• ’Toppers to have long day Saturday

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper hockey team will have to be early birds and night owls when it starts the Mid-Year Tournament Saturday.
    Los Alamos has a game at 6:45 a.m. Saturday, then must wait around until 10:05 p.m. before it plays again.
    The tournament begins Friday. All of the tournament games will be played at the Taos Youth and Family Center, the home ice of Los Alamos’ archrival, the Taos Ice Tigers.
    Teams from Durango, Colorado, Amarillo, Texas and Odessa, Texas, are scheduled to play on day one of the three-day tournament.
    Saturday morning, the Hilltoppers will face the Coronado T-Birds, a team from El Paso, Texas. Coronado, which was one of the top teams in the New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League last year.
    So far this season, the T-Birds are 6-4-2. They’ve given up nearly as many goals this season (36) as they’ve scored (37).
    The Mid-Year Tournament is a seeded affair. Los Alamos goes in as the No. 2 seed, having compiled a record of 7-1 on the season.
    In their last action before the holiday break, the Hilltoppers won straight games against Santa Fe and Los Alamos. Those two wins came in the team’s first games of the year at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink.

  • LA held to season-low 26 pts. in loss to Belen

    It was another rough night for the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team at the Poe Corn Invitational Tuesday.
    Los Alamos was scheduled to complete its stay at the Poe Corn, which is co-hosted by Roswell and Goddard high schools, today when it faced Moriarty in the seventh-place game.
    The Hilltoppers scored a season-low 26 points in Tuesday’s contest against the Belen Eagles. The Eagles prevailed 61-26.
    While Los Alamos has struggled all season on the offensive end — the Hilltoppers have yet to break the 50-point mark this year — Tuesday’s game was the first time Los Alamos had not cracked 50 in a game.
    The loss dropped the Hilltoppers to 1-9 on the season. The Eagles, who have been somewhat spotty on offense this year as well, put in its second-best point total of the season to improve to 5-5.
    Since its first win of the season Dec. 12, Los Alamos has dropped four straight contests.
    Today’s game was the second meeting between the Hilltoppers and the Moriarty Pintos. The Pintos are 3-9 on the year, but one of those three wins came against the Hilltoppers Dec. 2 in Los Alamos, where the Pintos prevailed 51-32.
    Moriarty lost in the consolation round of the tournament Tuesday as well, falling to Artesia 68-43.

  • LA takes 9th at Piedra Vista

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team took ninth out of 16 competitors at the Dec. 20 Piedra Vista Duals.
    Los Alamos dropped three of four contests in the pool round at the duals in Farmington, topping only the Farmington Scorpions, but bounced back to finish first in the bronze bracket following the initial pool round.
    Los Alamos easily downed Farmington, 47-22 in their dual, but lost their next two, to Piedra Vista’s “silver” team and to Dove Creek, Colorado.
    Ironically, one of the Hilltoppers’ own wrestlers might have knocked them out of a chance to compete in the silver bracket.
    The Hilltoppers loaned out Eben Bold to Dove Creek, which was wrestling with a skeleton crew and Bold actually beat his teammate from Los Alamos, one of the decisive bouts to give Dove Creek a tight 33-30 victory in pool competition.
    Piedra Vista’s team topped the Hilltoppers 45-33.
    In the bronze bracket, the Hilltoppers topped Dolores, Colorado, 42-30, then squeaked by Grants 31-30 to take the top position in the bracket and ninth place overall.

  • Kirk's journey to NBA is top sports story of 2014

    It was a rare day for Los Alamos sports in August when the Cleveland Cavaliers signed native Alex Kirk to a multi-year deal.
    Kirk, a former standout Los Alamos High School basketball player who went on to become a standout player for the University of New Mexico, agreed to a free agent deal with the NBA’s Cavaliers and spent a brief time with the team in the early part of the 2014-15 season before going down to the Cavaliers’ development league team, Canton.
    Playing for a major sports organization is something very few in Los Alamos history have achieved, and it made the 7-foot Kirk the biggest local sports story of the year.
    Although the terms of his deal weren’t disclosed, it was believed he signed for a rookie minimum contract, one that is still worth half a million dollars if the contract terms are fulfilled.
    With his signing, he became the first Los Alamos athlete to play in a major North American sports league since Walt Arnold played in the NFL in the 1980s.

  • On Schedule 12-30-14


    Boys basketball: Los Alamos at Poe Corn Invite, varsity, TBA.


    Girls basketball: West Las Vegas at Los Alamos, C team, 2 p.m.; JV, 3:30 p.m.; varsity, 5 p.m.


    Boys basketball: Taos at Los Alamos, C team, 2 p.m.; JV, 3:30 p.m.; varsity, 5 p.m.

  • Sports Briefs 12-26-14

    Junior wrestling program returning

    The Family YMCA of Los Alamos is now accepting registrations for its junior wrestling program.
    The program is scheduled to run between Jan. 5-April 17.
    Workouts will be at the YMCA’s gymnasium Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4-5 p.m.
    Kids in grades 1-6 can participate, as well as those in grades 7-8 if they have no previous wrestling experience.
    Price for participation is $60 for YMCA members, $90 for nonmembers. There are optional competitive tournaments for those interested at additional cost.
    For more information, call the YMCA at 662-3100.

