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  • Prep girls basketball: ‘Toppers snap losing skid

    The Los Alamos girls basketball team ended its eight-game losing skid.
    The Hilltoppers blew out Monument Valley (Utah) 60-35 on Thursday in the first round of the Lady Tiger Rumble in Aztec.
    It was Los Alamos’ first win since Dec. 1, 2016. The 60 points were the most the Hilltoppers have scored in a game this season.
    Los Alamos faced host Aztec on Friday in the second round after the Los Alamos Monitor’s Sunday print deadline. The Hilltoppers closed out the tournament on Saturday.
    In other first round matchups, Aztec defeated Crownpoint 61-14, Durango (Colorado) downed Navajo Prep 40-31 and Piedra Vista defeated Montrose (Colorado) 44-34.

  • Prep boys basketball: LA gets past Pojoaque, 56-50

    They needed this one.
    For momentum and confidence going forward, the Los Alamos boys basketball team’s 56-50 win at Pojoaque Valley on Tuesday can go a long way.
    The Hilltoppers improved to 6-6 overall, while the Elks fell to 5-5 on the season.
    “We really knew that we had to win this one,” Los Alamos coach Mike Kluk said after the game in an interview with KRSN. “We have to start building a resume and losing to a 4A squad, even as good as Pojoaque is, would’ve not helped our resume.”   
    Antonio Trujillo’s triple with 3:10 left in the game gave Los Alamos a 48-39 lead, the biggest of the night, but the Elks countered. Pojoaque went on a four-point run to cut the lead to 48-43.
    A Trujillo layup and a Jack Stewart free throw extended Los Alamos’ lead to 51-43 with 1:30 left to play, as the Hilltoppers were able to fend off a late Pojoaque rally and claim their first win against the Elks since the 2011-12 season.
    After a highly contested first half that ended 24-21 in favor of Los Alamos, the Hilltoppers engineered a 13-point third quarter. Trujillo gave Los Alamos a 28-21 lead with 5:50 left in the third quarter and Michael Naranjo extended the Hilltoppers lead to 30-21.

  • Prep boys hoops: Toppers go 1-2 in Poe Corn tourney

    The Los Alamos boys basketball team got a good indication of how it matched up against other Class 5A teams.
    The Hilltoppers finished the Poe Corn Tournament in Roswell with one win and two tough losses.
    Los Alamos opened the tournament on Dec. 28 with a 44-33 loss against Belen. On Thursday, the Hilltoppers regrouped and downed Bloomfield 55-44 to setup a fifth-place game against Farmington on Friday. Los Alamos was unable to end the tournament on a high note, dropping a 55-39 decision against the Scorpions.
    Against Belen, the Hilltoppers were playing its best defensive game of the season, only allowing 22 points through the first three quartersl and didn’t allow a point in the third quarter.  With scored tied 22-22 heading into the fourth quarter, the Eagles pulled away and outscored Los Alamos 22-11 in the final eight minutes.
    The 55 points Los Alamos scored against Bloomfield was the most since the Hilltoppers scored 63 points in a win against El Paso High (Texas) on Dec. 10. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for Los Alamos.
    The loss to Farmington assured that Los Alamos would finish 1-2 in a regular season tournament, like it did in the Hub City Tournament in Belen in the second weekend of December.

  • Prep boys hoops: LA opens Poe Corn tourney tonight

    The Los Alamos boys basketball team will get another opportunity to make a name for itself in Class 5A.
    The Hilltoppers open the Poe Corn Invitational against Belen at 6 p.m. tonight in Roswell.
    “That’s a good 5A tournament,” Los Alamos coach Mike Kluk said. “If we can come out of there with a couple of wins, that’ll help our confidence. It’s a big tournament for us. We can gain some respect or we can lose some respect.”
    Los Alamos (4-4) is riding a two-game losing streak, while Belen is 8-1 and has won its last five. Tonight’s matchup will be one of the Hilltoppers toughest tasks this season, as the Eagles have impressive wins against Alamogordo and Roswell and won its hosted Hub City Tournament. Los Alamos also participated in the Hub City Tournament and placed in seventh.
    Belen’s quick start has placed the Eagles on the list of Class 5A contenders, while Los Alamos got off to a 3-0 start but a couple of setbacks against St. Pius and Eldorado have ensured that the Hilltoppers need a good showing in Roswell to be considered a legitimate contender.
    Los Alamos and Belen have played each other the last seven seasons with the Eagles holding a 4-3 edge during that span.

