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  • 'Toppers finish tied for 8th at state

    RIO RANCHO — The regular season didn’t end as well as the Los Alamos Hilltopper wrestling team was hoping, but the state tournament went about as well the team could’ve hoped.
    The Hilltoppers picked up 82 points, tying their District 2-5A foe, Del Norte, for eighth place in the final Class 5A team standings Saturday at the Santa Ana Star Center. Along the way, the Hilltoppers grabbed a state championship and a runner-up finish along with a sixth-place medal individually.
    Los Alamos brought 11 qualifiers with them to the state tournament, a good total despite not earning the finish it was hoping to in district the previous two weeks.
    Los Alamos certainly wasn’t going in with a lot of momentum in Friday’s first round after back-to-back lackluster performances, finishing third in the 2-5A team championships — the Hilltoppers had won three straight district team titles prior to then — and third, unofficially, in the 2-5A individual qualifier the previous week and picking up just one individual championship.
    But the Hilltoppers were able to bounce back at state and earn the finish head coach Bob Geyer was predicting at the start of the season.
    “If you had asked me a week ago what we were going to do, I would’ve said something like 15th,” Geyer said.

  • Saunders wins 2nd straight title

    RIO RANCHO - Los Alamos' Lane Saunders earned his second consecutive title by topping an old foe to take the Class 5A 182-pound bracket.

    In the third overtime period, Saunders slipped between the legs of Andres Villa of Goddard and, after a struggle, eventually freed his right arm, the only thing Villa was able to cling onto, to win the championship bout, 1-0.

    The previous year, Saunders earned a title at 171 pounds. He is the second Hilltopper in as many years to win two consecutive individual titles.

    Also Saturday, heavyweight Jonathan Schueler finished second in the 5A division, falling to Jasper Denetclaw of Miyamura. Denetclaw won with a second period pin.

    Los Alamos came away with one other medal Saturday, with John Dermer placing sixth at 220 pounds.

    More on the Hilltoppers' showing at the state tournament will be in Tuesday's Los Alamos Monitor.

  • Pair of 'Topper wrestlers are in finals

    Los Alamos' Lane Saunders and Jonathan Schueler are in the finals this afternoon in the Class 5A state championship wrestling tournament.

    Saunders, at 182 pounds, is the top seed in that weight class. He will take on an old foe, Andres Villa of Goddard in the championship.

    Saunders won the individual title at 171 pounds last season.

    In the heavyweight division, Schueler will meet Miyamura's Jasper Denetclaw in the championship round.

    To get to the final Schueler pulled off a huge upset over No. 1 seed Robert Gordon of Belen in the semifinal round, pinning him in 36 seconds.

    The final round will begin for classes 4A-6A at 3:30 p.m. The tournament is taking place at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.

  • Moore No. 2 seed in two races today

    Los Alamos' Michael Moore finished second in the preliminary round of the state swim meet Friday and will vie for state titles in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyles today.

    Moore posted a time of 1:44.14 in the 200 preliminaries, a little less than a second behind top finisher Anthony Kim of Albuquerque Academy. In the 500, Moore (4:47.26) was about three seconds back of Jake Moffett of Sandia.

    Other top finishes Friday included Jessica Moore, who is in the finals of the 100 breaststroke - she finished with a 1:08.46 - and both the boys and girls 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams, who also made today's finals.

    More information will be in Tuesday's Los Alamos Monitor.

  • LA cruises to big win in finale

    The last thing the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team wanted to do was give its opponent Friday any more confidence than it already had going in.
    And with their quick start, the Hilltoppers were able to turn that confidence into doubt in a hurry.
    Los Alamos’ Makela Jones buried two long 3-pointers early in the opening quarter, helping her team get off to a quick start and, just as importantly soften up the defense of the Del Norte Knights early.
    From there, the Hilltoppers were able to go back to their bread-and-butter of pounding the ball inside. The Hilltoppers prevailed Friday night at home, 61-43.
    Los Alamos and Del Norte were squaring off for the runner-up spot in District 2-5A Friday. For Del Norte, however, the game was even more important, as if the Knights could knock off the Hilltoppers and get some help, they could tie up the Española Valley Sundevils for the regular season district championship.
    Instead, Los Alamos took Del Norte out of its game early.
    Los Alamos’ Amber Logan, who finished off a brilliant regular season with 14 points Friday, said afterward the team’s ability to find other scorers was an important ingredient to the Hilltoppers’ mix, something that had been sorely lacking a week earlier.

