• ’Toppers thumped at home Friday

    A rough second quarter led to a huge defeat at home for the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team Friday night.
    After a decent start to the contest, Los Alamos was outscored 20-3 in the second quarter by the St. Michael’s Horsemen. St. Michael’s guard Andrew Griego hit 3 3-pointers in the second period to lead the charge.
    Los Alamos didn’t fare a lot better in the third quarter, but came back a bit in the fourth quarter, although not nearly enough to get back into the ballgame.
    The Horsemen prevailed Friday night, 56-32.
    For the Hilltoppers, it was their fourth consecutive loss at home to start the season. The win by St. Mike’s came in its season opener.
    It was the second straight time the Hilltoppers had been held to 32 points.
    Hilltopper head coach Mike Kluk said his team struggled to respond to the St. Mike’s defense, which was good at switching and disguising its strategy.
    “We’re glad St. Mike’s made us play our press break,” he said. “We don’t quite understand that yet. I want to get better at that. Our chemistry’s not good right now. We’ve got to get a lot better.”

  • NM hoops results 12-05-14

    Boys basketball

    Albuquerque High 73, La Cueva 65
    Belen 59, Manzano 57
    Cleveland 57, Los Lunas 24
    Dora 57, Capitan 30
    Española Valley 57, Santa Teresa 40
    Floyd 77, Dexter 57
    Hagerman 65, Eunice 63
    Hatch Valley 83, Alamo-Navajo 54
    House/Grady 56, Loving 52
    Jal 65, Tatum 48
    Logan 69, Tucumcari 66, OT
    McCurdy 43, Questa 24
    Melrose 69, Cloudcroft 55
    Menaul 61, Coronado 56
    Newcomb 66, Dove Creek, Colo. 41
    Pojoaque 68, Crownpoint 33
    Quemado 64, Clovis Christian 15
    Reserve 66, Foothill 35
    Rio Rancho 73, Highland 63
    Sandia 80, Rio Grande 59
    Santa Fe Prep 62, Goddard 59
    Sierra Grande, Colo. 80, Mesa Vista 66
    West Las Vegas 74, Santa Fe 56

    Girls basketball

  • LA tops Belen in big Class 5A game

    It was the toughest test of the young season for the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team.
    And although things got hairy in several spots, the Hilltoppers passed the test.
    Los Alamos had to gut it out over a very tough Belen Eagles squad Thursday night. The Eagles were able to pound the ball inside and make enough shots from the outside to keep the Hilltopper defense scrambling.
    But the Hilltoppers got big performances at the other end from Makela Jones and Ashley Logan, along with their go-to option Ashlynn Trujillo, to down the Eagles 54-49 at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Belen held the edge over Los Alamos for most of the first quarter and a half and took a couple of late leads, but Los Alamos made the plays at the end it needed to make to pull the contest out.
    Jones, who is not known for her outside shooting, buried a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter, while Elena Abeyta hit a huge layup off an offensive rebound from Trujillo, then calmly sank two foul shots to close the door with 7.9 seconds remaining to seal the win.
    Los Alamos, which runs its early season record to 3-0, knew the Eagles were going to be a challenge heading in.

  • LA hockey plays a pair of games Saturday

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper hockey team will return to action Saturday following a weekend off for Thanksgiving.
    Los Alamos, which is just one of two undefeated teams remaining in the New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League, will have a doubleheader Saturday, albeit against two different teams in two different venues.
    Saturday morning, Los Alamos will take on the La Cueva Bears. That game is scheduled to start at 8:45 a.m. at the Outpost in Albuquerque.
    Following that game, the Hilltoppers will pack up and head across the Rio Grande for a contest at Blades Ice Arena. They will take on the Cibola Cougars at 2:15 p.m.
    These will be the final two road games for Los Alamos before its home opener, which is set for Dec. 12. Los Alamos will take on Santa Fe, Rio Rancho and Taos in three consecutive days at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink, its final three games before the NMIIHL’s mid-season tournament in Taos.
    Prior to the Thanskgiving break, Los Alamos earned a pair of wins in Amarillo, Texas, defeating the Amarillo Bulls. Los Alamos won the first game Nov. 22 5-2, then came back to top Amarillo Nov. 23 6-2.
    Those two victories ran Los Alamos’ record to 4-0 on the season. Besides the Hilltoppers, only the Franklin (Texas) Cougars haven’t dropped a game yet in NMIIHL play.

  • 'Toppers open the year at Valencia

    The final team to get its winter season rolling at Los Alamos High School is the wrestling team, but it will hit the mat for the first time Saturday.
    Los Alamos will be at the Valencia Duals Saturday. The team is scheduled to meet up with five other teams to get its season going.
    The Hilltoppers may be a bit of an unknown quantity this season, but it will have some key returners back from their 2013-14 team that came up big at the end.
    Last season, Los Alamos finished a better-than-projected eighth in the Class 4A tournament. Moreover, Los Alamos earned two individual state titles, the first time since the mid-1990s the program had accomplished that feat.
    Brian Geyer, who won his second consecutive state title last season, is currently wrestling collegiately, but the other, Lane Saunders, will return for his junior year.
    Saunders earned the 170-pound state title and is projected to be among the grapplers to beat for this year’s title at 182 pounds.
    In the championship bout a season ago, he came back from a 4-0 deficit late in the second period to defeat Aaron Rino of Piedra Vista. With under 40 seconds remaining in the second period, Saunders cut the lead down to 4-3, then scored on a reversal to open the third period, winning the contest 5-4.

