• 'Toppers pick up four titles at Jaguar Invite

    SANTA FE — A trio of Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestlers earned individual titles at Saturday’s Jaguar Invitational.
    Los Alamos had four competitors get to the final round of the Jaguar Invitational, hosted by Capital.
    Lane Saunders at 170 pounds, Brian Geyer at 195 pounds and Jonathan Schueler in the heavyweight division were all winners at the tournament, which included 14 teams, many of which were from northern New Mexico but some coming from as far away as Deming and even Amarillo, Texas.
    Los Alamos finished fourth in team competition Saturday, scoring 128 points. Capital won the team trophy by holding off Los Lunas 189-179. Deming, which brought a huge contingent with it Saturday, finished third with 147.5 points.
    Saunders and Geyer won their title bouts handily, but Schueler had a battle on his hands against district rival Troy Calabaza of Bernalillo. Calabaza had Schueler on his back early in the third period, but with about a minute remaining in the contest, Schueler performed a switch from off the bottom to gain the advantage.
    Then, with just short time remaining, Calabaza got to his feet and nearly slipped Schueler’s grasp, but Schueler’s head-and-arm throw had Calabaza on his back.
    Schueler pinned him with just 12 seconds remaining.

  • Brewer receives football’s Black Lion Award for 2013

    Los Alamos Hilltopper senior Peter Brewer was the recipient of one of the most prestigious honors handed out by the school’s football program this season.

    Brewer, a key player on the Hilltopper defense, was given this year’s Black Lion Award.

    The Black Lion Award is given in memory of Major Don Holleder, who died in combat in Vietnam, as one of the Black Lions.

    The men of the 28th Infantry Regiment who died with him that day, were all part of a team.

    The Black Lion Award represent that sense of team, as the Black Lion is not an individual award, but is intended to go to a player who personifies “team play.”

    The award recipient is a person of character, like Holleder, who demonstrates leadership, courage, devotion to duty, self-sacrifice, and-above all-an unselfish concern for the team ahead of himself, according to athletic director Vicki Nelms.

    “I enjoyed most of the year because of the players, having my friends around me almost everyday,” said Brewer. “All of us working hard and having fun playing football.”

    One former Hilltopper that exemplified this from the beginning was AD and coach, William McWilliams and the Black Lion Award is given each year, in his honor.

  • LA boys pick up first win of season

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team finally broke into the win column with a victory in the Joe Armijo Classic.
    Los Alamos downed its District 2-4A rival, Bernalillo, 68-60 in the seventh-place game of the tournament at the tournament, hosted by Albuquerque Academy.
    The Hilltoppers outscored the Spartans 21-9 in the third quarter and outscored the Spartans 21-16 in the fourth quarter to earn the victory.
    Heading into Saturday’s final round, the Armijo tournament hadn’t been a good one for Los Alamos (1-6), which was beaten up both by Albuquerque High and Las Cruces, but ended on a good note for Los Alamos, which was in danger of going a calendar year without having won a game.
    Bernalillo slipped to 1-5 on the year with Saturday’s loss.
    It was also the first time this season Los Alamos had scored more than 53 points in a game.

  • Late goal puts ’Toppers on top of Bears

    Tyler Thorn scored two goals in the third period as the Los Alamos Hilltopper hockey team topped La Cueva Friday night.

    Thorn scored early in the third period, then, with two minutes remaining in the game, broke a 3-3 tie with La Cueva by knocking in his second goal off an assist from Charlie Christensen as the Hilltoppers won 4-3 at Los Alamos County Ice Rink.

    It was the second consecutive win on home ice for Los Alamos, which was scheduled to play Cibola Saturday in Rio Rancho.

    Griffin Matuszak and Evan Oro scored goals in the first period to put Los Alamos up 2-1, but La Cueva’s top offensive player, Matthew Key, scored twice, including a game-tying goal in the final period before Thorn’s game-winner.

    Special thanks to KRSN AM 1490 and FM 107.1 for its help with this report.

  • Girls basketball falls in Academy’s 2nd round

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team came back from a big deficit to take the lead against the Albuquerque High Bulldogs but couldn’t hang onto that lead in the endgame.
    In the consolation round of the Joe Armijo Classic at Albuquerque Academy, Los Alamos trailed by as many as 9 points at the half. But the Hilltopper defense limited the Bulldogs to just 5 points in the third quarter and took the lead early in the fourth quarter.
    However, the Bulldogs hit some late 3-pointers and won the contest 56-50 Friday afternoon.
    Los Alamos was scheduled to play in the seventh-place game of the Classic against Academy, which lost to both Hope Christian and Highland in the first two rounds. That score wasn’t available at press time.
    In Thursday’s opener, the Hilltoppers fell to the Los Lunas Tigers 70-55.
    Once again, Kiana Zerr paced the Hilltoppers with 11 points. Amber Logan also finished with 11 and Marissa Larribas had 10, 6 in the fourth quarter as Los Alamos (1-5) tried to hang on to a 3-point lead with about 5 minutes remaining.
    Ashley Perez had a game-high 24 points for the Bulldogs (3-2), 18 coming in the first half to help her team to the big lead. Monique Vasquez finished with 13 points.

