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  • 'Toppers get No. 9 seed in 4A tourney

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team earned a surprisingly low seed in this year’s Class 4A state tournament.

    The brackets for the state volleyball tournaments were released Sunday by the New Mexico Activities Association.

    Los Alamos’ District 2 regular season and tournament championships didn’t seem to impress the seeding committee. Los Alamos finished as the No. 9 overall seed.

    Volleyball pool play will be Thursday at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho. Los Alamos is matched up in pool A play with No. 8 seed Las Cruces Centennial and the No. 1 overall seed, Piedra Vista.

    Piedra Vista (20-1), which won the District 1 championship, defeated Los Alamos 3-1 Sept. 15 in Farmington.
    The Panthers’ only loss this season was to Class 5A Cleveland in late September.

    Centennial (18-3) was the District 3 champion and has won 12 straight matches heading into Thursday’s pool play round. Interestingly, Centennial didn’t play one match this season that went longer than three sets.

    The runner-up in both the District 2 regular season race and tournament, Española Valley, was only afforded the 12th and last seed in the 4A playoffs.

  • LA doesn't earn 4A playoff invitation

    Despite finishing two games above .500 in 2012, the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team was shut out of the Class 4A state playoffs.
    Los Alamos wasn’t invited to this year’s playoffs, missing out on the postseason for the third time in four seasons.
    Only one team from District 2, widely considered the weakest district in the state, was selected for this year’s 4A playoffs. Santa Fe, which won the district race, including topping the Hilltoppers 62-30 in Los Alamos Oct. 19, will be the only District 2 representative in the 4A field.
    District 2 has sent the minimum of one team to state every year since 2009. Los Alamos won the district title in 2011 and advanced to the postseason as the No. 12 seed, but was drubbed by Los Lunas in the opening round.
    Surprisingly, the Demons (5-5) didn’t receive the No. 12 seed in the bracket, as many expected. Instead, the Demons earned the No. 11 seed, while Roswell (5-5), which finished three spots ahead of Santa Fe in the most recent MaxPreps.com rankings – one of the most important determinants for seeding and selection – was given the No. 12 seed.

  • LA downed by overtime PK

     ALBUQUERQUE — After slugging it out for nearly an hour and a half, the Los Alamos-Chaparral boys soccer semifinal was decided by a penalty kick.

    The two teams duked it out in an exciting, back-and-forth battle for the right to advance to the Class 4A championship game, but the game was decided in anticlimactic fashion.

    In the 87th minute, Chaparral’s outstanding forward Jesus Ramos was grabbed and held in the penalty box. Chaparral’s Edgar Lopez had no trouble converting the ensuing penalty kick to knock the Hilltoppers out of the 2012 state playoffs.

    Friday’s loss at the Albuquerque Public Schools Soccer Complex was an unfortunate ending to what had been one of the best games of the Hilltoppers’ season.

    Los Alamos, the No. 3 seed in the 4A playoffs, had high hopes to get back to the state finale for the second time in three seasons. After a 2-1 win Thursday over a scrappy Los Lunas squad Thursday, the Hilltoppers came into Friday’s semifinal fired up.

    Unfortunately, the Hilltoppers had trouble in the first half getting their passing game under control. Playing with a breeze at their backs, many of the Hilltoppers passes went long, resulting in turnovers.

  • ´Toppers blanked by Aztec

     ALBUQUERQUE — It was a disappointing end to the 2012 girls soccer season for the Los Alamos Hilltoppers Friday afternoon.

    Los Alamos, trying to reach its fourth state championship game in five years, couldn’t get over the hump that was the Aztec Tigers in the quarterfinal round at the Albuquerque Public Schools Soccer Complex.

    The two teams slogged through regulation offensively amid a stiff breeze and intermitten showers, but in the 84th minute, Aztec’s Jessica Kresl hit a line drive from the top of the penalty box inside the left post past Los Alamos goalkeeper Bryce Theesfeld to give the Tigers a 1-0 victory.

    It was a quick end for the Hilltoppers in this year’s tournament, especially considering they felt they had a good shot to earn their first championship since 2003.

    “We played sluggish, we had no rhythm,” Los Alamos head coach Jiri Kubicek said. “I don’t know if we were looking ahead or we thought this tournament was going to be easy.”

    For the first time since 2000, a team other than Los Alamos, Academy or St. Pius X made the championship game in Class 4A. Academy and St. Pius met in the other semifinal Friday, with the top-seeded Academy Chargers taking the victory.\

  • LA’s girls come up big at Class 4A meet Saturday

    RIO RANCHO — Adding to its record haul, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls cross country team earned another state title Saturday and did so in impressive fashion.

    Los Alamos placed five runners into the top 10 individually at the Class 4A state championship meet to earn its fourth consecutive team title.

    Senior Jennifer Mooday and junior Jordan Parker took the Nos. 4 and 5 slots to pace the Hilltoppers at the state title meet. The Hilltoppers finished with 33 team points, just a hair over half the total of runner-up Albuquerque Academy.

    With its fourth consecutive win, the Hilltoppers are now just one state title away from tying its own record of five titles between 2000-04.

    “It’s an honor,” said Los Alamos’ Teresa Sandoval, a senior who has been a part of all four of the winning teams, a streak that started in 2009. “For me, personally, it’s been an honor to run with these girls and with the girls who have come before.”