    Pajarito still waiting for snow

    As of Friday morning, Ski Pajarito was reporting two additional inches of snow from Thursday night’s snowstorm.
    Currently, the ski area is reporting a 15-inch base mid-mountain, which is still not enough to open for the season.
    Pajarito is one of just two ski areas in New Mexico that has yet to open. Sandia Peak, which is reporting a 13-inch base, is the other.
    Among the ski areas in northern New Mexico, Taos was reporting a 42-inch base and Ski Santa Fe has 39 inches.

  • LA plays Goddard to open Poe Corn

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team will face one of the two host teams for the upcoming Poe Corn Invitational Tournament.
    Los Alamos will take on the Goddard Rockets at the Poe Corn tournament, one of the oldest basketball tournaments in the state, Monday night at Goddard.
    The Poe Corn is an annual event played in Roswell. Los Alamos is a fixture at the tournament, which has been around since the 1950s.
    Monday’s game will be the first for Los Alamos since Dec. 19. The Hilltoppers fell at home to the Rio Grande Ravens, 52-42. That loss put the Hilltoppers at 1-7 on the season.
    While Los Alamos hasn’t yet been able to find that second win of the season, it has looked better in recent outings. Los Alamos lost to Valencia by a 10-point margin as well, that coming Dec. 13, which was far better than the nearly 50-point cushion Valencia had earlier in the year at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Against Rio Grande, Los Alamos gave itself some chances on the offensive end, many of those coming in transition.
    However, the Hilltoppers struggled to finish, misfiring on several makeable shots that cost them a chance at pulling off an upset over the Class 6A Ravens.
    Los Alamos head coach Mike Kluk said practices heading up to the Roswell tournament would involve plenty of shooting.

  • LA guard Logan named top player of week in Class 5A

    One of the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team’s top players was named one the top players in New Mexico by a statewide prep website.
    Amber Logan, a senior point guard, was tabbed as the top player of the week by NMPreps.com. The website’s “main purpose is to get our players in the state of New Mexico the national exposure they deserve,” according to founder Kyle Henderson.
    While Los Alamos had just one game last week, it was a big win for the team. The Hilltoppers downed the Artesia Bulldogs 64-29 at home Saturday for its third win in four chances against a Class 5A opponent.
    And Logan was at the forefront of that big game, as she has been for most of the past two seasons with the Hilltoppers. Logan finished with a double-double, scoring 12 points and finishing with 10 assists to lead Los Alamos to the big win.
    The season has gone swimmingly for the Hilltoppers so far with eight wins in nine tries. A sizeable chunk of their success has been due to the 1-2 punch of Logan and Ashlynn Trujillo.
    While Trujillo is one of the best players in the state off the dribble, she has had lots support from the outside. Logan has shot at or near the 50-percent mark from the 3-point arc in several games this season.

  • LA throttles Artesia at home, 64-29

    It was a long way to go for the Artesia Bulldogs this weekend, and the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team made it a long bus ride home.
    Los Alamos trounced Artesia Saturday at Griffith Gymnasium, 64-29.
    Los Alamos broke open Saturday’s contest in the second quarter, outscoring Artesia 21-8 to spark the rout. Ashlynn Trujillo scored three buckets, while Makela Jones and Jordan Duran combined for 8 more points in the second quarter, giving the Hilltoppers a 32-13 edge at the break.
    The Hilltoppers never looked back.
    With Saturday’s win, Los Alamos improved to 8-1 on the season and, perhaps more importantly, improved to 3-1 against Class 5A opponents. It was Los Alamos’ third straight win since falling to Los Lunas in the opening round of a tournament at Albuquerque Academy the previous week. 
    Artesia, of course, is in the extreme southeastern corner of New Mexico, approximately 265 travel miles away from Los Alamos.
    The Bulldogs (4-3) wisely bundled two games in two days as they made the long trip north. They also faced Belen Friday night, but that game didn’t turn out any better than Saturday’s game at Los Alamos, with the Bulldogs falling 61-34 in Belen.

  • LA outscored by 10 at home Friday

    Things are starting to improve for the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team, but there is still plenty that needs to be corrected.
    Los Alamos had some chances on the offensive end Friday night, hosting the Class 6A Rio Grande Ravens, but the team couldn’t get many makeable shots to drop.
    Except for a few defensive breakdowns, most of them occurring near the basket, Los Alamos contained Rio Grande’s offense and gave itself some chances on the other end. But Los Alamos missed out on converting too many of those chances and the Ravens held on for a 52-42 win at Griffith Gymnasium.
    The Hilltoppers, who appeared to get a shot of momentum off their first win of the year the previous weekend over East Mountain, got the ball inside near the hoop, taking advantage of its speed at the top of the key.
    Unfortunately, the Hilltoppers misfired too often from 8 feet and in, many of those shots missing off the front of the iron.
    “We couldn’t finish,” Los Alamos head coach Mike Kluk said. “We missed a lot of pretty easy shots. We had some problems executing our offense and we had some problems with turnovers.”
    Los Alamos lost the ball 25 times in the game, 14 of those coming in the first half.