• 'Toppers rally, pull away late from West Las Vegas

    After sitting idle for nearly two weeks, it wasn’t surprising that the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team didn’t have its sharpest game of the season Friday night.
    Los Alamos made some turnovers and committed numerous fouls in the first half, some forced by the West Las Vegas Lady Dons, some not, that kept the Lady Dons in the game for much of the contest.
    With just a little over two minutes to go in the third quarter, the two teams were knotted at 30, but a timely 11-2 run for the remainder of the quarter gave Los Alamos the cushion it needed to finally put West Las Vegas away.
    Amber Logan and Ashlynn Trujillo had big buckets with under 1:15 left in the quarter to help Los Alamos regain the lead and, ultimately, a 53-43 victory at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Until the big run late in the third, the Hilltoppers were never able to shake West, that despite the fact West had only 4 field goals in the first half.
    What kept the Lady Dons in the contest early, despite the Hilltoppers forcing some early turnovers and converting those on the other end, was the fouling situation.

  • LA girls remain at No. 4 spot in class

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team remains in the top 4 in this week’s MaxPreps rankings.
    The new rankings, which are put out twice a week during the season, were posted on the MaxPreps website Thursday.
    Los Alamos, which has been idle since Dec. 20, is 8-1 on the season, one of just two teams in Class 5A with just one loss.
    Gallup, which is 9-1 on the year, is in the No. 1 spot, with a total rating of 24.3, well ahead of No. 2 Roswell.
    One spot ahead of Los Alamos is Española Valley. Española Valley was defeated for the third time this season Tuesday, falling big to Class 3A Laguna Acoma, a surprising defeat for the Sundevils.
    The Sundevils did bounce back in the third-place game of the St. Michael’s tournament to defeat Caprock (Amarillo, Texas), 50-36.
    When district time rolls around for Los Alamos and Española Valley toward the end of the month, those two are expected to duke it out for this year’s title.
    The next-best rated team in District 2 is Bernalillo at No. 16.
    On the boys side, Los Alamos made a slight uptick in the new poll, going from the 24th and bottom team in 5A to the No. 23 team, one slot ahead of winless Chaparral.

  • 'Toppers get back to action tonight

    After taking a holiday break, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team will return to action this evening.
    Los Alamos is scheduled to take on West Las Vegas at 5 p.m. at Griffith Gymnasium. It will be the first game for the team since a big win over Artesia Dec. 20.
    The Hilltoppers (8-1) have won three straight contests since suffering their first defeat of the year Dec. 11 in the first round of the Joe Armijo Invitational, that loss coming against Los Lunas.
    Since then, the Hilltoppers won a thriller over Hope Christian, coming back from a very late 5-point deficit to win 38-37, as well as wins over Class 6A West Mesa and the Class 5A Artesia Bulldogs.
    Los Alamos pounded Artesia 64-29, giving the team its third win over a 5A opponent.
    Against Artesia, Ashlynn Trujillo led all scorers with 19 points, that despite playing with an injury on her non-shooting hand. Ashley Logan had a big showing that evening as well, dropping in 15 points.
    Prior to 2000, the Hilltoppers and the West Lady Dons were district rivals for nearly a decade.
    West (8-3), a Class 4A team, has shown some pluck recently, having won four of its last five outings. On Dec. 27, the Lady Dons thumped McCurdy 62-20.
    Also heading back to town for a game Saturday is the Hilltopper boys basketball team.

  • ’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.