    Sandoval, who posted a time of 19 minutes, 43 seconds, had to run much of the way fending off not only the other competitors but also a nosebleed she developed about the 1-mile mark.

  • Hill earns the 4A state title as he leads Hilltopper XC team to win

    RIO RANCHO — It was as dominant a performance as was expected from the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys cross country team.

    Los Alamos, the heavy favorite to win the Class 4A state championship this season, didn’t disappoint, placing five runners into the top eight individually Saturday at Rio Rancho High School.

    Meanwhile, Los Alamos’ Nick Hill ran away with the 4A individual state title, eclipsing the 16-minute mark and topping runner-up Brandon Levi by nearly 15 seconds.

    Los Alamos earned its first back-to-back title in program history Saturday, picking up 22 team points, handily defeating runner-up Albuquerque Academy, which had 69 points. No other team finished under triple digits.

    Hill, who had a big finish to the 2011 season and was a big part of Los Alamos’ upset team victory, said he was happy for the win but was hoping to have a shoulder-to-shoulder finish similar to a week ago in the District 2 race.

    “I wanted my teammate Sean Reardon to be there, too,” Hill said. “I was hoping for us to come in together, but it was great.”

    With the victory, Hill won the state individual title for the Hilltoppers for the third time in five years — Kyle Pittman won in 2008 and 2009.

  • LA outlasts Los Lunas in 4A quarterfinals

    ALBUQUERQUE — The onus was on the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team’s defense to slow down the top scorer in Class 4A.
    And, aside for a breakaway early in the second half, the Hilltoppers were up to the task.

    Los Alamos limited the touches of Los Lunas striker Alejandro Garcia for much of Thursday’s Class 4A quarterfinal. Meanwhile, the Hilltoppers struck twice, once in the first half and once in the second half, to earn a 2-1 victory over Los Lunas’ Tigers and advance to the Class 4A semifinals.

    Los Alamos’ semifinal contest was scheduled for this afternoon at the Albuquerque Public Schools Soccer Complex against second-seeded Chaparral.

    It was a rough game, however, with neither team being able to connect passes on their offensive ends.

    Prior to the win, the Hilltoppers had been on a layoff since Oct. 23. Los Alamos goalkeeper Chris Parker said the time off had an effect on the team.

    “We didn’t play as well as we should’ve,” he said. “I’m grateful the team was able to pull this off and have another day at state.”

  • Class 4A roundup: Academy, St. Pius boys fall in quarterfinal round

    ALBUQUERQUE — In one of the most stunning Class 4A state tournament results in recent memory, the eighth-seeded Capital Jaguars boys soccer team pulled off a gargantuan upset Thursday.

    The Jaguars knocked off the top-seeded Albuquerque Academy Chargers 3-1 in the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs. The Jaguars scored twice in the opening half and picked up an insurance goal in the second half to advance to today's 4A semifinals.

    Neither Academy nor St. Pius X, two of the most powerful teams in the state, escaped the quarterfinal round at the Albuquerque Soccer Complex. St. Pius, the No. 5 seed, fell to No. 4 seed and defending state champion Farmington.

    The Scorpions (11-6) battled back from a 1-0 second half deficit to tie the score and send the contest into overtime. Jeremy Klepac and Naeem Begay netted goals for the Scorpions in the victory to topple St. Pius (12-8-2).

    For Capital's Jaguars (17-4), who finished as the runners-up to Los Alamos in the District 2 race this season, Diego Pichardo, Luis Rios-Olivas and Jesus Garcia both earned goals in their upset.

    Capital, which was scheduled to face Farmington this afternoon, split its two contests with Los Alamos this season.

  • LA's state soccer games will be aired on KRSN

    KRSN AM 1490 will broadcast both Thursday’s Los Alamos Hilltopper soccer games.
    Gene Mortensen, the “Voice of the Hilltoppers” will be on the call live from the Albuquerque Public Schools Soccer Complex. Los Alamos’ girls game against Piedra Vista is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. and Los Alamos’ boys game against Los Lunas is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
    KRSN will cover all the Hilltopper games in the Class 4A playoffs.
    The broadcast can also be streamed on the Internet at krsnam1490.com.

  • LA to face familiar foe in quarterfinal round Thursday

    It could be a banner year, quite literally, for the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls soccer team in 2012.
    The Hilltoppers are once again among the favorites in Class 4A heading into the state playoffs. The Hilltoppers kick off their state tournament run Thursday morning at the Albuquerque Public Schools Soccer Complex.
    Los Alamos, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, will face 10th-seeded Piedra Vista in the quarterfinal round. Game time is 10:45 a.m.
    This season, the Hilltoppers (17-3) spent the bulk of their time atop the Class 4A rankings, that according to MaxPreps.com, but lost their No. 1 ranking, for no obvious reason, in the final poll. Albuquerque Academy, which finished No. 1 in that last poll, also earned the No. 1 overall seed.
    Thursday’s game will be the second meeting between Los Alamos and Piedra Vista in less than three weeks. The Hilltoppers defeated the Panthers 2-0 Oct. 20 in Farmington.
    In that game, Katelyn Leslie picked up a goal for Los Alamos in the first half and Amy Neal scored an insurance goal in the second half.
    Neal, of course, was the overall top scorer in Class 4A this season and the No. 4 scorer throughout the entire state. Neal finished the season with 32 goals and 20 assists, the second consecutive year she was the top point-getter in 4A.