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  • LA advances with win over Bernalillo

    One of the big challenges facing the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team this season is putting together four solid quarters.
    But that’s what Los Alamos has been shooting for here at the end of the season, and in its last two games, it has gotten closer.
    Los Alamos opened up its District 2-4A tournament run Tuesday night at home with a big win over the Bernalillo Spartans. Los Alamos survived a big bump in the road at the tail end of the first half to bounce back in the second half.
    The Hilltoppers’ Amber Logan and Kiana Zerr had big performances in the second half, with Logan taking control of the game when her team needed her most, to earn a 72-62 decision over the Spartans.
    Logan dropped in 10 of her 14 points after the break to lead the Hilltoppers back after what could’ve been a game-changing run by the Spartans in the second quarter.
    Logan said Los Alamos is playing with the mindset that it must still earn its way into the playoffs and survive as long as it can to make its best argument with the selection committee.
    “We felt like we have to win if we want to get into the state tournament,” the junior point guard said. “In the second half, we came out and worked our butts off.”

  • 'Toppers fall in first round Monday

    BERNALILLO — Setting itself up with chances wasn’t the problem for the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team Monday night.
    Finishing was another story.
    Los Alamos fell on the road at Bernalillo in the District 2-4A tournament, a loss which ended the Hilltoppers’ 2013-14 season.
    Los Alamos was within striking distance at the end of the first half, but went cold in the third quarter, falling in that contest 59-50.
    Bernalillo will now move on to play the Santa Fe Demons in the quarterfinal round of the 2-4A tournament. That game is set for tonight.
    Los Alamos, which had high hopes to turn its season around in district play, never got on track. It went 1-8 in district despite facing teams that have, like itself, struggled to find consistency night in and night out.
    The Hilltoppers were limited to just three points for the bulk of the third quarter after chopping a 9-point Spartan lead down to just two by the break. The Spartans took advantage, opening up an 8-point cushion heading into the final quarter.
    “This was a lot like the first time we played down here,” said Los Alamos head coach Mike Kluk. “We got to within four points, but we just couldn’t get closer. That was partially due to our own mistakes.”

  • 'Topper girls host Spartans in tourney

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team will head into tonight’s District 2-4A second round off a big win over the weekend.
    Los Alamos needed overtime, but it tripped up the Artesia Bulldogs Saturday afternoon, 57-56 at a neutral site game in Vaughn.
    Saturday’s game was the regular season finale for both teams — a game that came about because Los Alamos’ game originally scheduled wit Albuquerque Academy earlier this season was canceled and Artesia was the only taker to fill that hole in the Hilltoppers’ schedule.
    But with the Hilltoppers’ win, it became a happy turn of events. The Hilltoppers and Bulldogs went into the game with similar records and a similar ranking according to the MaxPreps.com website, which is a key factor in the judging the playoff-worthiness of teams around the state.
    With that victory, Los Alamos (12-14) took a big step toward securing an at-large bid into the state playoffs.
    However, Los Alamos has a chance to make an at-large nod unnecessary.
    The Hilltoppers will face the Bernalillo Spartans in the first round of the District 2-4A tournament tonight. Game time is 7 p.m. at Griffith Gymnasium.

  • LA takes on Bernalillo tonight

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team will begin its run through the District 2-4A tournament tonight when it takes on Bernalillo.

    Tonight's game is set for 7 p.m. in Bernalillo. It will be broadcast on KRSN.

    This will be the fourth meeting between the two teams this season. Los Alamos won the first meeting in December but lost two in District 2-4A regular season play.

    This will be the last chance for the Hilltoppers to qualify for the Class 4A tournament. However, in order for them to do so, the Hilltoppers will have to win four consecutive games on the road to earn the tournament championship.

    The winner of tonight's game will play Santa Fe, the No. 3 seed, Tuesday night.

    In girls basketball, the Capital Jaguars will face the Bernalillo Spartans this evening. The winner will take on Los Alamos at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

    Also tonight, the Santa Fe Demons and the Espanola Valley Sundevils will meet in a one-game playoff to determine the district champion and the No. 1 seed for the girls tournament. That game will be at 7 p.m. at Griffith Gymnasium.

  • Photos from the Class 4A wrestling championships

    Here are the current team standings early in the quarterfinal round of Class 4A:

    1. Piedra Vista, 87; 2. Belen, 60.5; 3. Goddard, 52; 4. Capital, 51; 5. Deming, 45. Los Alamos is currently ninth with 29.5 points.

  • Top LA grapplers advance to quarters

    RIO RANCHO - Los Alamos' wrestling team got on track in the second round after a rough start.

    Los Alamos fared better in round two, going 6-4 and sweeping the three upper weights, 195, 220 and 285 pounds, as expected.

    Hilltopper Brian Geyer, the top seed at 195 pounds, got by Piedra Vista's Nick Varley, winning a solid 10-0 decision. John Dermer at 220 pounds pinned Albuquerque Academy's Grant Thulin in the third round and Jonathan Schueler opened his tournament with a technical fall over Santa Teresa's David Aldama.