  • Sports Briefs 12-04-14

    Santa Fe ski area to open Saturday

    Ski Santa Fe announced this week it will open for the season Saturday.
    Ski Santa Fe will open the Midland and Easy Street runs and the Pine Flats beginners’ area. As of Tuesday, Ski Santa Fe was projecting 20 inches of natural and man-made snow for Saturday’s opening.
    The Super Chief quad chairlift, Easy Street beginner chairlift and Pine Flats lift are planned to be operating Saturday.
    Further, facilities at the ski area, including La Casa Lodge, La Casa Café, the sports and rental shops, coffee bar and Totemoff’s Bar and Grill will be in operation.
    Officials at the area said its snowmaking department will continue to manufacture snow. As more natural snowfall accumulates, more terrain will be available for use.
    Ski Santa Fe will be open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, visit skisantafe.com.

    Colleges to be at baseball camp this weekend

  • LA's teams will compete at Santa Fe Invite on Saturday

    Heading into the 2014-15 season, the Los Alamos Hilltopper swimming and diving teams are like a man without a country.
    Or a swimming pool, at least.
    Los Alamos will get the meat of its season started this weekend when it takes part in the Santa Fe Invitational meet. That meet is scheduled for Saturday at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center.
    This will be the second meet of the year for the Hilltoppers, who also took part in the Peter Barney Relays last month. The Hilltopper boys finished third in that meet — which includes some of the top finishers from the previous year’s state championship event — and the Hilltopper girls finished fourth in team competition.
    Heading into the season, Los Alamos’ boys have 21 swimmers on their roster while the girls sport 17 on their roster.
    Notably, however, one of the swimmers not appearing is Sarah Lott, who won the state championship last February in the 100-yard freestyle. Lott, who was also the state runner-up in the 200 freestyle, stayed busy much of the offseason with her club team, the Charger Aquatic Club.
    Should the Los Alamos girls team be without Lott this season, it will be looking toward other qualifiers last season to put points on the board.

  • Venhaus has best finish at Turkey Trot

    Grayson Venhaus was the top finisher at the 2014 Turkey Trot race.
    More than 200 participants took part in this year’s CROP Walk/Turkey Trot, which was held on North Mesa Nov. 23.
    The event was held to benefit the CROP organization, which helps those struggling with hunger.
    Venhaus finished the 2.57-mile course in 16 minutes, 17 seconds. That mark was 20 seconds better than runner-up Ted Romero’s time.
    Other participants could choose to go on a 1.6-mile course for the race.

    Here are the top 24 finishers from the 2014 Turkey Trot:

    1. Grayson Venhaus, 16:17; 2. Ted Romero, 16:37; 3. Duncan Fuehne, 17:29; 4. Ryan Smetzer, 17:38; 5. Elias Velasquez, 17:54; 6. Tad Hughes, 18:24; 7. Nikol Strother, 18:38; 8. Jeremiah Palmer-Scott, 18:46; 9. Quinn Abfalterer, 19:03; 10. Nick Parra-Vasquez, 19:04; 11. Bill Rice, 19:35; 12. Roxana Candia, 19:59;

    13. Paul Bradley, 20:02; 14. Zack Medin, 20:36; 16. Steven Strevell, 21:03; 17. Michaelle Sutton, 21:30; 18. Duncan Hammon, 21:38; 19. Darla Thompson, 21:50; 20. Vincent Chiravalle, 21:57; 21. Everett Key, 22:05; 22. Pete Sheehey, 22:31; 23. Artemia Rojas, 23:05; 24. David Kratzer, 23:16.

  • 'Toppers can't slow Pintos down low

    The Moriarty Pintos had the height advantage down low Tuesday night and they used it to their full advantage.
    Los Alamos’ boys basketball team was looking to snap its two-game losing streak to start the season Tuesday night, but the Pintos’ game near the basket proved to be too much to overcome.
    Moriarty’s big man, Jake Flaming, who is listed at 6-foot-7, dominated on the low block, dropping in 27 points as the Pintos thumped the Hilltoppers, 51-32.
    Flaming went 13 of 22 from the field on his night. Early in the game he showed the ability to go either inside the lane or down the baseline to the basket.
    By the second half Tuesday, Los Alamos was out of answers defensively for him.
    With the loss, the Hilltoppers drop to 0-3 on the season, with all those losses coming at home.
    More troubling for the Hilltoppers, however, is that all three of those losses have been against Class 5A opponents, which could come back to haunt them if they get into position by the end of the year to vie for a playoff spot.
    Right now, however, Los Alamos will have to focus on fixing a myriad of issues, not the least of which is scoring some points.

  • LA to face Moriarty tonight in boys hoops

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team will be at home tonight taking on the Moriarty Pintos.
    Game time is 7 p.m. Tonight’s game will be broadcast on KRSN.
    The Hilltoppers (0-2) will be looking to bounce back from a big loss a week ago. They were crushed by the Valencia Jaguars 83-35 at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Both Los Alamos’ losses this season have come against Class 5A competition. The Hilltoppers also lost their season opener to Aztec Nov. 22.
    Tonight’s game will be the second year in a row the two teams have played early season contests at Griffith Gym. Moriarty topped Los Alamos last year, 49-40.
    In that game, Los Alamos had one of its best efforts of the season, but also committed 22 fouls and sent the Pintos to the foul line 24 times, where the Pintos converted 20.
    Jake Flaming, Moriarty’s big presence inside, finished with 12 points in last year’s contest.