  • LA hockey sweeps Odessa

    After dropping a tough 6-4 decision on Friday against NM Ice U-16, the Los Alamos hockey team came back with a 12-0 victory on Saturday and a 7-2 win on Sunday against Odessa. The Hilltoppers are back in action on Jan. 4, when they’ll host Santa Fe at 5:30 p.m. at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink.  JOHN MCHALE/Monitor

  • Prep girls basketball: Bulldogs edge Toppers

    The Los Alamos girls basketball team fell to 3-10 on the season after dropping a tightly contested game to Artesia 45-44 on Saturday at Griffith Gym.
    The Hilltoppers trailed by 10 entering the final quarter. An Ashley Antencio foul-and-bucket cut the Artesia lead to 43-37 with 3:35 left in regulation. A pair of Isabell Larribas free throws inched the Hilltoppers within four points. The Bulldogs got a 45-41 edge before Elena Abeyta hit two free throws and a triple to make it 45-44 with 11 seconds left.
    After Artesia missed a free throw attempt on the other end, Los Alamos snatched the rebound and Abeyta made her way down the court and put up a lay up attempt that only hit the backboard and didn’t give the Hilltoppers the buzzer-beating win.
    Los Alamos started strong and got off to a 6-1 start and led 7-5 after the first quarter. The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game with 2:07 left in the second quarter and had a 23-21 advantage at halftime.
    Artesia went on a 15-5 run midway through the third quarter that helped it lead 41-31 after 24 minutes.
    Abeyta finished with a team-high 19 points, while Atencio snatched a team-high seven rebounds for Los Alamos.
    The Hilltoppers are off until Jan. 5, when they’ll begin play in the Aztec Tournament.  
     

  • Eldorado runs past Los Alamos, 63-44

    It was evenly matched for 16 minutes.
    Then, Eldorado switched to a full-court pressure defense that dismantled the Los Alamos boys basketball team’s rhythm.
    That second-half adjustment helped Eldorado claim a 63-44 victory against the Hilltoppers Friday night at Griffith Gym.
    “They (Los Alamos) thought that once we stayed with them for a few minutes, we would be in it,” Hilltoppers coach Mike Kluk said. “There was a bit of fatigue settling in from playing two nights in a row. They (Eldorado) picked up the pressure and once they got their legs under them, they just kept rolling.”
    Los Alamos fell to 4-4 overall, while the Eagles improved to 3-1 on the season.
    The Eagles only led 26-23 halftime, as the Hilltoppers were having success defending one of the few teams that matched up in size with Los Alamos. The Hilltoppers also had success getting the ball inside on the offensive end.
    “We came out with some intensity,” Kluk said. “We trying to be tougher tonight and for a half I thought we were fairly tough. But when things got down, I think our toughness went away. We just have to keep working on that.”

  • LA girls hoops drop thriller at St. Pius

    The Los Alamos girls basketball team suffered its seventh straight loss after dropping a heartbreaking 39-35 decision against St. Pius on Thursday in Albuquerque.
    The Hilltoppers fell to 3-9 on the season and will host Artesia at 3:30 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 17) at Griffith Gym. Los Alamos improved defensively after giving up 62 points per game in its previous three outings. The 39 points were the fewest the Hilltoppers allowed since giving 32 against Valencia on Dec. 3.
    Los Alamos is allowing 46.4 points per game, compared to scoring 34.4 points per game on offense.
    Scouting Artesia: The Bulldogs will be playing their second game in as many days, as they faced Capital on Friday. Prior to Friday’s game, Artesia was 3-1 on the season with wins against Santa Teresa, Ruidoso and Silver. The Bulldogs lone loss of the season came against Class 6A’s No. 1 Carlsbad.  

     

  • Prep boys basketball: Sartans out-tough ‘Toppers

    It appeared like the Los Alamos boys basketball team was on the brink of putting itself amongst Class 5A’s legitimate contenders.
    But St. Pius proved that the Hilltoppers still have work to do.
    The Sartans went into Griffith Gym on Thursday night and handed Los Alamos a 50-38 loss that made Hilltoppers coach Mike Kluk question his team’s toughness.
    “That was not a good showing at all,” Kluk said. “I really think we just got out-toughed tonight. They (St. Pius) just played good, solid hard-nose defense and don’t let you go where you want to go, which is exactly what we preach to our guys. But they do it. I’m very disappointed with the effort tonight.”
    Los Alamos was without Jack Stewart, who’s out with an ankle injury. Kluk expects Stewart to return in two or three weeks.
    “It would be nice to get Jack back at full strength but it’s going to be two or three weeks before he gets back full strength,” Kluk said. “That ankle might let him get back by the end of next week.”

  • LA girls hoops fall at Hope

    A matchup between the state’s No. 1 and No. 83 teams was only going to end one way.
    The Los Alamos girls basketball team had the tough task of following a weekend tournament by facing top-ranked (maxpreps.com) Hope Christian on Tuesday in Albuquerque. The Huskies, who are ranked 21st nationally, defeated the Hilltoppers 65-31.
    Los Alamos fell to 3-8 on the season, while Hope Christian remained unbeaten at 7-0. The Huskies also played and won the same tournament Los Alamos participated in last weekend.
    Seniors Elena Abeyta and Sienna Ahlers led Los Alamos with eight points apiece. Shannon Irwin and Isabell Larribas added four points each.
    Hanna Valencia paced the Huskies with a game-high 15 points.
    It was the sixth straight loss for the Hilltoppers, who faced St. Pius on Thursday after the Los Alamos Monitor’s Friday deadline.