    Also earning wins in the second round were Reyes Mendez at 106 pounds, Daniel Aguirre at 126 pounds and Lane Saunders, who escaped with a tougher-than-expected decision over Champ Mendoza at 170 pounds.

    The Class 4A quarterfinals are scheduled for this evening at the Santa Ana Star Center.

  • LA hopes to keep rolling at 4A state championships

    To say the Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team will be going into the state Class 4A tournament with a wave of momentum may be something of an understatement.
    The Hilltoppers pulled off a huge upset last weekend at the District 2-4A championship tournament and have a full contingent heading into the state tournament, which gets going Friday morning at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.
    Los Alamos upended the Capital Jaguars for the district team title. Los Alamos needed a huge showing from its underclassmen and got just that as it nipped the Jaguars by six points to grab its third consecutive 2-4A crown.
    “We needed every single one of our wins,” said Los Alamos head coach Bob Geyer, who has steered the team to each one of those district titles. “One match goes the other way, we don’t win it.”
    Geyer said it was the most exciting tournament he’d ever been a part of in nine years of being a head coach and an assistant around the Hilltopper program.
    The Hilltoppers have 14 entries into the 4A tournament, including four district champs. Dominick Montoya, one of the younger wrestlers Los Alamos needed to come through last weekend, more than came through, upsetting Gilbert Mancha of Capital in the final of that weight class to earn the first district title of his career.

  • LA drops season finale to Jags

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team had chances to pull of a second victory over the Capital Jaguars in as many chances Wednesday night, but couldn’t close the deal in regulation.
    Now, the Hilltoppers must sit back and wait to find out where they will play next.
    Los Alamos battled all the way back from a 12-point deficit in the third quarter to tie the score early in the fourth quarter.
    Los Alamos held a couple of late leads over the Jaguars, but the Jaguars forced overtime.
    In overtime, the Jaguars outscored the Hilltoppers by five points to grab a 54-49 win at Edward Ortiz Gymnasium.
    The game was the season finale for Los Alamos, which will have to go the longest, toughest route possible to have any chance of sneaking into the postseason.
    Los Alamos will be on the road for the duration of the upcoming District 2-4A tournament. It will play Monday, although where it will play won’t be known until the other four teams in the district wrap up their seasons Saturday night.
    The race for the 2-4A regular season crown got quite a bit more complicated Wednesday. The Santa Fe Demons, who were right on the heels of the Española Valley Sundevils heading into this week’s play, dropped a 77-65 decision at Bernalillo.

  • Hilltoppers' State Championship Meet Entries

    Here are Los Alamos’ entries for the state swimming and diving championship meet. Top seeds in each event are in parentheses.

    Girls

    200 medley relay
    Los Alamos, 1:55.09
    (Eldorado 1:47.18)

    200 freestyle
    Sarah Lott, 2:02.81; Justine Yang, 2:11.53
    (Cassaundra Pino, Albuquerque, 1:53.90)

    200 IM
    Isabelle Runde, 2:21.44
    (Olivia Heflin, Eldorado, 2:09.98)

    50 freestyle
    Kaitlin Bennett, 25.99; Jessica Moore, 26.31; Sydney Schoonover, 26.41
    (Ellie Rivenbark, Eldorado, 24.38)

    1 meter diving
    Annika Bronkhurst, Madeline Le Scouarnec

    100 butterfly
    Maria Venneri, 1:03.16; Ashlynn Bennett, 1:04.94
    (Cassaundra Pino, Albuquerque, 55.85)

    100 freestyle
    Sarah Lott, 53.72; Kaitlin Bennett, 57.34; Sydney Schoonover, 58.27
    (Ellie Rivenbark, Eldorado, 52.68)

    500 freestyle
    Justin Yang, 5:49.35; Tina Krkljus, 6:12.72
    (Nika Fellows, La Cueva, 5:05.14)

    200 freestyle relay
    Los Alamos, 1:44.95
    (Eldorado, 1:40.52)

    100 backstroke
    Maria Venneri, 1:02.50; Isabelle Runde, 1:03.92
    (Tyler Wickesberg, Eldorado, 57.12)

  • 'Toppers have big teams entered in state championship

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls swimming and diving team will be represented in each event at this season’s state championship meet.
    And Los Alamos is hoping a big contingent will lead to big results this weekend.
    The Hilltoppers have at least one and, more often, two swimmers or more in each event, along with two qualifying divers for the meet, which starts Friday and continues through Saturday at Albuquerque Academy’s Natatorium.
    Meanwhile, Los Alamos’ boys have qualifiers in all but two swimming events. The Hilltoppers also boast the No. 2 seed in the 500-yard freestyle with Michael Moore’s entry time just a little over a tenth of a second behind top-seeded Luis Felipe Conejo of Rio Rancho.
    This will be the first contingent of Hilltopper athletes led to state by Stu Corliss. Corliss got the head coaching job at Los Alamos last summer, taking over for Rusty Bernstein.
    At last season’s state meet, the Hilltopper girls finished sixth overall, earning 170.5 points, while the Hilltopper boys wee 10th with 96.5 points.
    The winners in both team competitions last season was Eldorado. The Eagles were dominant on the girls side and nipped La Cueva for the boys title by just three points, one of the closest finishes in state meet history.