Today's Sports

  • 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.

  • NMAA approves new district...

    After months of speculation, the New Mexico Activities Association announced the new classifications and districts for schools in the state beginning next school year on Thursday.

    There will be lots of changes coming to Los Alamos High School’s district next year in nearly every sport. One of the main reasons for that is the NMAA’s decision to go down to five classes in every sport except football, which will remain at six classes.

    That move adds teams to every class, and creates larger districts across the state.

    LAHS will be moving to Class 4A, down from their current alignment in Class 5A. Under the new alignment, enrollment in Class 4A will be between 500 and 1,299.

    The new alignment will run from 2018-2020.

    Currently, in nearly every sport except for soccer, Los Alamos’ district includes Albuquerque Academy, Del Norte High School, Capital High School and Española Valley High School.

    Beginning next year, in nearly every sport except football and soccer, the district will include Bernalillo High School, Española Valley High School, Pojoaque High School, Taos High School and Santa Fe Indian School.

  • Belen soars past Hilltoppers

    Slow starts continue to plague the Los Alamos High School girls basketball team. The latest example came Thursday evening at Griffith Gymnasium, as the Hilltoppers went down 19-6 in the first quarter en route to a 65-37 loss to Belen High School, the team’s third lopsided defeat in a row.

    LAHS has started slow in nearly every game so far this season, facing double-digit first quarter deficits in all but one game to this point. In the Hilltoppers’ first game on the road against Farmington High School, the team was able to overcome the deficit for a 44-40 victory, but that fortune has not followed them since.

    Belen came at LAHS fast, and shot with accuracy in the first quarter. Of the seven shots the Eagles attempted from the field, seven of them connected, including multiple three-point baskets.

    Unlike previous games, where the Hilltoppers struggled to get the ball across half court facing a full-court press, the issue in this game was maintaining control once the team crossed mid court.

    Due to turnover issues, LAHS attempted just four shots in the first quarter, connecting on two of them, with baskets by Alix Hailey and Becca Green.

  • Atomic City Update: New district...

    In sports, having new things is always fun. You see it in professional sports all the time. Players are constantly switching teams. Leagues are always looking to expand or relocate teams.

    Over the past few years, the NFL has relocated two teams. Coincidentally, both of those teams moved to Los Angeles.

    This season, hockey has a new franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights. These types of things can be fun for the fans, and it gives them new things to talk about when a monumental shift like that takes place.

    This week, we have seen one of those major shifts occur in the New Mexico Activities Association, as the new alignments and districts for high schools were announced, and are set to begin next fall.

    Any time you have new opponents to talk about and analyze, it is fun. There is no doubt it will be fun being back in the same football district as Santa Fe High School, and it will be fun to have plenty of new district foes in the other sports, notably Pojoaque High School, Taos High School and Bernalillo High School.

    However, the downside became apparent to me as I was looking at the new districts. I realized I am going to miss some of the district matchups that Los Alamos High School currently has.

  • LA county named bike friendly...

    For three years, Los Alamos County’s Public Works Department has been taking steps to get the county recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.

    Thursday morning, the hard work paid off, as the county was named a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community.

    Los Alamos County joins more than 400 communities around the country that have been honored by the league at various levels. It is also just the fourth community in New Mexico to earn the distinction, joining Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.

    Santa Fe is recognized as a silver tier community, while Albuquerque and Las Cruces are alongside Los Alamos on the bronze tier.

    According to its official website, the League “represents bicyclists in the movement to create safer roads, stronger communities and a bicycle-friendly America.”

    Los Alamos County was one of 65 communities honored this year by the league, either as a new, or renewed, Bicycle Friendly Community.

  • Full-court press leads Volcano...

    The Los Alamos High School girls basketball team knows what its weaknesses are. Now, the challenge for head coach Josh Archuleta and his players is to overcome them on game days.

    Tuesday evening against Volcano Vista High School, the team’s weaknesses with handling pressure defense and defending against fast break offense were on display, as the Hilltoppers fell 60-23.

    It was the second time in three days that similar issues kept LAHS from staying in a game.

    Last Saturday, the Hilltoppers fell 60-27 to Pojoaque Valley High School.

    Volcano Vista and Pojoaque Valley play similar, full-court press defense, and Archuleta said his team knew exactly what was coming. The girls just had no way of stopping it.

    “The plan was to break the press and be patient,” Archuleta said. “And for the first couple minutes of the game, it looked like we were going to make it a game. And then all of a sudden we stopped doing what we had practiced for two and a half hours yesterday.”

