Today's Sports

  • Kirk is spectator for first game...

    Former Los Alamos basketball player Alex Kirk did not make an appearance in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2014-15 season opener Thursday night.
    Kirk, who signed with the Cavaliers last summer, was on the bench for the duration of Cleveland’s home game against the New York Knicks.
    He is one of three centers on the Cavaliers’ roster this season, but neither he nor No. 2 center Brendan Haywood entered into the contest.
    Cleveland lost its opener to New York, 95-90.
    The game was the homecoming for LeBron James, who started his career in Cleveland before leaving to play for Miami for four seasons. James had an uncharacteristically pedestrian game Thursday, finishing with 17 points on 5 of 15 shooting from the floor and turning the ball over 8 times.
    The Cavaliers will face the Chicago Bulls tonight in Chicago. Chicago sports two of Kirk’s former teammates at the University of New Mexico, rookie Cameron Bairstow and second-year player Tony Snell.

  • Girls play key role for LA...

    Playing in the Chile Bowl, the Northern New Mexico youth football equivalent of the Super Bowl, is a dream for many boys.
    And all of the girls on the Los Alamos X-Treme.
    Los Alamos’ Division 2 team, which is comprised of 9- and 10-year-olds, will play Saturday against a tough opponent Saturday morning at St. Michael’s High School in Santa Fe.
    That team will face the Santa Fe Trojans for the right to go to Sunday’s Chile Bowl. The two teams met last month during the regular season, and that game didn’t turn out as well as the X-Treme was hoping — it was shut out, 16-0.
    X-Treme coach Mark Gonzales said his team has made numerous adjustments since that game, including installing a diamond-formation offense, which he said has given his team more big-play capability.
    On this year’s X-Treme roster are three girls — Kaitlyn Gonzales, Tia Hartzol and Dailynn Rodriguez. Coach Gonzales said all three have been instrumental to the team’s success in getting to this year’s postseason.
    Rodriguez, who is also a standout Little League baseball player, is the starting center for Los Alamos. She made an unusual request of her coach this year: she wanted to have a play where she pulled around the offensive line and had lead blocker responsibilities.

  • 'Toppers, Warriors meet in...

    It’s do or die time for the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team.
    The Class 5A playoffs get underway this weekend for teams around the state, and the Hilltoppers have a challenging draw to get things going.
    Los Alamos will take on Santa Teresa (8-7-4) in the opening round of the postseason. That game is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday.
    The Hilltoppers (10-8-2) got what they wanted out of the seeding and selection committee this year, a first round home game. That was at least partially secured by a runner-up finish in the District 2 race and ending the season on a high note. Los Alamos, which was 3-7-2 heading into final week of September, won seven of its last eight games, including three straight to end the season.
    That afforded the Hilltoppers a No. 8 seed in the tournament. But that also gave the Hilltoppers a difficult draw.
    Along with having to play a solid team in Santa Teresa Saturday, the Hilltoppers, should they prevail, would have to face top-seeded Albuquerque Academy in the quarterfinal round next week.
    The Desert Warriors played in perhaps the most competitive district in 5A, District 3. This season, five of the six District 3 teams advanced to the playoffs.

  • Giants win third MLB title in...

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Bruce Bochy is crazy superstitious. It's a little-known fact about the unflappable San Francisco Giants manager.
    Mere mention of anything about a dynasty during the World Series made him uncomfortable. He felt equally uneasy when his name got linked to the best skippers of all-time — those Hall of Famers he well could join someday.
    Bochy doesn't have to worry about a jinx now. After winning its third championship in five seasons, the new label for his team looks as if it will stick.
    "Dynasty" blared the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday.
    The Giants closed it out with a 3-2 win in Game 7 at Kansas City on Wednesday night, sealed by Series MVP Madison Bumgarner's five shutout innings as a reliever this time.
    "A lot has to go right. First off, it starts with the talent," Bochy said. "I mean, you need that, which we have. Then you have to deal with a lot of things maybe during the season. Every manager says, 'Hey, we're fine, we have a good chance to get there if we stay healthy.' But that doesn't always happen."
    In a remarkable every-other-year pattern, San Francisco somehow finds its best form in even years. With new faces and old ones, with castoffs and misfits and some key midseason acquisitions.

  • LA has a shot at a 2nd straight...

    It was a scenario that, just a few days ago, seemed improbable.
    Now, after its first win of the season, the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team has a chance to put itself in a position to play for a District 2-5A title.
    Followings its win last Friday over the Española Valley Sundevils, the Hilltoppers have a very winnable game this Friday, taking on the Bernalillo Spartans. A win over the Spartans would put the Hilltoppers at 2-1 on the season and only Del Norte standing in their way of a potential district championship.
    While that’s easier said than done, it wasn’t a situation Los Alamos fans would’ve expected the team to be in after a 0-7 start to the season.
    Los Alamos finally broke into the win column at Española Valley Friday night. The offense scored on its first two possessions of the game — prior to that, Los Alamos hadn’t scored in the first quarter of any game or scored twice in the same game, let alone on back-to-back drives — to jump out to a 14-0 lead.
    Española Valley, which was playing for its playoff life, got back into the game by halftime, but the Hilltopper defense came up with stops on two crucial drives, as well as what might have been a game-changing 2-point conversion try, to help preserve the win.

