• Spartans' hot shooting night sinks LA Saturday

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team, despite its struggles, had a chance Saturday night to put itself right in the mix of the District 2-4A race.
    Unfortunately, the Bernalillo Spartans, and more specifically Carl Herrera, had other plans.
    Bernalillo, itself jockeying for position in the 2-4A standings, came out firing in the first half. Bernalillo nailed five first half 3-pointers to open up a big lead and never looked back.
    The Spartans prevailed Saturday at Griffith Gymnasium, 63-42.
    Along the way, Bernalillo shot a blistering 25 of 41 (61.0 percent) from the floor, missing just eight attempts in each half.
    Herrera, who has been Los Alamos’ main nemesis in their two district meetings this season, followed up his 20-point performance in Bernalillo Jan. 22, had 27 points at Griffith Gym.
    Herrera himself had five 3s in the game and scored 10 points in the second quarter, keying a big period for his team.
    Bernalillo took control of the game in that second quarter, outscoring Los Alamos 18-7.
    “They came out and got going early,” Hilltopper head coach Mike Kluk said. “We didn’t do anything to take them out of that groove.”

  • LA takes 2nd at Sanchez tourney

    It was the goal of the Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team to end its season in style, as is always the case when it hosts the Bryan Sanchez Invitational tournament.
    And Los Alamos managed that, taking second place in the 12-team tournament Saturday at the Auxiliary Gymnasium.
    Los Alamos finished with 148 team points at the tournament, trailing only Las Vegas Robertson in the team standings. Robertson’s Cardinals grabbed 160 points.
    Along the way, the Hilltoppers picked up three individual wins.
    Saturday’s tournament was the regular season finale for Los Alamos, which will now prepare to defend its back-to-back district titles at Bernalillo this coming weekend.
    The Sanchez tournament carries special significance to the Hilltopper program. It is held to honor the memory of one a departed alumni and the most significant team award of the year is given out.
    The recipient of the Bryan Sanchez Award for this season was Nathan Aguirre, who was selected by the Sanchez family as the Hilltopper who most embodies Sanchez’s spirit.
    Sanchez was a graduate of Los Alamos’ program. He died in an automobile accident on Christmas Eve 2008 at the age of 21.

  • On Schedule 02-09-14

    Boys basketball: Los Alamos at Santa Fe, C team, 4 p.m.; JV, 5:30 p.m.; varsity, 7 p.m.

    Girls basketball: Santa Fe at Los Alamos, C team, 4 p.m.; JV, 5:30 p.m.; varsity, 7 p.m.

    Boys basketball: St. Michael’s at LAMS, seventh grade, 4 p.m.; eighth grade, 5 p.m.

    Tennis: Los Alamos at El Paso (Texas) Public Schools Invite, boys and girls varsity, 9 a.m.

    Boys basketball: Española Valley at Los Alamos, C team, 4 p.m.; JV, 5:30 p.m.; varsity, 7 p.m.

    Wrestling: District 2-4A championship (Bernalillo), varsity, 9 a.m.

    Swimming and diving: District 1 meet, boys and girls, 10 a.m.

    Tennis: Los Alamos at El Paso (Texas) Public Schools Invite, boys and girls varsity, 9 a.m.

    Girls basketball: Los Alamos at Española Valley, C team, 4 p.m.; JV, 5:30 p.m.; varsity, 7 p.m.

  • Sports Briefs 02-09-14

    Field user’s meeting is Wednesday

    Los Alamos County will host a spring and summer field user’s meeting Wednesday 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. Requests will be considered at Wednesday’s meeting.
    For more information, contact Kim Trujillo at 662-8173.

    Soccer registration closes Monday

    Registration is now open for the spring 2014 Los Alamos Youth Soccer League season.
    Online registration can be done through Monday.
    For more information or to register, visit laysl.org.

  • Renegades and Rhinos

    The New Mexico Renegades took on El Paso’s Rhinos as part of the Outdoor Fusion Series for the Western State Hockey League. Playing along with the Renegades Saturday was Los Alamos’ Tyler Thorn. The game was part of a busy weekend of hockey at the ice rink. The Hilltoppers are also scheduled for a total of four games there.