    Midway through the first quarter LAHS began trying to dribble through the press, and the turnovers followed. After one quarter, the Hilltoppers trailed 20-6.

    “They exposed us, and we started to get frustrated,” Archuleta said.

  • Turnovers doom Hilltoppers in...

    The Los Alamos High School girls basketball team could not escape the full-court pressure of the Pojoaque Valley Elkettes at the top of Saturday’s game, and it set the tone for the entire contest.

    Pojoaque Valley High School, a longtime rival of LAHS in girls basketball, harassed the Hilltopper offense throughout the first half, forcing 11 turnovers in the first quarter alone.

    And while Pojoaque Valley wasn’t great at converting those chances on the other end of the court, it was good enough to open a big lead early and coast through the rest of the game. The Elkettes cruised to a 60-27 victory at Ben Lujan Gymnasium.

    The Hilltoppers (2-1), who started out the season with wins over Farmington High School and St. Michael’s High School, was held scoreless for more than seven minutes to start Saturday’s game and never recovered.

    Neither team converted from the field for most of the first quarter, but Pojoaque Valley (3-0) was deadly from the foul line in the first half, and continued that into the second half.

    In the first half, the Elkettes made good on 10 of 12 attempts.

    Those free throws proved to be key for Pojoaque Valley, as the team missed wide-open shots throughout the evening despite being handed possession by LAHS over and over.

  • Hilltopper hockey prepares for...

    After playing its first two games of the season on the road, the Los Alamos Hilltoppers ice hockey team will make its home debut Friday night at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink.

    Los Alamos will take on Taos at 8:15 p.m. Friday.

    The Hilltoppers return home full of confidence, after completing a sweep over Coronado in the first series of the season.

    In those two games, Los Alamos won 7-3 and 11-0, giving the team an ideal start to the new campaign.

    In the first game, the offense of Los Alamos was dialed in from the opening faceoff, firing 86 shots on goal against Coronado, and connecting for seven goals.

    Sean Mitchell scored the first goal of the season for the Hilltoppers, off of an assist from Jared Carnes, Mitchell added two more goals in the game for a hat trick.

    Ben Rees and Ray Guffee scored two goals apiece in the game, and Guffee added an assist. Also adding assists were John Charles, Carson Schramm and Jacob Dunwoody.

    The Hilltoppers went 2-3 on the power play, and goalie Zachery Brown made 16 saves on 19 shots as the defense played well and prevented many quality scoring opportunities.

    In the second game of the season, it was complete domination by the Hilltoppers from the very beginning.

  • Atomic City Update: Youth...

    As I sat at home this week eating turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie and watching football and basketball, a thought occurred to me that really got me thinking: The people out on those courts and fields providing entertainment to the rest of the country aren’t with their families.

    It isn’t really a day off for them at all. This is true for countless Americans, whether they are serving in the armed forces or away on business of some kind. Thanksgiving, and holidays in general, are something that many take for granted, while a large number of people are forced to spend the day away from those they love.

    As I pondered that thought, another came to my mind, one that applies throughout the entire year.

    In every community around the country, coaches give up so much of their free time to help young athletes develop into better players, and better people.

    It’s something that isn’t given nearly the recognition it deserves. For the vast majority of these coaches, this is not a full-time job.

    For eight hours or more every day, they go to their full-time job, and then hop in the car and coach kids for another three hours or more.

    On top of that, they give up weekends throughout the season for these kids, and are always just a phone call away.

  • Calderon leads LAHS to victory

    Through two games, it appears the best word to describe the Los Alamos High School girls’ basketball team is resilient.

    Tuesday evening, in the team’s home opener, nothing came easy for the Hilltoppers. Yet for the second game in a row, the team found a way to get it done, defeating St. Michael’s High School 53-42.

    “It was an ugly win, but it was a win,” LAHS head coach Josh Archuleta said. “But we will take an ugly win over a loss any day.”

    Early on, it appeared that the Hilltoppers would have no issue defeating the Lady Horsemen as LAHS jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead on baskets by Becca Green and Susana Gallegos.

    But after that quick burst, the Horsemen climbed right back into the game, outscoring the Hilltoppers 10-2 the rest of the quarter and heading into the break with a 10-9 lead.

    “We came out hot initially, but after that we just let St. Michael’s hang around,” Archuleta said.

    The Hilltoppers responded well in the second quarter, as the rebounding and shooting improved. All game long, the inside presence of the Hilltoppers, led by Green and Natalie Gallegos, made the game difficult for St. Michael’s as every rebound was contested on both ends of the floor.