• LA hockey loses to Taos

    The Los Alamos hockey team was both frustrated and encouraged after Friday’s 3-1 loss to Taos.
    “We’re not getting the results we want yet, but we’re playing the game we need to be successful,” Los Alamos head coach Kevin Brake said.
    Brake said the ’Toppers were probably playing their best hockey of the year for the first two periods of the game. “We were significantly out-playing them, just not finishing,” Brake said.
    Ben Roback did capitalize and scored a first-period goal for Los Alamos. Ben Rees also returned to the ice for Los Alamos and gave the team a boost.
    A strong goaltending effort by Taos, however, helped the Ice Tigers take a 2-1 lead into the third period and eventually win the game.
    “We had more scoring opportunities, we possessed the puck more (and) we were more physical, we just had a couple breakdowns that they capitalized on,” Brake said.
    With the loss, Los Alamos slipped to 1-4-1 overall while Taos improved to 4-0. Taos also took back the North Star Trophy, the traveling trophy the two teams battle for every time they step on the ice against each other.
    “I think now we know what we’re capable of,” Brake said. “Next time we play Taos, I expect that we should win that game.”

  • LA loses to tough Volcano squad

    The Los Alamos girls’ basketball team gave Volcano Vista, MaxPreps’ top-ranked team in Class 6A, a tough test Saturday. Inconsistent shooting from the field in the second and fourth quarters, however, hurt the ’Toppers and Volcano Vista pulled away late to win the game, 61-43.
    Kayla Salazar, who led all scorers with 22 points in the game, sunk a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter to give Los Alamos an early lead. Los Alamos trailed 16-12 after the first and only made one field goal in the second against Volcano’s pressure-packed defense. Ashlynn Trujillo made 5-of-6 free throw attempts in the quarter and Salazar made 4-of-6 to help Los Alamos head into halftime down 30-23.
    Los Alamos rallied in the third and a Sophia Roybal 3-pointer cut Volcano’s lead to 42-39 with 40 seconds left in the quarter.
    Volcano’s press, however, limited Los Alamos to four points, and no field goals in the fourth.
    Trujillo finished with 14 points. Roybal scored five and Makaela Jones scored two. Jones also led Los Alamos with eight rebounds.
    Volcano had three scorers reach double digits, led by Raven Herrera’s 20.
    Los Alamos, the No. 5 ranked team in Class 5A, is now 4-1 while Volcano Vista improved to 4-0.

  • LA wrestlers start 4-2

    The Los Alamos wrestling team took on six teams in two days to begin its season over the weekend.
    The ’Toppers started off by scoring a 69-3 victory over Tierra Encantada at home Friday.
    Los Alamos then went 3-2 at the Los Lunas dual-meet tournament Saturday, beating Centennial and District 2-5A rivals Del Norte and Bernalillo.
    Los Alamos lost to Cibola and Farmington (36-33) at the tournament.
    “It was good competition for early in the season,” Los Alamos head coach James Hatt said. “The competition only gets stiffer, but it was good to see the quality of teams we did.”
    Hatt said most of his wrestlers had winning records at the tournament. Los Alamos gave up two weights at Los Lunas, but many teams didn’t have a full roster either, and that helped the ’Toppers.
    Against Tierra Encantada, only two matches went the full six minutes. Los Alamos pinned the majority of its opponents.
    “It’s a new program and they’re still trying to build,” Hatt said.

  • LA girls improve to 4-0; boys fall to St. Mike's

    The Los Alamos girls' basketball team scored a 62-42 win over Belen Thursday to improve to 4-0. Kayla Salazar led Los Alamos with 23 points in the game. Ashley Logan scored 13 and Ashlynn Trujillo added 12 for the 'Toppers.

    The Los Alamos boys' basketball team (1-2) fell 53-41 to St. Michael's Thursday. The 'Toppers fell behind 22-4 in the first quarter, but rallied to go into halftime only trailing 29-25. Antonio Trujillo scored 11 in the second to help the 'Toppers come back. In the fourth quarter, however, Los Alamos couldn't get its shots to drop and came up short.

  • Hilltopper swimmers to compete at home Saturday

    The Los Alamos boys’ and girls’ swimming and diving teams will compete in their second meet of the year Saturday. The ’Toppers will host their home meet, the Bill Hudson Invite, at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center.
    Los Alamos began its season Nov. 14 at Albuquerque Academy’s Peter B. Barney Memorial Relays.
    The Hilltopper girls scored 148 points to take second, finishing eight points behind Albuquerque Academy. Nine teams competed in the meet, but it was a two-team battle for first place. St. Pius X and Cleveland tied for third with 74 points. Rio Rancho scored 66, followed by Piedra Vista (54), Cottonwood Classical Prep (30), Farmington (29) and Sandia Prep (22).
    The Hilltoppper boys finished third with 108 team points. Academy also won the boys’ title, scoring 172 points. Cleveland took second with four more points than the ’Toppers. St. Pius X, meanwhile, placed fourth with 88, followed by Sandia Prep (46), Farmington (41), Rio Rancho (28), Piedra Vista (22) and Cottonwood (4).
    Saturday’s meet is Los Alamos’ only home action of the year.

