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  • 'Toppers hang on vs. Hope Christian

    It was a game of misses for both teams Tuesday night at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Fortunately for the Los Alamos Hilltoppers, though, they made just enough plays when they needed them.
    Los Alamos was playing perhaps its toughest opponent of the season to date at home Tuesday when it took on the Hope Christian Huskies. Hope Christian, from Albuquerque, is among the most athlete-rich small-schools in the state and has had plenty of success in girls basketball.
    Hope Christian had the big height advantage inside and dominated in the boards in the first half, but Los Alamos was able to keep the Huskies in check on the other end.
    Los Alamos led by as many as 13 points midway through the fourth quarter, but the Huskies came back to make things interesting before the Hilltoppers put the game away, winning 57-52.
    It was tougher to earn than expected, but it was Los Alamos’ fifth straight win to start the year.
    Los Alamos had plenty of chances to put the contest away, but was hampered by some unfortunately-timed turnovers and more struggles from the foul line. Los Alamos shot a dreadful 8 of 22 at the stripe Tuesday.

  • LA takes fourth in its season opener

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team went 4-1 in duals contests to open its season Saturday.
    Los Alamos finished second in the four-team pool it was in at Saturday’s Valencia Invitational. Then, in a three-way battle for fourth place in the tournament following the pool round, Los Alamos knocked off both its competitors.
    It was a solid start to the season for the Hilltoppers, who have several solid returning wrestlers and some others it’s hoping to bring along by year’s end.
    For the Hilltoppers, veterans John Dermer, Mateo Cardiel and Lane Saunders, a state champion last season, went undefeated on the weekend.
    In its pool, Los Alamos finished behind Los Lunas. After handily defeating longtime foe and district opponent Española Valley and topping Las Cruces Centennial, which is a Class 5A school, Los Alamos dropped a tough match to the Tigers.
    In their 10 common weight classes, the Hilltoppers and the Tigers evenly split bouts, but the Hilltoppers gave up four forfeits at vacant weight classes that proved to be the difference.

  • 'Toppers roll to big win over Pintos

    If the mission of the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team was to get off to a fast start Saturday night, mission accomplished.
    Los Alamos got off to a blazing-hot start in a big contest against a solid Class 5A team, the Moriarty Pintos.
    Amber Logan hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter and Makela Jones appeared to hit another, although it was only counted as a 2-point basket, as Los Alamos bombed the Pintos early.
    The Hilltoppers scored 27 points in the opening quarter, one of their most productive quarters in recent history, to jump out to a big lead.
    The two teams played fairly even most of the rest of the way, but the Hilltoppers cruised after the first period to win 64-40 at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Jones hadn’t realized until after the game that her shot from the deep right corner was only credited for 2 points, but she was barely concerned with it following the big win.
    “We made it more of a team effort than just one person,” Jones said, talking about the team’s big offensive performance. “Once we opened up Amber and made some other adjustments, that opened up everyone else.”

  • On Schedule 12-7-14

    Monday
    Girls basketball: LAMS at Pojoaque, seventh grade, 4 p.m.; eighth grade, 5 p.m.

    Tuesday
    Girls basketball: Hope Christian at Los Alamos, C team, 4 p.m.; JV, 5:30 p.m.; varsity, 7 p.m.

    Thursday
    Boys basketball: Los Alamos vs. Las Vegas Robertson (Sandia Prep Invite), varsity 2 p.m.

    Girls basketball: Los Alamos vs. Los Lunas (Academy Invite), varsity, 3 p.m.

    Friday
    Boys basketball: Los Alamos at Sandia Prep Invite, TBA.

    Girls basketball: Los Alamos at Academy Invite, TBA.

    Saturday
    Wrestling: Los Alamos at Capital Invite, varsity, JV, 9 a.m.; LAMS at Memorial Invite, 8 a.m.

    Boys basketball: Los Alamos at Sandia Prep Invite, TBA.

    Girls basketball: Los Alamos at Academy Invite, TBA; LAMS at Taos Invite, seventh and eighth grade, TBA.

  • Christmas Lights Run set for Monday

    The Los Alamos Triatomics multi-sport club will be hosting its annual Christmas Lights Runs from now until Dec. 22.
    Runs are scheduled for every Monday and Wednesday during that time.
    The next run will be Monday starting at the North Mesa soccer fields. Run time is 6:15 p.m.
    Runs are not competitive and there is no charge for participation.They are designed to be fun for all participants and paced so that runners can admire Christmas lights around the neighborhoods.
    Runners are encouraged to wear light clothes or reflective material for safety purposes. Runs will take place during active snowstorms but not if courses become icy.
    For more information or for late-change announcements, visit the club’s website, triatomics.org.

