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Today's Sports

  • ‘Topper baseball, softball teams...

    Both the Los Alamos Hilltopper baseball and softball teams get their District 2-5A seasons going starting today.
    Both teams will be at Del Norte to face the Knights to open 2-5A play today. Following today’s games – both single contests in Albuquerque – both teams will be at home Saturday to face off against Albuquerque Academy.
    For the Hilltopper softball team, it started off its season very well, winning four in a row, but have dropped five of six games since then, including four straight heading into this afternoon’s game with the Knights.
    Only one of those four recent losses has been particularly close. The Hillltoppers kept pace with the Rio Rancho Rams, a well-respected Class 6A program, in their game Friday, but the Rams prevailed 5-4.
    With those recent losses, the Hiltopper softball team is currently 5-5 on the year, but heading into the 2-5A season, only one of the five teams in district has more wins. Surprisingly, that team is the Capital Jaguars.
    The Jaguars are 6-6 right now and lost a close call Monday to its cross-town rival, the Santa Fe Demons. The Jaguars were down by three runs heading into their final at-bat, when they came up with a pair of runs to make the Demons sweat it out, but the Demons held on for an 8-7 victory at Santa Fe High School.

  • NFL owners revamp video replay...

    PHOENIX (AP) — One day after approving the Oakland Raiders’ move to Las Vegas, NFL owners got busy passing several rules changes and adopting resolutions they believe will speed the game and enhance player safety.
    Most notable Tuesday was the change in handling officiating of video replays. Referees will now watch replays on the field using tablets, eliminating “going under the hood” to the watch on television monitors.
    League officiating chief Dean Blandino and his staff in New York will make the final decisions on those calls, with input from the referee, who in the past was the ultimate arbiter after consulting with league headquarters.
    “And I think that’s important to remember, we’re not taking the referee out of the equation,” Blandino has said. “The referee will still be involved, the referee will still give input, but will no longer have the final say.”
    Also at the league meetings owners extended bringing touchbacks out to the 25-yard line for another year; eliminating “leapers” trying to block field goals or extra points; added protections for defenseless receivers running their routes; and made permanent the rule disqualifying a player who is penalized twice in a game for specific unsportsmanlike conduct.

  • ’Topper softball, baseball pick...

    Los Alamos’ softball team used the long ball to its full advantage Tuesday afternoon in a road victory over the Pojoaque Valley Elkettes.
    The Hilltoppers blasted three home runs in the game, the big blow a three-run shot to straightaway center field by Alicia Gonzales.
    Gonzales’ fifth-inning blast broke open a tight ballgame, putting the Hilltoppers up 7-3 at the time. Relief pitcher Reyna Lucero closed out the game after the Hilltoppers came up with two more runs to win it 9-3 at Chris Peterson Memorial Field.
    Los Alamos is off to a hot start this season, particularly at the plate, ahead of a big road doubleheader today against Class 5A Belen. Los Alamos’ offense has produced 58 runs in six games this season.
    Pojoaque Valley’s Elkettes (0-4) actually drew first blood in the game, scoring twice in the bottom of the first, but Los Alamos answered right back with a pair of runs in the top of the second. Los Alamos took the lead for good with another pair of runs in the third, those coming on its first homer of the game, that provided by Megan Romero.
    Claire Bluhm also hit a solo home run late in the game for Los Alamos (5-1) on Tuesday.

  • Hilltopper girls win big at Rust...

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls track and field team had a big performance last weekend at the Rio Rancho Rust Buster.
    In all, nine teams, most of them Class 6A schools from the Albuquerque area took part in the Rust Buster – for many of the teams involved, it was the first meet of the season – but the Hilltopper girls earned a comfortable victory. The Hilltoppers finished with 133.6 points Saturday at Rio Rancho High School.
    Los Alamos finished comfortably ahead of the host Rio Rancho Rams to win the girls team title. The Rams picked up 109.6 points. None of the other seven teams competing in the meet factored into the decision.
    The Hilltopper boys track team also took part last Saturday, picking up third place in the nine-team meet. The Hilltopper boys earned 60.5 points, while the host Rams held off Eldorado to win the team competition.
    In the girls competition, Los Alamos picked up some big performances in the relay events to help it win that team title. Los Alamos also had a very good showing in the field events.
    The Hilltoppers won the 400-meter and 1600-meter relays, and finished second in the other two relays on the day. They had dominant performances, winning the 400 relay by nearly a second-and-a-half, while the 1600 relay team won by more than 7 seconds over runner-up Cibola in that event.

  • Prep basketball: LA upset bid...

    For a half, it appeared like the Los Alamos boys basketball team was on its way to pulling off the biggest upset in the Class 5A state tournament.

    But the upset bid fell short after No. 3 Farmington outscored the 14-seeded Hilltoppers 35-15 in the second half en route to 53-40 win in the first round Saturday night in Farmington.

    "They (Farmington) picked up their game," Los Alamos coach Mike Kluk said. "They got on a roll and we got into trying to catch up with 3s. We quit attacking and that hurt us."

    The Scorpions advanced to the quarterfinals, where they'll face No. 6 Los Lunas Wednesday at the Pit in Albuquerque. Los Alamos' season ends at 13-15 overall after falling to Farmington for the second time this season.

    Nick Granger led the Scorpions with a game-high 17 points, while Sol Rascon finished with 14.

