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Today's Sports

  • Hockey struggles at home against...

    Playing back-to-back home games for the first time this season, the Los Alamos High School ice hockey team stumbled a bit, earning a tie and a loss against La Cueva High School.

    The weekend marks the first setbacks of the year for the Hilltoppers after a perfect 3-0 start.

    La Cueva entered the weekend with the most points in the league, earning 11 points in eight games. The Bears, which play home games indoors, are able to start the season significantly earlier than the Hilltoppers, which play in an outdoor rink.

    Besides sporting the most points in the league, La Cueva also has three of the best, and most dangerous, players in the league: Alexander Furste, Jason Knoll and Benjamin Doughty.

    Furste entered the weekend with 18 goals, while Knoll had 13 goals and Doughty had 12 goals.

    As the weekend moved along, it was clear how good all of those players were, and how difficult they were to defend.

    Furste made his presence known immediately in the first game between the two teams, as he scored two goals early in the first period, staking his team to an early 2-0 lead.

    However, much like LAHS’ home opener against Taos a week earlier, facing a two-goal deficit seemed to wake up the Hilltoppers.

  • Boys basketball earns third at...

    After playing just three games since Nov. 21, the Los Alamos High School boys basketball team kicked its season into high gear last weekend at the Belen Hub City Tournament.

    With three games in three days, the coaching staff got a good look at what this year’s team is capable of, and expectations for the season remain high after earning third place in the eight-team tournament.

    The tournament kicked off for the Hilltoppers with a game against charter school Mission, Achievement and Success Thursday afternoon. MAS, located in Albuquerque, will officially join the New Mexico Activities Association next school year in Class 2A.

    After one quarter, LAHS led 25-2, and at halftime the Hilltoppers led 42-10. The domination continued after halftime, as the team cruised to a 69-23 victory.

    That win allowed LAHS to advance to the winner’s side of the bracket, assuring at least a fourth place finish at the tournament.

    On Friday evening, the Hilltoppers took on Manzano High School.

    The game offered the greatest challenge of the young season so far, as Manzano entered the game ranked among the best teams in the state.

    The Monarchs started the game strong, jumping out to a quick 23-16 lead after the first quarter.

  • Young hockey team primed for...

    Prior to this season, Los Alamos High School hockey coach Kevin Brake believed this season could be a bit of a rebuilding year. The team graduated a large number of seniors after last season, and was relying on a new group of players to step in and fill big roles.

    After playing three games this season, Brake no longer believes his team is going through a rebuilding year. With a perfect 3-0 start, and 25 goals scored so far, his sights are set as high as ever. 

    “What I like is that we are getting effort from across the board, we are getting contributions across the board,” Brake said.

    One of the things that encourages him the most about this team is that the scoring has come from all over the roster, not just one of his forward lines. In fact, the scoring has been incredibly balanced. Four players lead the team with four goals scored, Benjamin Rees, John Charles, Ray Guffee and Sean Mitchell.

    Brake has no doubt his team has enough talent to compete with any team on its schedule. The question he has is whether the team will show enough composure and maturity to stay in games when things don’t look good.

    “If they are willing to outwork the other team, we can be very, very good,” Brake said.

  • Atomic City Update: Ice rink...

    After going to a large number of sporting events since coming to Los Alamos, the prize for best atmosphere and experience so far has to go to the one I had at the home opener for the Los Alamos High School ice hockey team last weekend against Taos.

    The venue may be smaller than any other event I have been to, but the sense of community felt among the hockey fans in attendance was unmatched. A big part of it has to do with the small venue, and how close everyone is to the action.

    There are very few places to sit at the rink. The vast majority of people stand around the ice and watch right through the glass. Everyone has the opportunity to have a big collision occur right where they are standing, and there is not a bad place to watch the action.

    As the players step onto the ice, they high-fived a group of children stationed right outside the entrance gate, and the smiles on the kid’s faces was a joy to see.

    Because of the small area, there is no sense of separation that exists in other sports. The players are free to interact with spectators before taking the ice, and even in between periods.

    It really helps to make everyone feel like they are a part of the action.

    Overall, the experience felt more like a family get-together, as opposed to a normal sporting event.

  • LAHS girls basketball struggles...

    The first two games of the Joe Armijo Classic in Albuquerque didn’t go the way the Los Alamos High School girls basketball team envisioned, continuing a rough start to the year.

    The Hilltoppers dropped games Thursday and Friday against Las Cruces High School and Cleveland High School, both by large margins.

    Thursday’s game saw LAHS match up against Las Cruces, the top ranked team in Class 6A.

    Almost immediately, the game got out of hand. In the first quarter, Las Cruces jumped out to a 22-4 lead, as sophomore Becca Green was the only Hilltopper able to get into the scoring column.

    Las Cruces used the full-court press against the Hilltoppers to perfection, forcing turnovers and limiting offensive opportunities. That, combined with the team’s prowess on the offensive end of the floor, made things impossible for LAHS.

    At halftime, the Hilltoppers trailed 45-12.

    As the time clock ticked down in the second half, the deficit for LAHS widened as offense continued to be hard to come by.

    After three quarters, Las Cruces led 64-17, and the entire fourth quarter was played with a running clock, which allowed the entire quarter to be played in less than 10 minutes.

    As time expired, Las Cruces walked away with a 70-26 win.

