• 'Toppers go down by 24 to top-ranked Sartans

    In the fourth quarter of Friday night’s girls basketball game, the Los Alamos Hilltoppers came up big on offense.
    But not nearly big enough to make up for the first three quarters.
    The Hilltoppers connected on just six field goals through three quarters, struggling to get much going against the defense of the St. Pius X Sartans, the No. 1 team in the state, which was visiting Griffith Gymnasium Friday.
    The Sartans held the Hilltoppers to just five points in the third quarter to build up a 25-point lead. The Hilltoppers finally found their stroke in the fourth, but it was too late by that time and the Sartans won the contest 68-44.
    Los Alamos more than doubled its field goal output in the fourth quarter, hitting eight shots from the floor.
    Guard Amber Logan, who had been shut out to that point, finished with 10 points, all in the final quarter, to lead Los Alamos in scoring.
    Friday’s game was the second time Los Alamos has played the No. 1 team in Class 4A at that time. Los Alamos also met Los Lunas when it was No. 1 in the first round of the Joe Armijo Invitational in mid-December, and Los Alamos dropped that contest by 15 points.
    The good news, though, is that Los Alamos should be prepared to face two teams in its own district playing at a high-level right now, Santa Fe and Española Valley.

  • LA, St. Pius clash tonight

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team will have its biggest contest of the nondistrict season tonight.
    The Hilltoppers will take on the St. Pius X Sartans, currently the No. 1-ranked team in Class 4A, at Griffith Gymnasium.
    The Sartans (8-1) are among the tallest teams in the state with five players listed at or near 5-foot-11, which has created match-up problems for many of the teams they’ve faced.
    And the Sartans have been hard to stop this season on the offensive end. The Sartans are averaging a very healthy 66.4 points per game, placing them among the top offenses in the state.
    The Hilltoppers will have to find a way to both slow down the powerful St. Pius offense, which has put up 80 or more points three times this season, including its last time out against Grants, topping the Pirates 80-61 in Grants.
    The Sartans’ only loss this season came against Clovis’ Wildcats at a tournament the Wildcats were hosting — Clovis is the No. 1-ranked team in all of New Mexico, while St. Pius is right behind in all classifications.
    The challenge for Los Alamos (6-7) tonight is a big one.

  • LA teams getting back into the swing

    After fairly lengthy layoffs, the Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling and swimming teams will both be back in action this weekend.
    Both teams have been off since last month, with the Hilltopper swimming team taking part in the Dec. 21 Albuquerque Public Schools Invitational and the wrestling team competing in the Rattler Invitational in Tucumcari that same day.
    Saturday, the boys and girls swim teams will be back in Albuquerque for a Mini-Invitational, although Hilltopper head coach Stu Corliss isn’t sure how a meet with eight competing teams qualifies as a mini-meet.
    Nevertheless, he thinks his team should be ready to return to competition.
    “During the break we had a lot of people on holiday with their families,” he said. “They still had workouts. I guess we’ll find out if they did those workouts.”
    Meanwhile, Los Alamos’ wrestling team will be at Albuquerque Academy Saturday for a selection of duals contests. Those will come just four days before the Hilltoppers make their first home appearance of the season taking on Academy and Rio Rancho’s junior varsity — a squad that can compete very well with most varsity teams around the state.

  • Big breakdown costs LA Tuesday night

    JACONA – With about 10 minutes to go, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team was in a position to make a run at the Pojoaque Valley Elks.
    Two minutes later, the game for the Hilltoppers was all but over.
    Los Alamos trailed by just 9 points after a well executed bucket by Skyler Veenis on a nice entry pass from Franklin Archuleta, that coming at the 2:01 mark of the third quarter.
    But things began to unravel for the Hilltoppers immediately.
    They would surrender 12 points in the next two minutes, mostly off turnovers in the backcourt, and manage just five points for the rest of the game in a 58-25 loss at Ben Lujan Gymnasium.
    Los Alamos made just one shot from the floor in the second half and none in the fourth quarter as Pojoaque Valley’s guards stepped in front of pass after pass late in the game to force 11 Hilltopper turnovers in the final 10 minutes.
    The loss Tuesday night spoiled the debut of new head coach Mike Kluk, who took over Monday for Fil Dominguez after Dominguez abruptly resigned.
    “We quit coming to the ball,” said Kluk of the inauspicious finish of the Hilltoppers Tuesday. “They were coming to the ball hard and we weren’t coming hard. Once they lost that momentum, it was hard to get it back.”

  • Girls tennis has meeting Friday at LAHS

    Los Alamos High School’s girls tennis program will hold a short organizational meeting Friday at the LAHS speech theater.

    The meeting is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Anyone interested in playing girls tennis this spring is encouraged to attend.
    For more information about the meeting or the girls tennis program, contact Bruce Cottrell at 660-1440.