  • 'Topper boys drop last game to Del Norte

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team led the Del Norte Knights after one half of play, but struggled in the second half in Albuquerque Friday.
    The Hilltoppers led by a bucket at the break, but Los Alamos head coach Mike Kluk said turnovers in the second half proved to be their undoing.
    The Knights, who were in a three-way race heading into Friday’s game, pulled out a 63-40 victory. That win over Los Alamos, however, wasn’t enough to propel the Knights into the top spot as the Española Valley Sundevils topped the Bernalillo Spartans in overtime, 44-43 in Bernalillo.
    Friday loss finished off the regular season for Los Alamos (2-24 overall, 0-8 in district). Los Alamos the No. 5 seed for the district tournament and will play 7 p.m. Monday at Capital.
    The two teams were tied at 9-9 following one quarter, but Los Alamos outscored Del Norte (17-7, 6-2) 12-10 in the second quarter to take the edge into the break.
     

  • LA, Del Norte meet tonight with No. 2 spot on the line

    For the second Friday night in a row, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team will have a key District 2-5A contest.
    Unfortunately for the Hilltoppers, however, they won’t be playing tonight for the position they were hoping to a week ago.
    Last week, Los Alamos met Española Valley for the lead in the 2-5A race. That game, played down in the valley, didn’t go even close to the way the Hilltoppers were hoping, with the Sundevils winning handily, 60-44.
    Now, Los Alamos heads into tonight’s game, its season finale, trying to hang on to the No. 2 spot in district. Los Alamos and tonight’s opponent, Del Norte, are both tied with 5-2 district records with the runner-up spot in the district on the line.
    Had Los Alamos come away with the road win a week earlier, it would be playing for the top spot in 2-5A. Instead, Los Alamos is trying to avoid sliding into third place. The difference between a second-place finish and a third-place finish in the regular season standings will mean the difference between hosting the 2-5A semifinal game and going on the road two nights after playing in the 2-5A quarterfinal round.
    For the Hilltoppers, barring a disaster of epic proportions in the district tournament, they are a virtual lock for an at-large bid into the playoffs after posting 21 wins.

  • Round and Round

    Los Alamos senior diver Madeline Le Scouarec does a somersault during her third dive at Friday’s state preliminary round at Albuquerque Academy. She qualified for Saturday’s finals in the event.

  • 'Toppers down Spartans, 67-53

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team kept pace with the Del Norte Knights for second place in the district standings Tuesday.
    Los Alamos jumped out to a big lead after one quarter and held it the rest of the way. Bernalillo’s Spartans tried to make a late push, but was well out of contention at that point and the Hilltoppers prevailed 67-53.
    The Hilltoppers (21-4 overall, 5-2 in 2-5A) outscored the Spartans (6-18, 2-5) 24-8 in the first quarter and added to that lead for both the second and third quarters.
    Los Alamos and Del Norte will battle Friday night at Griffith Gymnasium with a potential runner-up spot on the line.
    Also Tuesday, Española Valley (21-3, 6-1) clinched no worse than a tie for first place in the regular season district race by pounding Capital 72-34.

  • LA teams are set for the state title meet

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys and girls swim teams will be looking to make a splash this weekend at state.
    Both teams will be well represented at the state meet, which starts Friday morning and continues through Saturday at Albuquerque Academy.
    The Hilltoppers have entries in all but two categories in both the boys and girls competitions.
    Last season, Los Alamos’ girls finished sixth at the state meet, while Los Alamos’ boys were 10th overall.
    The Hilltoppers are looking to improve on those finishes and might be in line to finish with a trophy if they can put together a good showing.
    One of the swimmers Los Alamos will be relying on heavily for a good showing this weekend is senior Michael Moore.
    Moore, who went the entire season not losing an individual race, is entered in the long freestyle events, the 200 and the 500.
    In both of those races, he will be among the favorites. In the 200-yard version, Moore clocked a 1:44.91 during the season, which places him just a little over half a second of the best time recorded by Jacob Harlan of Cibola, who is the top seed with a 1:44.33.
    There’s considerably more work to be done in the 500 freestyle, however. Harlan is again the top seed and went 10 second below Moore’s best recorded time in that event this year.