    Special thanks to KRSN AM 1490 and FM 107.1 for its help with this report

  • LA blasted in first round of Armijo tourney

    ALBUQUERQUE — If the first round of the Joe Armijo Classic is any indication of how the rest of the tournament will go for Los Alamos’ boys basketball team, it’s going to be a rough trip.
    The Hilltoppers were roughed up by the Albuquerque High Bulldogs Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the tournament, hosted by Albuquerque Academy.
    Los Alamos managed just single-digit offensive outputs in three of the four quarters and couldn’t do much to stop the transition game of the Bulldogs, who dominated the contest and won going away, 71-37.
    Los Alamos turned over the ball 12 times in the middle quarters and almost all of those turnovers were cashed in on the other end by Albuquerque.
    Gabe Bump, a sophomore guard for the Bulldogs, cherry-picked his way to 10 steals in Thursday’s game. Bump read Los Alamos’ passing like an open book, stepping directly in front of passing lanes in the backcourt.
    He finished with a game-high 21 points.
    Bump set the tone early on, scoring 8 points in the first quarter and assisting Albuquerque big man Jared Blea on another fast break chance.
    The only quarter Los Alamos could get much going on offense was the first. Hilltopper wing Skyler Veenis had 10 of his team-high 14 points in the first quarter, hitting on 4 of 5 chances from the floor.

  • Hilltoppers can't keep pace with defending 4A champions

    ALBUQUERQUE – The first round of the Joe Armijo Classic was a chance for the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team to get a first-hand look at the most dominant player in the state.
    Los Alamos took on Los Lunas Thursday in the opening round of the tournament, hosted by the Albuquerque Academy Chargers.
    Los Lunas features Teige Zeller, the 6-foot-2 center who is the best offensive player in the state, bar none.
    For much of the first half, Los Alamos’ defense was up to the challenge, holding her to just four points in the first half and even getting her into foul trouble, but she dropped in 10 of her game-high 28 points in the third quarter.
    Los Lunas, the defending Class 4A champ, outscored Los Alamos 23-9 in the third quarter en route to a big 70-55 win Thursday.
    The Hilltoppers were able to hang well with the Tigers, who will likely be the No. 1 or No. 2 team in the state when the first rankings of the season come out, but the third quarter sunk the Hilltoppers’ chances of an upset.
    “Through the first half, we played fairly well,” Los Alamos head coach Ann Stewart said. “There were some thing we could’ve done a little better. The third quarter we fell apart a little bit. That’s what killed us. We’ve got to play a full game.”

  • 'Topper girls face Los Lunas Thursday

    per girls basketball team will get a shot at redemption in the first round of the Joe Armijo Classic Thursday morning in Albuquerque.
    Los Alamos will face the team that knocked it out of the state Class 4A playoffs, the Los Lunas Tigers, in the opening round of the Armijo tournament, which is hosted by the Albuquerque Academy Chargers.
    Both the Los Alamos boys and girls teams will take part in the three-day tournament, which is chock full of tough teams once again this year.
    Los Alamos and Los Lunas, a team which is on a lot of people’s short list as a title contender this season, is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Thursday.
    In The Pit this past March, the Tigers, the No. 1 team in the Class 4A playoffs last season, dumped Los Alamos 57-44, largely on the strength of five 3-pointers in the second quarter. Los Alamos attempted some late-game heroics, but couldn’t sustain enough offense to keep pace with the Tigers, who would go on to win the 4A state title.
    The Tigers believe they have the talent to vie for another 4A crown this season, although one of the big hurdles standing in their way is Los Alamos’ district rival Santa Fe.
    On the girls side, other first round games include Academy taking on Bernalillo, Española Valley facing Albuquerque and Las Cruces meeting Highland.

  • LA can't hold on to lead at the half vs. Belen

    Tuesday night’s game seemed to be just what the doctor ordered for the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team to break out of its funk and with a solid first half, it seemed to be well on its way.
    But in the second half, the Hilltoppers struggled to hold on to the basketball and the Belen Eagles took advantage.
    Los Alamos had a big second quarter, limiting Belen to just 6 points and using its transition game effectively to build a 6-point lead at the half, but ran into several problems on offense in the second half.
    Belen was the beneficiary of 14 Los Alamos turnovers in the second half and, despite getting sloppy itself late, picked up a 51-43 victory at Griffith Gymnasium.
    The Hilltoppers, who won just one game last season, are still trying to break into the win column this season. And with a tough slate of games in their near future, including the upcoming Joe Armijo Invitational tournament, the Hilltoppers had one of their best shots to pick up a victory against Belen, who, like the Hilltoppers, have struggled so far.
    Belen went into Tuesday’s game having been blown out in a pair of contests to open the season, against Atrisco Heritage and Roswell. The teams not only had similar records but were scoring points at a similar pace.

  • LA takes 9th at big wrestling meet

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team earned a ninth-place finish in last weekend’s Rio Rancho Shootout duals meet.
    Los Alamos split eight team duals contests at the event, hosted by the Rio Rancho Rams. Among Los Alamos’ key wins at the duals were victories over Class 4A schools Farmington, Santa Fe and Moriarty.
    In all, 16 teams took part in last weekend’s tournament, which was comprised of duals matches between participating teams.
    Hilltopper head coach Bob Geyer said he liked the way his wrestlers fought the good fight against some tough competition.
    “Even when our backs were on the mat, we were fighting,” he said. “Even when we’re down, we’re not quitting. That was good to see.”
    One of the big showings of the weekend was by 182-pounder Joseph Coriz. Coriz picked up a big pin over his opponent from Moriarty with the dual’s outcome still very much up in the air.
    Had Coriz lost, it would’ve been tough for Los Alamos to do better than a tie against the Pintos, a solid 4A opponent. Instead, Coriz and 195-pounder Brian Geyer earned pinfalls in the final two head-to-head bouts to give the Hilltoppers a 47-33 win.