  • Sports Briefs 01-08-14

     LA-Academy girls game is canceled

    Los Alamos High School’s athletic department announced Tuesday that the scheduled girls basketball game against Albuquerque Academy has been nixed.
    Los Alamos was scheduled to play Academy Jan. 27, but Academy wasn’t willing to play three games that week — it also has scheduled games with Sandia Prep Jan. 28 and Capital Jan. 30.
    Hilltopper athletic director Vicki Nelms said she is looking for another school that would be willing to play Los Alamos to make up for that cancelation.

    Field users meeting set for Feb. 12

    Los Alamos County will host a spring and summer field user’s meeting Feb. 12 at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center training room.
    The meeting is scheduled from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Anyone interested in holding activities on the county sports fields is welcome to attend.
    Those attending the meeting are asked to bring schedule requests and liability forms. Field requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis, particularly those who attend the Feb. 12 meeting.
    For more information, contact Kim Trujillo at 662-8173.

    YMCA’s junior wrestling program starting up

  • Basketball coach resigns

    Another January, another sudden basketball coaching departure.
    Los Alamos High School announced Monday afternoon that boys head basketball coach Fil Dominguez resigned his post earlier in the day.
    Dominguez cited work responsibilities and the health of a family member as his reasons for leaving the team.
    Longtime Los Alamos assistant coach, Mike Kluk, was named the interim head coach of the Hilltopper boys. Athletic director Vicki Nelms made the announcement to the team prior to their morning practice.
    Kluk, who has been a top assistant on both the boys and girls teams for better than 20 years, said he felt a little “shell-shocked” by the announcement of Dominguez’s departure.
    “This all happened so fast, but the rest of us coaches are going to try to pick it up,” Kluk said. “We’ll make some changes as we go. There probably won’t be any big changes, it’s a little late in the year for that, but maybe some little changes.”
    A message left for Dominguez wasn’t returned as of press time.
    Dominguez leaves a program that has struggled for several seasons and, in recent games, has been knocked around considerably.

  • Belen holds on in 2nd half to top LA Saturday, 47-35

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team again came up with a big defensive quarter coming out of the locker room for the second half this weekend.
    Unfortunately, this time, the Hilltoppers couldn’t take advantage on the other end.
    Los Alamos, playing on the road Saturday afternoon, held the Belen Eagles to just four points in the third quarter as it attempted to get back into the game. However, Los Alamos managed just eight points itself in the quarter.
    In the fourth quarter, the Eagles’ offense got back on track, dropping in 15 points as they picked up a 47-35 win in a Class 4A contest in Belen.
    Belen (6-2) has played tough at home this season, going 3-0.
    The Hilltoppers got hot in mid- to late December, winning four of five contests, got the new year off on the right foot, topping West Las Vegas on the road last Thursday 55-39 before dropping Saturday’s game.
    Los Alamos (6-7) has a big game set for Friday night when it hosts arch-rival St. Pius X, which has looked very good in the nondistrict season.
    Kiana Zerr had 10 points to lead Los Alamos against Belen, while Amber Logan, who had a hot hand for the Hilltoppers at the Goddard Holiday Tournament two weeks ago, finished with 8 points.

  • LA tops Franklin at tourney

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper ice hockey team went 1-2 in the Taos Showcase Tournament this weekend, but its win there was a big one.
    Los Alamos knocked off El Paso (Texas) Franklin 3-2 in the second game of its three-game set at the tournament last weekend.
    The Hilltoppers, along with all the other New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League teams, took part in the tournament, hosted by the Taos Ice Tigers. There was also one interloper at the tournament, the Odessa (Texas) Jackalopes, which walloped the Hilltoppers in their opener.
    Nevertheless, the Hilltoppers (5-3) grabbed the upset win over Franklin, which until Saturday’s match-up had only lost one game on the season, that against its cross-town rival El Paso Coronado.
    Tanner Kennedy tallied the game-winning goal for Los Alamos against Franklin and Tristen Roach finished with two assists in the contest. Between the pipes, Isaac Dunwoody stopped 17 shots in 19 chances, outdueling Kelsi Byrd of Franklin, who saved 16 of 19 Los Alamos shots.
    At the tournament, the Hilltoppers faced all three teams there from Texas. Odessa blanked the Hilltoppers 6-0 Friday night and Coronado dropped the Hilltoppers 5-2 in their Sunday morning contest.

  • Dominguez steps down from boys basketball team

    Los Alamos High School announced Monday that head boys basketball coach Fil Dominguez has stepped down from his position.

    Effecitive immediately, longtime assistant coach Mike Kluk will take over on an interim basis.

    Dominguez cited work responsibilities, plus the health of a member of his family, as reasons for his resignation. Dominguez took over as head coach prior to the 2011-12 season.

    More information will be in Tuesday's Los Alamos Monitor.