  • 'Toppers looking for...

    For being such a crucial race, the district championships are almost anti-climactic where the Los Alamos Hilltopper cross country teams are concerned.
    Friday afternoon, the District 2-5A championship race is scheduled to be run at Bernalillo. Races are set to start at 3 p.m.
    At the district meet, teams can enter as many as nine runners into each varsity race — usually, teams are limited to seven entries — and Los Alamos may have a shot to put 18 participants onto the All-District team.
    Since the Hilltoppers moved into District 2-4A in 2000, they have gone undefeated at the district championships on both the boys and girls sides. There hasn’t even been a particularly close race for the district titles during that streak.
    That’s not likely to change this season, either. Both Los Alamos teams are expected to vie for a state championship title this season, with the girls team seemingly the team to beat heading into the title meet.
    However, last week’s Los Alamos Invitational didn’t see the Hilltopper girls at their best. The Hilltoppers were defeated for the first time this season by a Class 5A team — two of them, in fact.

  • Royals fans fired up for Game 7...

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A couple hundred fans stood behind the Royals dugout for more than a half-hour after the final out, screaming and waving white rally towels.
    Bring on Game 7!
    Yordano Ventura, a 23-year-old rookie pitching with a heavy heart and the initials of late St. Louis outfielder Oscar Taveras on his cap, allowed three hits over seven stifling innings. Kansas City's batters broke open the game with a seven-run second and battered the San Francisco Giants 10-0 Tuesday night to tie the World Series at three games apiece.
    "This is what we all prepared for. This is why we play the game," Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer said.
    As bouncers rolled by infielders and bloops dropped in front of outfielders, the raucous roar at Kauffman Stadium swelled with every hit in the second and then got louder the rest of the night. Lorenzo Cain looped a two-run single — one of eight Royals to get hits in the seven-run burst — and Hosmer chopped a two-run double over shortstop.
    "Guys stepped up in a big way tonight," Cain said.
    Jeremy Guthrie starts Wednesday night for Kansas City and Tim Hudson for San Francisco in a rematch of Game 3, won by Kansas City 3-2. Hudson, 39, will become the oldest Game 7 starter in Series history.

  • Youth basketball starts Dec. 1

    Registration is currently open for the YMCA youth basketball program.
    The YMCA basketball program is open to both boys and girls in grades 1-6. The season runs from Dec. 1-Feb. 28.
    Registration will remain open through Nov. 21.
    Price for participation is $75 for YMCA members, $100 for nonmembers.
    For more information, call the YMCA at 662-3100.

  • 'Topper hockey opens next...

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper hockey team released its schedule for the 2014-15 season Tuesday.
    The Hilltoppers will open up with six straight road games before their first home game Dec. 12 against Santa Fe.
    The New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League, of which Los Alamos is a member, starts play this coming weekend. The league has three new members this season, Amarillo, Texas, Permian Basin (Odessa, Texas) and Durango, Colorado.
    Los Alamos won’t open its season until next weekend. Its first scheduled game is Nov. 8 against its arch-rival, Taos.
    Following that contest, Los Alamos will play at Rio Rancho Nov. 14, then follow that up with two games at Amarillo Nov. 22-23.
    Along with its home opener Dec. 12, Los Alamos will play two other games at home that weekend, Dec. 13 against Rio Rancho and Dec. 14 against Taos.

  • LA takes on Bernalillo tonight...

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team was eliminated from any shot at the District 2-5A regular season championship last weekend, and tonight it will have to duke it out with another rival for second place.
    The Hilltoppers will take on the Bernalillo Spartans tonight on the road. Match time in Bernalillo is scheduled for 6 p.m.
    Los Alamos is currently sitting in the No. 2 position in the district standings behind the Española Valley Sundevils. The Sundevils will officially clinch the district title with a victory over the Capital Jaguars tonight in Santa Fe — the Sundevils didn’t have any trouble with Capital in their first meeting of the 2-5A season Oct. 11.
    While all three sets were close in the first meeting between Los Alamos and Bernalillo, also Oct. 11, but the Hilltoppers prevailed in that contest 3-0.
    That win over the Spartans was the first of three straight victories by Los Alamos (9-9 overall, 4-2 in 2-5A), but that win streak was snapped by Española Valley Saturday night.
    Española Valley (15-3, 6-0 in district) picked up its second victory of the 2-5A season over Los Alamos at Edward Medina Gymnasium. The three sets were relatively close, but the Sundevils prevailed 25-19, 25-15, 25-22.