  • Pajarito working to get second lift running

    When Pajarito Mountain reopens its slopes Friday, the ski area is hoping to have an additional lift running to cater to beginners.
    General Manager Tom Long said the crew was able to make snow on Beginner West from about 4 p.m. Tuesday until 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning and then a similar timeframe Wednesday night.
    Long said the goal this week is to get the Beginner lift running to give people another option to ride besides the Aspen lift.
    “It will give us a better ability to accommodate beginners and never-evers,” Long said.
    The plan is to open the Beginner West and Mitey Mite trails under Beginner.
    The ski area opened for the season last Friday with one route down the mountain — Bruce’s Boulevard to Lone Spruce to East Road.
    “It’s really neat to be able to get the ski area going,” Long said. “In the 12 years I’ve been here, we’ve never been able to get going on Thanksgiving weekend and it’s all thanks to man-made snow.”
    As the weekend went on, the conditions also improved on the run. It rained at the ski area on Thanksgiving, creating a bit of a funky surface with a rain-sheen on it.

  • Girls basketball improves to 3-0

    The Los Alamos girls' basketball team improved to 3-0 Tuesday with a 47-33 win at Albuquerque Academy.

    "It wasn't the prettiest game, but we found a way to squeak it out," Los Alamos head coach Nestor Trujillo said. "It was a total team effort."

    Los Alamos' defense stepped up once again, limiting Academy to single-digits in every quarter except the fourth when the Chargers scored 10.

    "On defense, everybody showed up and we really pulled together," coach Trujillo said. "Both teams played great defense."

    Los Alamos led 11-9 after the first quarter and 20-18 at halftime. In the third quarter, however, the 'Toppers pulled away with a dominant effort, winning the quarter 18-5 to take a 36-23 lead into the final quarter.

    Ashlynn Trujillo led Los Alamos' offense with a 24-point effort. Makaela Jones added 13. Ashley Logan also played in her first game and had several assists in the contest. 

    Next, Los Alamos will host Belen Thursday.

    Boys fall to Moriarty

    The Los Alamos boys basketball suffered its first loss of the season, 55-44 to Moriarty. The boys fell behind 16-9 in the first quarter, trailed 31-22 at halftime and were never able to catch up.

  • Hilltoppers ready to hit the mat Friday

    The Los Alamos wrestling team will begin its season with a busy stretch of days, starting Friday in a home dual and then heading down to Los Lunas for a dual-meet tournament Saturday.
    “We’re eager to get out there and wrestle someone who’s not one of our teammates and see where we need to improve,” Los Alamos head coach James Hatt said.
    Hatt moved from Provo, Utah, where he coached at West Lake High School, to take the head coach job here. Hatt, however, has some Los Alamos connections. His sister lives here and he also coached with a Los Alamos alumnus, Trevor Schramm, in Utah.
    Now he’s helping the ’Toppers prepare for the year.
    “We’re definitely working hard,” Hatt said. “We’ve had tough practices. The guys that are sticking around are getting better.”
    A trio of seniors will lead the team this season — captains Lane Saunders, Chris Romero and Damien Sundby. Saunders is already a two-time state champion. He beat Goddard’s Israel Villa in overtime to capture the 182-pound championship last year. Sundby also returns with state experience, competing last year at 138 pounds. Senior Hungjoo Kim is also competing this year.

  • LA girls blow by Pojoaque

    The Los Alamos girls' basketball team had several players step up Saturday to help it blow by Pojoaque, 76-46, and improve to 2-0 on the season.
    "I'm pretty excited about this whole group of girls," Los Alamos head coach Nestor Trujillo said. "They're playing loose and confident and they're having fun. They aren't nervous before the game and it shows."
    The 'Toppers jumped all over Pojoaque early in the game, shutting down the Elkettes' attack while sinking buckets at the other side of the court.
    "The defense was key," coach Trujillo said. "If we continue to play at that level it will equate to easy, early offense for us."
    The coach said Elena Abeyta did well defensively, pressuring Pojoaque's guards to limit their attack. "That was real vital to the success of everybody else," coach Trujillo said.
    Sophia Roybal also "played one of her best games on both sides of the court," coach Trujillo said. "She had a phenomenal game."
    After winning the first quarter 22-13, Los Alamos limited Pojoaque to 4 second-quarter points to take a 41-17 lead into halftime.
    While Los Alamos' defense was shutting Pojoaque down, its offense got production from all over the place.

  • Pajarito Mountain opens for season today

    Pajarito Mountain is open for ski and snowboard season. It began spinning the Aspen Lift at 9 a.m. this morning.
    The Nov. 27 opening is the earliest opening in the ski area’s recent history.
    Pajarito Mountain’s water collection system was expanded this year and mountain crews have been able to make more snow using water collected in the pond over the summer.
    This has allowed mountain crews at Pajarito to start making a significant amount of snow for the first time in the resort’s history.
    “This is an historical moment and an exciting year for Pajarito,” stated James Coleman, managing partner of Pajarito Mountain. “It’s the first time Pajarito has been able to utilize a significant amount of water from the weir system for snowmaking efforts and open earlier than in recent history.”
    Pajarito has typically opened on or around Dec. 20, conditions permitting.
    “The new snowmaking infrastructure is a game changer for Pajarito,” Coleman said. “We’re now able to prepare the mountain and announce an opening date with confidence and without solely relying on what Mother Nature provides.”
    The Aspen Lift will be turning from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. Open terrain includes Bruce’s Boulevard, Lone Spruce and East Road.