• LA girls get No. 5 state seed

    After going 21-7 and finishing second in District 2-5A, the Los Alamos girls’ basketball team was awarded the No. 5 seed for the Class 5A state tournament.
    The ’Toppers will now host No. 12 Goddard (13-14) in the first round at 6 p.m. Friday.
    The Rockets also finished second in their district, 4-5A, behind the No. 2 seed, Roswell (23-2).
    The two teams haven’t met this season, but they’ve played three of the same teams.
    Española Valley, who beat Los Alamos by one point, two points and 10 points, also beat Goddard twice, 54-35 and 60-48.
    Both teams beat Albuquerque Academy. Los Alamos beat the Chargers 47-33 and Goddard beat them 36-33.
    Both teams also beat Artesia. Los Alamos beat the Bulldogs, 71-62, while Goddard beat them 56-27 and 52-30.
    Katherine Kolker is the Rockets’ leading scorer, averaging 10.7 points per game.
    If Los Alamos beats Goddard, it will see a familiar face in the quarterfinals. They’d play the winner of the first-round game featuring two other District 2-5A teams. Española Valley (23-4) and Del Norte (13-13) will meet once again in the first round. The Sundevils got the No. 4 seed in the state tournament, behind No. 1 Gallup (25-0), No. 2 Roswell and No. 3 Los Lunas (21-7).

  • LA's run ends in Española

    Los Alamos' run in the District 2-5A boys' basketball tournament came to an end Thursday at Española Valley.
    The Sundevils took a big lead into halftime and eventually beat the 'Toppers, 77-56.
    "Everybody was pretty disappointed with the way it ended last night," Los Alamos head coach Mike Kluk said. "We were expecting to play better."
    Los Alamos was pretty even with Española in the first quarter, but then mistakes started snowballing for the 'Toppers in the second quarter.
    "The second quarter killed us," Kluk said. "We started turning the ball over and Española got some transition buckets."
    Once the 'Toppers fell behind, they tried to catch up too fast with some quick shots that actually fueled Española's run.
    Española led by about 20 points at the break and never relinquished the lead.
    "We calmed down a little at halftime and the second half was pretty even, but the damage was already done," Kluk said.
    The loss will most likely end Los Alamos' season.
    The state brackets will be released Sunday, but the 10-19 'Toppers will probably be on the wrong side of the bubble.
    "It's going to be tough for us to be in that top-16." Kluk said.

  • LA girls reach district finals

    The first two times the Los Alamos girls' basketball team beat Del Norte, the team's defense carried it past the Knights. Los Alamos limited Del Norte to 30 points and 33 points while the 'Toppers scored 45 and 46 to win those games.
    Thursday in the District 2-5A semifinal game, Los Alamos' defense played strong again, and its offense also showed what it's capable of.
    Los Alamos won the semifinal, 67-37, to advance to the championship game Friday at Española Valley.
    The game was close at the beginning, but Los Alamos made good plays at both ends of the court to take an early lead.
    Kayla Salazar swished a 3-pointer. Then Los Alamos' press forced a turnover that led to an Ashlynn Trujillo bucket.
    Del Norte scored to get within one of Los Alamos, 5-4, but Makaela Jones blocked a shot on Del Norte's next possession to keep the 'Toppers in front.
    Later in the first, with Los Alamos still up by one, Jones pulled down an offensive rebound and Salazar sunk her second 3-pointer of the quarter. Jones then made a pair of free throws to put Los Alamos up, 12-6.
    Del Norte scored four points at the end of the quarter to go into the second only trailing 12-10.

  • LA girls reach finals; boys eliminated

    The Los Alamos girls' basketball team blew by Del Norte, 67-37, Thursday night in the District 2-5A semifinals. During one stretch in the second and third quarters, Los Alamos outscored the Knights 31-4.

    Ashlynn Trujillo and Kayla Salazar both scored 17 points to lead the 'Toppers.

    The Hilltopper girls will now play at Española Valley in the district championship game. The championship will take place at 7 p.m. tonight (Feb. 26).

    Boys eliminated

    The Los Alamos boys' basketball team also played in the District 2-5A semifinals Thursday. After winning its first two games in the tournament, Los Alamos' run came to an end at Española Valley. The Sundevils beat Los Alamos, 77-56.

    The state brackets will be released Sunday, but the loss will most likely end the Hilltopper boys season.

  • Local ballers advance to state free throw competition

    The Knights of Columbus District free throw contest was held Sunday at Los Alamos High School’s Griffith Gymnasium.
    The Los Alamos Sacred Heart council No. 3137 champions competed against three other northern New Mexico Knights of Columbus councils: Taos, Española, and Peñasco.
    At the end of the competition, three local champions won their respective divisions and will be advancing to the state championships. The state competition will be held at Albuquerque’s Manzano High School March 20.
    Local ballers Mika Stanfield won the girls ‘10-year old division, Cody Rosson won the 11-year old boys’ division and Antonio Gonzales was crowned champion in the boys’ 14-year old bracket.
    Two local competitors also finished as runner-ups: Lena Chavez took second place in the 11-year old girls’ division and Lucario Chavez was the runner-up in the 13-year old boys’ bracket.

