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  • Hilltoppers hit the mat at Panther Classic

    The Hilltoppers wrestled five duals at Piedra Vista’s Panther Classic Saturday and won two of them.
    “It was one of the best tournaments we’ve been to so far,” Los Alamos head coach James Hatt said.
    Los Alamos beat Dolores (Colorado) and Piedra Vista’s silver squad, but fell to Farmington, Cleveland and Cleveland’s junior varsity.
    Cleveland, the top-ranked team in New Mexico, went on to beat Piedra Vista in the championship dual, 50-18.
    Against Los Alamos, however, the Storm backed down instead of taking on Hilltopper’s top wrestler, Lane Saunders.
    “Cleveland ducked him,” Hatt said. “They’re supposed to be the best team in the state and they had a guy, they just would not wrestle him.”
    With that forfeit and a few others, Saunders only wrestled one match. He won by decision against Farmington’s 195-pounder.
    Dylan Irish bumped up to 170 pounds for the tournament and had a successful day at the new weight, going 3-2.
    The coach also said Damien Sundby and Chris Romero were “in every match” that they wrestled, working hard to give themselves a chance to win at the end. They prevailed a few times came up a little short other times.

  • Lead slips away late from Hilltopper boys basketball

    The Los Alamos boys’ basketball team (3-5) almost won its third game in a row Friday at Highland (1-5), but was unable to close the contest out and ended up losing, 73-64.
    The ’Toppers took an eight-point lead into halftime and maintained a four-to-10 point lead for most of the third. Highland cut the lead to two points at the end of the third, but Los Alamos was able to pull away again.
    In the last three minutes of the game, however, Highland caught up and then took the lead.
    The ’Toppers were short-handed in the contest, playing without Michael Naranjo and Adam Paulson. Playing extra minutes without them fatigued the other players.
    “Our guys got tired in that fourth quarter,” Los Alamos head coach Mike Kluk said. “That led to some bad decisions and silly turnovers that let them get back in the game.”
    Once Highland took the lead, Los Alamos was forced to foul and send them to the free-throw line, which led to the final tally.
    “The boys need to figure out how to play when they’re ahead,” Kluk said. “You let a team hang around at home and they’ll find a way to beat you.”
    The team’s offense played well to score 64 points and coach Kluk said, “Jack Stewart had a pretty game offensively.”

  • Hilltoppers win tough road contest

    The Los Alamos girls’ basketball team had an early game on the other side of the state Saturday. The Hilltoppers traveled to Artesia for a day game.
    The ’Toppers didn’t play their best game of the season, but managed to come away with a 71-62 victory and improve to 9-1.
    “To be able to still come out with a win speaks volumes,” Los Alamos head coach Nestor Trujillo said.
    On defense, Los Alamos gave up way more points than it would have liked, but part of it was some hot shooting by Artesia.
    “We weren’t happy with the defensive side of it,” Trujillo said. “We want to keep teams in the 30s or 40s, but they shot phenomenal.”
    Artesia’s Gracie Tessillo led all scorers with 22 points in the game.
    “She was playing great basketball and kept them in the game,” Trujillo said.
    Los Alamos’ offense, meanwhile, started off a little slow.
    “We started going back to bad habits — dribbling too much and not passing,” Trujillo said. “We were able to fight through that, but it was a dog fight for the first three quarters.”
    The ’Toppers eventually pulled away in the fourth quarter, scoring over 70 points in a game for the third time this season.

  • Hilltopper girls improve to 9-1

    The Los Alamos girls basketball team beat Artesia 71-62 Saturday night to improve to 9-1 on the season.

    Three Hilltoppers scored double-digit points in the game and a fourth came close.

    Ashlynn Trujillo led Los Alamos with 21 points. Kayla Salazar scored 19. Ashley Logan scored 12 and Makaela Jones added nine.

    Gracie Tessilo led Artesia (4-4) with 22 points.

    The Los Alamos boys basketball team (3-5) was unable to win its third straight game Friday. Highland (1-5) snapped the Hilltopper boys' winning streak, 73-64.

    See Wednesday's edition of the Los Alamos Monitor for more.

  • Altmann prepares for round three on FWT

    As the snow begins to fall across the Northern Hemisphere, athletes across the world, including Los Alamos’ Garrett Altmann, are preparing for another season of action on the Swatch Freeride World Tour. The 2016 edition tour is destined to be one for the history books as it will host the most talented freeriders on the planet competing on legendary venues across the world for a total prize purse of $467,000.
    With a total of 62 athletes representing 14 countries, this diverse assembly of freeride athletes is composed of 27 male skiers, 14 male snowboarders, 14 female skiers, and seven female snowboarders.
    Last year, in Altmann’s second season competing on the world tour, he finished 16th in the skier division to re-qualify for this year’s tour.
    “I’m really excited,” Altmann said. “ I feel more confident than I have before.”