  • ’Toppers upset on road by Spartans

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team took a big black eye in its fight to stay alive for a possible district regular season championship Friday night.
    The Hilltoppers got down by as many as 12 points in the third quarter of Friday’s game at Bernalillo. The Hilltoppers made a furious comeback to open the fourth quarter and actually tied the score, but a big 7-point rally, two of those points coming on a strange technical foul call, gave Bernalillo a 50-48 upset victory.
    With that loss, Los Alamos now slips to 2-3 on the District 2-4A season and 10-12 overall.
    Interestingly, Los Alamos didn’t lose any ground to district leader Santa Fe, which was itself upset by Española Valley Friday night as well.
    The Sundevils hit a buzzer-beating shot to stun the Demons 48-47.
    Still, the Hilltoppers are two full games behind both Santa Fe and Española Valley with three games to play and must play both this week, including facing Española Valley on the road.
    As has often been the case in many district games this season, one quarter all but doomed Los Alamos against Bernalillo (7-16, 2-3 in 2-4A), in this case, it was the second quarter. Los Alamos was limited to just three points in that period and trailed by 7 heading into the break.

  • Challacombe is runner-up at indoor games

    Los Alamos Hilltopper girls track and field standout Chelsea Challacombe finished second in high jump at the preseason Great Southwest Indoor Meet.
    Challacombe, who finished third in the 2013 state meet in Albuquerque, cleared 5 feet, 2 inches at the GSW meet Jan. 18.
    That 5-2 mark tied her previous career best in the event.
    Challacombe is a junior for the Hilltoppers and one of the team’s top returning athletes. 

  • 'Toppers, Renegades hit the ice

    It will be a busy weekend at Los Alamos County Ice Rink with the Hilltoppers and the New Mexico Renegades both in action.
    The Renegades, a Junior A hockey team based in Rio Rancho, will be back for its annual game at the ice rink. This will be the third year in a row the Renegades have played their Outdoor Fusion Series game in Los Alamos.
    They will take on the El Paso Rhinos, one of their rivals in the Western States Hockey League. Saturday’s game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Admission for that contest is $5.
    While that’s a big contest, it’s not even close to the only one at the ice rink this weekend.
    The Hilltoppers will host four games in three days against both the New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League teams from El Paso, Texas.
    Los Alamos will play league-leading Coronado at 8:15 p.m. Friday, then the two teams will meet again at 11:15 a.m. Saturday.
    Then, following the Renegade-Rhino game, Los Alamos will take on the Franklin Cougars at 9 p.m.
    The two teams will meet again at 10:15 a.m. Sunday. 

  • Former 'Topper remembered at tourney

    The person with the best seat in the house this weekend is the one for whom the tournament is named, Bryan Sanchez.
    Sanchez, a former Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestler who lost his life in a car accident is remembered annually at the Bryan Sanchez Invitational, which is scheduled for Saturday in Auxiliary Gymnasium.
    “When Bryan first started to wrestle, I was not a good wrestling mom,” said team mom Rita Sanchez. “I was throwing up and my blood pressure would shoot up. I decided to suck it up and find a way to be supportive and be excited about the sport. Before every match I would put holy dirt from the Santuario de Chimayó on the back of Bryan’s neck. It made me feel better and it made him wrestle well and safe. It was our routine. He would say, ‘dirt me,’ and I would.”
    Sanchez now has more sons than she can handle, as the only representative allowed on the floor that can get away with yelling, “Come on honey.”
    She along with daughter Elena, will share the workload this weekend, as teams come from far and wide for the tournament.

  • LA's championship team to be honored

    The 1964 Los Alamos Hilltopper championship boys basketball team, along with two other teams from 50 years ago, will be honored at a reunion luncheon next month.
    The New Mexico Activities Association, the body that oversees most interscholastic high school activities in the state, will host the 25-50 Year Reunion Luncheon March 14 at the Embassy Suites in Albuquerque.
    The luncheon will be held as part of the state basketball championship tournament, which is scheduled for March 11-15, also in Albuquerque.
    Those who were players, coaches, managers or served those teams in some capacity and have not already been contacted regarding the ceremony are asked to get in touch with the NMAA at 505-923-3280.
    In 1964, Los Alamos won its first basketball title — girls basketball was not a recognized sport at the time — defeating St. Michael’s 76-55 in the Class A championship game. The Hilltoppers, who had a won-loss record of 21-7 that year, were coached by Bob Cox.
    It would be 36 years before Los Alamos claimed another basketball state title.
    Other teams that will be recognized at the ceremony are Class B champion Hatch and Class AA champion Roswell from 1964. The boys and girls championship teams from 1989 will also be honored.