  • Pajarito extends daily schedule in March

    Pajarito Mountain recently announced that the ski area will be open every day from March 2 - April 3, giving spring breakers from all over the opportunity to ride its slopes.
    “We’re trying to do this to take advantage of the numerous spring breaks around — they’re spread out over the whole month,” Pajarito General Manager Tom Long said. “It’s an opportunity to provide more skiing.”
    Originally, Pajarito was going to be open daily for a couple weeks in the middle of March.
    Los Alamos’ spring break, however, is March 25-April 1. Albuquerque Public Schools’ spring break is also in late March while lots of other spring breaks are earlier in the month.
    “We’ll see how it goes,” Long said. “It’s going to a great measuring stick.”
    One of Pajarito’s future goals is to be open daily throughout the season.
    On March 19, the mountain’s biggest celebration will take place — Skiesta. The event will feature numerous competitions to determine this year’s king and queen of the mountain. A beer garden and music by Felix y Los Gatos will coincide with the event.
    On March 5, the Santa Few Brewing Company will also descend on Pajarito.

  • LA baseball focused on improving every day

    Last year, the Los Alamos baseball team made a strong run to reach the Class 5A state semifinals. Los Alamos lost a lot of those players, including two-time New Mexico Gatorade Player of the Year Jared Mang.
    The ’Toppers, however, still have some studs in its lineup to lead them this year, including a pair of pitchers who have already committed to playing college ball.
    Connor Mang, who has committed to playing for the University of New Mexico next year where he’ll join his brother, Jared, and Lane Saunders, who signed with Eastern New Mexico’s ball club, give Los Alamos a strong foundation to build upon and could keep the ’Toppers in every game.
    “I think we have a great one-two punch,” Los Alamos manager Mike Gill said. “That’s obviously our strength that we’ll build around.”
    The strong pitching will take some pressure off of Los Alamos’ defense.
    “We just have to be solid and make routine outs with that type of pitching,” Gill said. “We don’t have to make the great plays.”
    After Mang and Saunders, Jake Rutten is the team’s No. 3 pitcher. A lot of other guys are listed as pitchers right now too.
    “If we can add relievers who throw strikes, we’ll be in good shape,” Gill said.

  • Hilltoppers staying alive with road wins

    Knowing its next loss will likely end its season, the Los Alamos boys’ basketball team stepped up and stayed alive by beating Del Norte and Bernalillo in the District 2-5A tournament.
    Los Alamos beat Del Norte, 52-47, in the first round Monday and Bernalillo, 65-62, in overtime of the second round Tuesday.
    “Everybody is back and healthy and we’re playing pretty well right now,” Los Alamos head coach Mike Kluk said.
    Los Alamos also bolstered its bench by bringing up several junior varsity players for the district tournament, including a couple guards and the 6-foot, 8-inch Cade Gasway.
    “We brought up Cade Gasway and he’s been a difference maker for us,” Kluk said.
    Neither Del Norte nor Bernalillo is particularly tall, and Los Alamos capitalized on that.
    “We’ve been using our inside game to propel us,” Kluk said.
    The inside game is just part of Los Alamos’ late success. All of the boys on the court have been working well together.
    “The emphasis has been to be a more complete team, and not relying on one or two people to carry the load,” Kluk said.

  • LA boys survive and advance; both basketball semis Thursday

    With their backs against the wall, the Los Alamos boys' basketball team has got hot when it needed to the most. The Hilltoppers entered the District 2-5A tournament as the No. 5 seed, knowing a loss would likely end their season.

    Los Alamos started the tournament by beating Del Norte, 52-47, on Monday.

    Tuesday, Los Alamos beat Bernalillo 65-62 in overtime.

    Now, the Hilltoppers will play at Española Valley Thursday in the district tournament's semifinal game. The boys' championship will take place Saturday at Capital.

    The Los Alamos girls' basketball team will also play Thursday, not Wednesday as originally reported. The Hilltopper girls will host Del Norte in the semifinals. The girls' championship game will then take place Friday at Española Valley.

    All of the district tournament games are scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m.

  • LA girls secure No. 2 seed in district with win

    The Los Alamos girls’ basketball team took on Del Norte in a battle for second-place in District 2-5A Friday. It was a low-scoring game, but the Hilltopper girls took care of business to win the game, 46-33, and lock up the No. 2 spot heading into this week’s district tournament.
    Kayla Salazar drained three 3-pointers to lead Los Alamos with 19 points. Ashlynn Trujillo scored 13, Sophia Roybal scored five and Ashley Logan added four.
    Los Alamos won every quarter of the contest, but never outscored Del Norte by more than five in a quarter.
    The ’Toppers led 22-15 at halftime and 31-23 heading into the fourth before pulling away in the final quarter.
    As the No. 2 team in the district, Los Alamos will now host the district tournament’s semifinal game Thursday at 7 p.m. UPDATE: The semifinal is Thursday, not Wednesday as originally published.
    Los Alamos will play the winner of Tuesday’s game featuring Del Norte and Capital.
    “The girls are feeling really confident, but it’s a tough tournament,” Los Alamos head coach Nestor Trujillo said. “Right now we’re focused on Del Norte. No disrespect to Capital, but I think Del Norte has the experience and the savvy to finish that up.”