  • Pajarito to open majority of its trails Saturday

    After 21 inches of snow fell on Pajarito Mountain, including 15 inches since Sunday, the ski area has been busy preparing to open a majority of its runs for this weekend.
    “It just kept snowing and snowing,” Pajarito General Manager Tom Long said.
    For Sunday’s powder day, Pajarito was able to open Daisy Mae, giving skiers and snowboarders a second route to ride down from Aspen Lift.
    Today, Pajarito plans to have 12 runs open. Saturday, it plans on having over 30 of its 44 trails open.
    “For Saturday, most of the mountain except chair 5 (the Townsight lift) will be open,” Long said. “We’re looking pretty good.”
    The plan for today is to add Mal’s Run, West Mushroom, East Mushroom, L’il Abner, Bruce’s Boulevard West and Pussycat to the mix.
    On Saturday, Pajarito will begin spinning the Mother lift, opening up the Fab-four (Nuther Mother, Sidewinder, Breathless and Precious) and all of the other runs on the mountain’s west side.
    Runs like Wildcat and Aspen will also open, but could close if rocks begin appearing.
    “We’ll open as much as we can and keep it open as long as we can,” Long said.

  • Hilltopper hockey team wins assault-shortened game

    The Los Alamos hockey team was playing arguably its best hockey game of the season so far Sunday against the undefeated Amarillo Bulls.
    In the first period, Jared Carnes assisted Isaiah Archuleta to put the ’Toppers up 1-0. Less than four minutes later, Carson Schramm assisted Brett Ireland and Los Alamos took a 2-0 lead into the second period.
    “It was actually a very good game,” Los Alamos head coach Kevin Brake said. “We were up 2-0 and dominating.”
    Tempers, however, ended the contest early.
    The New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League’s official score sheet said the game was “suspended due to an assault on official.”
    There was said to be an altercation between two players and when the referee tried to tear them apart, he tripped and took down the Amarillo player with him. Amarillo’s coach Justin Linke then allegedly jumped over the wall, ran out to center ice, tackled the official and started punching him.
    The game was called after the incident, giving the 2-0 win to Los Alamos and ruining Amarillo’s undefeated record.
    The coach is also facing more serious repercussions than just a game misconduct for his actions.
    “It was a pretty crazy game,” coach Brake said.

  • Six wrestlers place at Capital

    The Los Alamos wrestling team competed in its first individual tournament Saturday in Santa Fe — Capital’s Jaguar Invitational.
    Six Hilltoppers placed in the tournament, helping Los Alamos finish eighth out of the 16 teams competing.
    “It was a good tournament,” Los Alamos head coach James Hatt said. “The kids wrestled way better this week than the week before. They’re improving steadily.”
    The team had three third-place finishers, two fourth-place finishers and one wrestler take fifth at Capital.
    The third-place finishers included Chris Romero at 160 pounds, Milo Light at 220 pounds Jacob Mairson at 285.
    Patrick Irish finished fourth behind Mairson at 285.
    Donovan Atencio placed fourth at 105 while Damien Sundby finished fifth at 152.
    Lane Saunders, who was recently ranked the eighth best wrestler in all of New Mexico by ZiaWrestler.com, was taking his ACT exam and did not compete. ZiaWrestler cited Saunders’ two state championships and third-place finish in his ranking. Saunders competes at 195 pounds. ZiaWrestler ranked Capital’s Jose Tapia (120 pounds) as the top wrestler in the state.
    The Jaguar Invite also featured a junior varsity tournament. Dylan Irish and Sam Harvey both took first while Eben Bold finished second in the JV competition.

  • Hilltoppers win championship at Academy

    The Los Alamos girls’ basketball team knocked off Los Lunas, the defending Class 5A state champion, to win Albuquerque Academy’s Joe Armijo Invite Saturday.
    The ’Toppers (8-1) won the championship game, 63-59.
    “Winning this tournament was huge,” Los Alamos head coach Nestor Trujillo said. “We’re on breaking ground. Usually a metro or southern team wins it. For us to be playing on that level and winning says something about the hard work they’re doing.”
    Every quarter of the championship game was close. The Tigers (3-2) won the first two quarters by a single point each, but Los Alamos won the last two by four points and two points.
    “It was a really intense, physical game,” coach Trujillo said. “Last year I think we would have folded.”
    This year, however, the ’Toppers rose to the challenge and, at times, played with a chip on their shoulders.
    Down the stretch, Los Alamos made seven-of-eight free three throws to take a 10-point lead and finish on top.
    The team’s offense was also clicking throughout the game. “They seem really comfortable running the offense,” coach Trujillo said. “They’re really moving the ball well and reading the defenses.”

  • Hilltoppers finish fifth at Sandia Prep Invite

    After a tough loss to Silver in the opening round of the Sandia Prep Sundevil Invitational, the Los Alamos boys’ basketball team rebounded to win the consolation side of the bracket.
    The ’Toppers beat East Mountain, 72-37, and Valencia, 51-41, to take fifth place and improve to 3-4 overall.
    In the fifth-place game, Los Alamos took on Valencia for a second time this year. Los Alamos won the first meeting by 26, but the second contest was much closer.
    “They made some good adjustments to keep our size in check,” Los Alamos head coach Mike Kluk said. “It wasn’t an easy game; we didn’t dominate by any stretch.”
    Valencia rallied in the fourth quarter to take the lead, but Los Alamos matched their rally to finish on top.
    The ’Toppers also played aggressive on offense and capitalized from the free-throw line.
    “We were attacking the basket, drawing fouls and making free throws,” coach Kluk said.
    Los Alamos sunk 22-of-24 free throws in the second half, led by Antonio Trujillo who made 11-of-13. “He’s Mr. Consistency,” coach Kluk said.