  • ’Toppers thumped at home Friday

    A rough second quarter led to a huge defeat at home for the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team Friday night.
    After a decent start to the contest, Los Alamos was outscored 20-3 in the second quarter by the St. Michael’s Horsemen. St. Michael’s guard Andrew Griego hit 3 3-pointers in the second period to lead the charge.
    Los Alamos didn’t fare a lot better in the third quarter, but came back a bit in the fourth quarter, although not nearly enough to get back into the ballgame.
    The Horsemen prevailed Friday night, 56-32.
    For the Hilltoppers, it was their fourth consecutive loss at home to start the season. The win by St. Mike’s came in its season opener.
    It was the second straight time the Hilltoppers had been held to 32 points.
    Hilltopper head coach Mike Kluk said his team struggled to respond to the St. Mike’s defense, which was good at switching and disguising its strategy.
    “We’re glad St. Mike’s made us play our press break,” he said. “We don’t quite understand that yet. I want to get better at that. Our chemistry’s not good right now. We’ve got to get a lot better.”

  • NM hoops results 12-05-14

    Boys basketball

    Albuquerque High 73, La Cueva 65
    Belen 59, Manzano 57
    Cleveland 57, Los Lunas 24
    Dora 57, Capitan 30
    Española Valley 57, Santa Teresa 40
    Floyd 77, Dexter 57
    Hagerman 65, Eunice 63
    Hatch Valley 83, Alamo-Navajo 54
    House/Grady 56, Loving 52
    Jal 65, Tatum 48
    Logan 69, Tucumcari 66, OT
    McCurdy 43, Questa 24
    Melrose 69, Cloudcroft 55
    Menaul 61, Coronado 56
    Newcomb 66, Dove Creek, Colo. 41
    Pojoaque 68, Crownpoint 33
    Quemado 64, Clovis Christian 15
    Reserve 66, Foothill 35
    Rio Rancho 73, Highland 63
    Sandia 80, Rio Grande 59
    Santa Fe Prep 62, Goddard 59
    Sierra Grande, Colo. 80, Mesa Vista 66
    West Las Vegas 74, Santa Fe 56

    Girls basketball

  • LA tops Belen in big Class 5A game

    It was the toughest test of the young season for the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team.
    And although things got hairy in several spots, the Hilltoppers passed the test.
    Los Alamos had to gut it out over a very tough Belen Eagles squad Thursday night. The Eagles were able to pound the ball inside and make enough shots from the outside to keep the Hilltopper defense scrambling.
    But the Hilltoppers got big performances at the other end from Makela Jones and Ashley Logan, along with their go-to option Ashlynn Trujillo, to down the Eagles 54-49 at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Belen held the edge over Los Alamos for most of the first quarter and a half and took a couple of late leads, but Los Alamos made the plays at the end it needed to make to pull the contest out.
    Jones, who is not known for her outside shooting, buried a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter, while Elena Abeyta hit a huge layup off an offensive rebound from Trujillo, then calmly sank two foul shots to close the door with 7.9 seconds remaining to seal the win.
    Los Alamos, which runs its early season record to 3-0, knew the Eagles were going to be a challenge heading in.

  • LA hockey plays a pair of games Saturday

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper hockey team will return to action Saturday following a weekend off for Thanksgiving.
    Los Alamos, which is just one of two undefeated teams remaining in the New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League, will have a doubleheader Saturday, albeit against two different teams in two different venues.
    Saturday morning, Los Alamos will take on the La Cueva Bears. That game is scheduled to start at 8:45 a.m. at the Outpost in Albuquerque.
    Following that game, the Hilltoppers will pack up and head across the Rio Grande for a contest at Blades Ice Arena. They will take on the Cibola Cougars at 2:15 p.m.
    These will be the final two road games for Los Alamos before its home opener, which is set for Dec. 12. Los Alamos will take on Santa Fe, Rio Rancho and Taos in three consecutive days at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink, its final three games before the NMIIHL’s mid-season tournament in Taos.
    Prior to the Thanskgiving break, Los Alamos earned a pair of wins in Amarillo, Texas, defeating the Amarillo Bulls. Los Alamos won the first game Nov. 22 5-2, then came back to top Amarillo Nov. 23 6-2.
    Those two victories ran Los Alamos’ record to 4-0 on the season. Besides the Hilltoppers, only the Franklin (Texas) Cougars haven’t dropped a game yet in NMIIHL play.

  • 'Toppers open the year at Valencia

    The final team to get its winter season rolling at Los Alamos High School is the wrestling team, but it will hit the mat for the first time Saturday.
    Los Alamos will be at the Valencia Duals Saturday. The team is scheduled to meet up with five other teams to get its season going.
    The Hilltoppers may be a bit of an unknown quantity this season, but it will have some key returners back from their 2013-14 team that came up big at the end.
    Last season, Los Alamos finished a better-than-projected eighth in the Class 4A tournament. Moreover, Los Alamos earned two individual state titles, the first time since the mid-1990s the program had accomplished that feat.
    Brian Geyer, who won his second consecutive state title last season, is currently wrestling collegiately, but the other, Lane Saunders, will return for his junior year.
    Saunders earned the 170-pound state title and is projected to be among the grapplers to beat for this year’s title at 182 pounds.
    In the championship bout a season ago, he came back from a 4-0 deficit late in the second period to defeat Aaron Rino of Piedra Vista. With under 40 seconds remaining in the second period, Saunders cut the lead down to 4-3, then scored on a reversal to open the third period, winning the contest 5-4.