  • LAHS downed by Santa Fe High

    Heading into this season, the main concern surrounding the Los Alamos High School girls’ basketball team was its inexperience. With just three seniors on the roster, it was inevitable that girls without much varsity experience would be thrust into important roles.

    Tuesday night against Santa Fe High School, the growing pains of the young Hilltoppers were on full display, as LAHS fell 46-35 partially due to an offense still searching for its identity.

    Heading into the game, it appeared the Hilltoppers had a bit of momentum. In its previous game, LAHS defeated Valencia High School on the road 54-52, after being down by six points at halftime.

    It also appeared that the Hilltoppers were catching Santa Fe High at the right time, as new head coach Cindy Roybal struggled through her first few games leading the Demonettes, with a 1-3 record.

    Early on, however, it was clear that Santa Fe High came into the matchup with the Hilltoppers ready to go, and firing on all cylinders.

    In this game, LAHS head coach Josh Archuleta inserted senior Katey Green into the starting lineup for junior Alix Hailey.

    Just 90 seconds into the game, Green had to be removed after picking up two quick personal fouls. This seemed to disrupt the offensive flow and put the Hilltoppers in an early hole.

  • LAMS wrestling has another...

    The Los Alamos Middle School Hawks wrestling team went down to Los Lunas for another Dual Tournament this past weekend, advancing to the finals before falling to Los Lunas Middle School.

    The Hawks were seeded in a pool with Valencia Middle School, and Academy Middle School. In the team’s first match against Valencia, the Hawks earned a decisive victory, by a score of 118-38.

    The Hawks went into the next match against Academy, also winners in the first round. Academy was no match against the Hawks, losing 104-6. That win moved the Los Alamos into the semi-finals against Rio Rancho. The Hawks took down Rio Rancho easily with a score of 90-21.

    That win took the team into the finals against Los Lunas. It was a tough match between the longtime rivals.

    Los Alamos was on top of Los Lunas by the end of wrestling 56-45. However, the Hawks had to give up 18 points in forfeits, costing the team first place by a score of 63-56, taking second overall.
     

  • Hockey defeats rival Taos in...

    The Los Alamos High School ice hockey team waited a long time to make its season debut at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink.

    And even as the date of the home opener arrived, the team had to wait a little longer.

    The Hilltoppers were scheduled to debut Friday evening against the Taos High School Ice Tigers. However, an issue with the rink’s ice compressor caused the game to be canceled, and pushed the home opener back to Saturday evening.

    When LAHS finally took the ice, the team did not disappoint, defeating Taos 7-3 with an impressive offensive display over the final two periods.

    The game did not start well for the Hilltoppers, as LAHS only put two shots on goal in the first period despite having two early power play opportunities. Movement in the offensive zone was unorganized, and players were coming up empty on scoring opportunities in front of the net.

    Taos had 10 shots on goal in the opening period, and scored the game’s first goal with just six seconds remaining in the period, giving the Ice Tigers a 1-0 lead.

    The Hilltoppers were more aggressive to begin the second period, with more pressure in front of the net.

    The pressure paid off, as Jacob Rutten tied the score at 1-1 off of an assist from Jacob Dunwoody just under three minutes into the period.

  • Hilltoppers win Bill Hudson...

    Divers compete well Friday evening

    The Bill Hudson Memorial Meet kicked off at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center Friday evening, and the Hilltoppers immediately made their presence known.

    Of the 24 divers that participated, 11 were from Los Alamos High School, five boys and six girls.

    Four girls finished in the top five, led by Cyra Bishop, who was the runner-up. She finished with a score of 177.65.

    Also scoring well for the Hilltoppers were Anna Clark, who finished in third place with a score of 158.2.
    Emme Mooday was the fourth place finisher with a score of 157.75, and Bailey Nasise finished in fifth place with a score of 152.40.

    Addie Richie and Katie Wingo finished in seventh and eighth places, with scores of 143.25 and 141.35.

    The overall winner for the girls was Elianna Christienson from Farmington High School, who scored 206.2.

    The Hilltopper boys also performed well at the diving competition, with three boys finishing in the top five.
    LAHS’ top diver was Mychael Garcia, who ended up in third place with a score of 189.35.

    Kyle Hatler finished right behind him with a score of 178.5, and Griffin Stidham rounded out the top five with a score of 177.45.

  • LAHS basketball rolls past St....

    Heading into Friday night’s home opener for the Los Alamos High School boys basketball team, much uncertainty surrounded the team. Earlier in the week, Bernalillo High School blew out the Hilltoppers 70-39, with many of LAHS’ leaders playing minimum roles.

    Even more uncertainty arose during pregame warm-ups Friday, as senior Jack Stewart was nowhere to be found inside Griffith Gymnasium, and a member of the coaching staff confirmed he was no longer with the team.

    Despite the questions surrounding the team, LAHS played one of its most complete games in recent memory, defeating St. Michael’s High School 73-61.

    “I thought they played with a lot of intensity,” LAHS head coach Michael Kluk said.

    From the very beginning, the Hilltoppers came out firing, as guards Ramon Roybal and Antonio Trujillo had open looks from the perimeter that they were not afraid to take. Roybal played especially well in the opening quarter, knocking down three shots and scoring 7 quick points.

    Trujillo provided the game’s top highlight at the end of the first quarter, knocking down a half-court buzzer beater that gave the Hilltoppers a 17-14 lead after one quarter.

    Freeing up those shots on the outside were forwards Ivan Balakirev and Michael Naranjo, who Kluk praised for their efforts.