competing at multiple camps and also the Las Vegas Fab-48, arguably the biggest open college-recruiting tournament. Los Alamos reached the semifinals in their bracket there.
    At the UNM camp, Los Alamos competed in the open division, playing teams like New Mexico Highlands’ alumni.
    “Our goal was to push ourselves, not to go 7-1 against mediocre teams,” coach Trujillo said. “I’m proud of the work ethic. The varsity girls have really shown that commitment to getting better.”
    It wasn’t only the team’s high school players working hard this summer. Coach Trujillo had seventh and eighth graders competing as well. “We have to grow this program from the bottom up,” he said.
    The summer work was something Trujillo wasn’t able to do before his first season at the helm last year since he was hired late, but it should pay dividends this year.

  • Tumblers begin season

    The Los Alamos Atomic Tumblers opened their season Nov. 7 with a meet in Santa Fe. The team had five first-place finishers and swept the awards in several divisions.
    The team’s high scorer of the day was Chantel Biebeault. Biebeault scored a 37.60 to win the silver junior division. Biebeault won the vault (9.30), bars (9.50), beam (9.50) and floor (9.30) to win the overall title. Anika Lovato finished second in the same division with a 35.50 and Deeanna Foster placed third with 34.085.
    In the silver children’s division, Danielle Trellue took first with 35.55, Colette Biebeault placed second with 34.95 and Alexandra Simakov took third with 31.70.
    In the silver senior division, Cyra Bishop placed first with a 34.50, Sarah Hutchens took second with 34.20 and Sara Gardner took third with 34.00.
    In the gold competition, Kayli Lincoln finished first with 35.10, Faith Koh took second with 34.95 and Addie Richie finnished third with 34.85. Lincoln won the vault (8.90), beam (8.70) and floor (9.00) while Koh took first on on the bars (8.90).
    In the platinum division, Emily Cox took first with 36.80, Anna Clark was a very close second with 36.75 and Brianna Fryer took third with 34.20. Cox won the beam with a 9.40 while Clark finished first on the vault (9.30), bars (9.20) and floor (9.30).

  • ’Topper athletes commit to colleges

    In the last week, five athletes from Los Alamos committed to colleges to play sports next year.
    On Tuesday, four of those athletes signed letters of intent at the high school during a ceremony. Sarah Lott signed with the University of Utah to swim for the Utes. Lane Saunders signed with Eastern New Mexico University to play baseball for the Greyhounds. Ashlynn Trujillo signed with New Mexico Highlands University to play basketball. Brianna Montaño also signed with Highlands. Montaño will play volleyball for the Cowgirls.
    Connor Mang, meanwhile, committed to the University of New Mexico’s baseball team last week.
    Lott had several offers from Division I schools, including New Mexico, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Tennessee and others, but decided to compete in the PAC-12 against many of the sports’ powerhouse teams. She got athletic and academic scholarships to the school.
    “Going out there, I loved the school and everyone I got to meet,” Lott said.
    Lott’s main strokes are the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle. She won state two years ago in the 100 free with a time of 52.07 seconds.

  • Hilltoppers ousted by defending champs

    The Los Alamos volleyball team’s season came to an end Friday in the Class 5A state quarterfinals.
    The Hilltoppers traded blows with the defending state champs, Centennial, but the Hawks were able score late to close out the first two games and then finished the ’Toppers off in the third set.
    Centennial won the match 25-22, 25-23 and 25-15.
    “The first two games we played well together and were really gunning for it,” Sierra Foley said.
    “In the first and second games, they were scared,” Samantha Melton said. “That was a good feeling.”
    In the first game, Los Alamos took an early lead and played with confidence the rest of the way.
    Noelle Gallegos scored the first point of the game with a dink on the line and Melton followed up with an ace. Centennial fought back and took a 4-2 lead, but three straight Foley kills put Los Alamos back in front.
    “At this level, you have to score out first,” Los Alamos head coach Sharleen Espinoza said. “When you score to start a set, it catches the other team on its heels a little.”
    The teams kept trading leads and the first game was tied 10 different times.

  • Los Alamos soccer players honored by District 2-5A

    District 2-5A recently honored Los Alamos girls and boys soccer players for their performances during the teams’ successful seasons.
    Los Alamos’ Ralph Archbold, Eric Burnside, Kayla Parker and Sienna Ahlers were all named district players of the year.
    Archbold and Parker led the teams’ defenses and were both big keys to their respective club’s success.
    Capital’s Victor Lazoya was named the boys’ district offensive player of the year. Lazoya led Class 5A with 84 points, scoring 34 goals and assisting 16 for the Jaguars.
    After scoring two goals against St. Pius X to help Los Alamos reach the state semifinals, Burnside was added to the player of the year list. He was the team’s leader in goals and assists.
    Ahlers led the district in scoring and was one of the state’s top scorers, as well. She finished the season with 23 goals and 12 assists.
    Los Alamos also had six boys and six girls make the district’s first team.
    The boys’ first team honorees were Archbold, Burnside, goalie Seth Hailey, midfielders Alex Csanadi and George Steinkamp and forward Levon Wiggins.
    Capital had four first-team players, Bernalillo had two and Del Norte had one.

  • LA volleyball advances to state quarterfinals

    RIO RANCHO — Los Alamos head coach Sharleen Espinoza described the state volleyball tournament as “a mental game.”
    “The competition is up there,” Espinoza said. “You have to expect to play hard and have tough games. It comes down to who’s the tougher team.”
    After finishing second in its pool, Los Alamos was able to refocus and advance in state tournament.
    In its first-round game, Los Alamos spiked Santa Teresa in three sets to advance to the Class 5A state quarterfinals. Los Alamos beat the Desert Warriors, 25-23, 25-15 and 25-14.
    The No. 5 seeded ’Toppers will now play No. 3 Centennial at 9:45 a.m. today.
    Centennial took first in Pool C with No. 6 Piedra Vista and No. 10 Artesia to make the quarterfinals.
    Los Alamos started the tournament with a tough draw in its pool-play matches. The ‘Toppers beat No. 9 Moriarty, 25-14 and 25-20, but fell to No. 4 Los Lunas, 25-15 and 25-23, to finish second in Pool D.
    Los Alamos beat Moriarty earlier in the season and carried that confidence into Thursday’s match.
    “I think we carried the momentum the majority of the game,” Espinoza said. “That’s easy to do with a team you’ve beaten.”