    The backcourt duo of junior guards Ramon Roybal and Antonio Trujillo paced Los Alamos with 12 points apiece. All of Roybal's points came from 3-point range, while Trujillo knocked down two triples. Junior guard Jack Stewart added 11 for Los Alamos.

    "We definitely could've done better," Stewart said. "We collapsed as a team. That comes with the maturity. I think next year we'll comeback even stronger."

  • Prep basketball: ’Toppers visit...

    Los Alamos boys basketball coach Mike Kluk said there was a sense of relief when Farmington popped up as the No. 3 seed for the Class 5A state tournament.
    The 14-seeded Hilltoppers will travel to face No. 3 Farmington in the first round at 6 p.m. Saturday in Farmington.
    “I don’t think we’ll have any surprises from Farmington,” Kluk said. “They are who they are. And we are who we are. We’ll just have to see how it goes.”
    There wasn’t any surprise when Los Alamos received the 14 seed, but the sense of relief came after the Hilltoppers knew that they weren’t going to face District 2-5A foes No. 4 Española Valley and No. 2 Capital in the first round.
    With the exception of its first game against the Sundevils, Los Alamos struggled to deal with the speedy and much more explosive teams that topped District 2-5A. Farmington doesn’t have the same type of speed that hurt Los Alamos during district play.
    “(Farmington) is a completely different team from an Española or a Capital,” Kluk said. “We match against them better. The smaller quicker and aggressive teams have a tendency to give us fits. I don’t think Farmington is that much quicker than us.”

  • LA softball opens season at St....

    The Los Alamos softball team will begin its 2017 campaign Saturday.
    The Hilltoppers will face St. Pius in a doubleheader at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Albuquerque.
    Los Alamos will have to replace 10 players from last year’s team by relying on upperclassmen that garnered varsity experience in the past two seasons. Among those returners are standout juniors Jordan Jaramillo and Jayde Tucker.
    Seniors Taylor Collins and Mariah Mauro will also provide experience for a Hilltoppers team that’s sporting four freshmen on its 2017 roster.
    Getting off to strong start is key for Los Alamos, which started last year’s season losing four of its first five games.
    The Sartans return the majority of its 2016 squad that struggled and went 6-20.
    Los Alamos will look to win its third straight game against St. Pius.

    Season overview

    If the Hilltoppers can have success in the openers against St. Pius, it can give them some momentum going into a tumultuous schedule.
    After competing in a three-day tournament from March 9-11, Los Alamos will have three consecutive road games, at Pojoaque Valley, and at Belen (doubleheader), before competing in the three-day Kristen Griego Invitational in Rio Rancho.

  • ’Toppers track begins 2017...

    The pursuit to regain dominance in Class 5A begins Saturday for the Los Alamos girls track and field team.
    The Hilltoppers look to build on 2016’s success by starting off strong in 2017 at the Chile Quad, which is Los Alamos’ season opener and is hosted by Albuquerque Academy.
    Los Alamos will compete against Academy, Sandia Prep and St. Pius.
    Relay teams are expected to lead the Hilltoppers, who have six runners returning from first-place finishers at state. Three runners from the 1,600 sprint medley are returning and three are also coming back from the 4x100 relay team.
    Los Alamos returns last year’s triple jump second-place finisher Elizabeth Lockhart.
    In distance events, the Hilltoppers will look to Zoe Hemez and Paulina Burnside to garner points against Academy’s loaded distance runners.
    Los Alamos has dominated the Chile Quad the past two seasons and is looking to win its third straight season-opening meet.
    Youth will lead the Los Alamos boys track and field team in 2017.
    And that youthful team will have its hands full in the season-opening Chile Quad Saturday at Albuquerque Academy.
    The Hilltoppers are matched against St. Pius, Sandia Prep and two-time defending state champion Academy. The Chargers have dominated this meet for the past two seasons.

  • Prep baseball: LA falls to Las...

    The Los Alamos boys baseball team dropped its opening round game of the St. Pius tournament.

    The Hilltoppers fell to Las Cruces High 8-0 in five innings Thursday in Albuquerque.

    The Bulldawgs opened the scoring with three runs in the first inning and one in the second and 2 in the third. They sealed the shutout victory by tallying two more runs in the fifth.

    It was the first time Los Alamos had been shutout since March 24, 2016.

    Los Alamos continues play in the tournament Friday and Saturday.

  • Prep baseball: Toppers split...

    The Los Alamos baseball team will look to get plenty of pitchers on the mound in 2017.
    The Hilltoppers (1-1) used seven pitchers in their season-opening doubleheader against Sandia Prep Saturday in Albuquerque. In the first game, Los Alamos sent four different pitchers on the mound as it dropped a 4-2 decision. In the second game, the Hilltoppers used three pitchers to claim a 21-7 win and earn a series split against the Sundevils.
    “We want to have at least nine pitchers with double digit innings before the district season,” Los Alamos coach Bryan Neal said. “In order to do that, we’re going to rotate guys in and get everyone developed.”  
    Antonio Gonzales got the start in the opener and pitched 2 1/2 scoreless innings. Jake Rutten replaced Gonzales in the third inning and his back-to-back balks put Sandia Prep’s Zech Vick on third base. Rutten threw a wild pitch that sent Vick to home and gave the Sundevils a 1-0 lead.
    The Hilltoppers responded in the following inning when Travis Gonzales’ 2-RBI triple scored Nick Quartieri from second and Cottrell Fox from first to give Los Alamos a 2-1 lead.