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Today's Sports

  • Prep boys basketball: LA...

    Mike Kluk said that not many teams would match up in size with his Los Alamos boys basketball team.
    Tuesday was a good indicator of that, as the Hilltoppers outmuscled a small Valencia team to a 44-37 season-opening win at Griffith Gym.
    “The bigs did a good job passing in the interior,” Kluk said. “We had some first game jitters. But it was a good first game for us against an opponent that we should beat. We got to practice and see a lot of things.”
    After Valencia got off to an 8-0 start and a 14-9 first-quarter lead, Los Alamos dominated the second quarter defensively, not allowing a single point in the frame en route to taking a 21-14 lead at halftime.  
    “We got on a little streak there and got a big enough lead to hold without giving it away,” Kluk said. “The boys did a pretty good job controlling the ball and ran a lot of clock toward the end. We were trying not to force it but at the same time we were still trying to score.”
    The Hilltoppers continued the pressure on defense in the second half, holding the Jaguars scoreless until the 4:34 mark of the third quarter. Michael Naranjo led Los Almaos with seven points in the third quarter. A Cade Gastway bucket with five seconds left gave the Hilltoppers a 33-24 lead going into the final quarter.

  • Pajarito delays opening day

    Another ski hill in northern New Mexico falls victim to the warm-weather bug.

    Pajarito Ski Area announced Wednesday that it will delay its winter season to Dec. 3. The ski area was originally scheduled to conduct its opening day on Saturday.  

    Pajarito joins Sipapu Ski Resort, Taos Ski Valley and Ski Santa Fe on the list of ski areas that have had to postpone its winter season due to record-breaking warm weather during late fall and early winter.

    "Although we’ve had a successful snowmaking push and picked up four feet of snow Monday night, we have made the difficult decision to delay Pajarito’s opening," said Pajarito general manager Tom Long. "We’ve experienced previous seasons that had plenty of early snow and other seasons when winter weather was slow to materialize but it ended up being a fantastic season. With the help of Mother Nature, coupled with our sophisticated snowmaking system, we will be able to provide a great ski season for our guests."

    Snowmaking at Pajarito began Nov. 17 and the ski area had been successful in producing snow but was banking on cooler weather throughout the week to help the process.  

  • LA girl’s hoops falls in opener

    Result-wise, it wasn’t the start the Los Alamos girl’s basketball team wanted.
    But there were some areas of optimism in the Hilltoppers 38-32 season-opening loss to Farmington on Saturday at Griffith Gym.
    Before the season opener, Los Alamos (0-1) first-year coach Josh Archuleta said the strength for this season’s Hilltoppers is team defense. And that was evident in the 38 points allowed. But on offense, Los Alamos appeared to be stale at times and didn’t capitalize on open shots.
    The Hilltoppers perimeter defense was solid, only allowing one Farmington (1-0) triple, which came in the first quarter.  
    Farmington took a 32-25 lead after four quick buckets early in the fourth quarter. The Hilltoppers didn’t score in the final quarter until the 1:25 mark and strung together five more points in the final minute of the game. But the comeback effort was too late, as the Scorpions went up by 13, after starting the quarter on a 14-0 run.
    After a slow opening half, Los Alamos got it going by outscoring the Scorpions 10-3 in the third quarter and taking a 25-24 lead into the final stanza.   
    The Hilltoppers struggled to execute on offense in the second quarter, only scoring six points in the frame, as Farmington took a 21-15 lead into halftime.

  • Rees sends LA hockey past Taos

    Starting the season against a common opponent didn’t faze the Los Alamos hockey team.
    The Hilltoppers began their 2016-17 campaign with a 2-1 win against rival Taos on Friday at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink.
    Los Alamos maintained the North Star trophy, which is won by the winner of each Los Alamos-Taos match up. Friday was the second-straight win for the Hilltoppers against the Ice Tigers.
    Los Alamos made the most out of a five-minute power play with 1:55 left in the final period, as Ben Rees capitalized from a rebound and scored the game-winning goal.   
    The Hilltoppers evened the game three minutes into the second period, after a face off puck leaked to toward the center of the Taos zone and Griffin Matuszak ripped a shot into the net.
    In the beginning of the second period, Los Alamos goalie Zach Brown kept the Ice Tigers from increasing their advantage with four key saves. Brown finished with a stellar 32 saves.  
    Taos opened the scoring when Justin Lucero found himself behind the Los Alamos defense and converted the breakaway goal with 3:05 left in the first period.

     
     

  • Experience leads LA to 2016-17...

    The last two seasons, the Los Alamos boy's basketball team was enforced by a plethora of young players.

    Those players are now juniors and seniors and they are the leaders of the program.

    The Hilltoppers begin their 2016-17 season by hosting Valencia at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Griffith Gym.

    "We've been telling them since last summer that it's their program now," said Mike Kluk, who's entering his fourth season as Los Alamos coach. "It's critical that they step up and own it. They're all upperclassmen now and we're starting see a bit more maturity compared to last year."

    Every player on the Los Alamos roster this season is either a senior or junior.

    One of the experienced pieces that the Hilltoppers will rely on in 2016-17 is 6-foot junior guard Jack Stewart.  

    "There's been a lot of potential these past couple seasons and we're just looking to build off of that," Stewart said. "We're all maturing so I think it's going to be good this season."

    Kluk said he implemented a new offensive scheme during the offseason. And the team has adapted well to the new offense, according to Kluk.

  • ‘Toppers swimming places 2nd in...

    The boys and girls Hilltoppers did just that finishing in second place, respectively, at the Peter B. Barney Memorial Relays on Saturday in Albuquerque. Host Albuquerque Academy’s boys and girls squads placed first in the meet. 

    The Hilltoppers were led by the mixed 8x50 yard freestyle relay team, which not only finished in first place, but it also broke the Barney Relays record. The Los Alamos mixed 400-yard freestyle relay finished in second. 

    On the girl’s side, the Hilltoppers 200-yard backstroke relay team finished in first with a combined time 2:17.12. The 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard individual medley relay teams both earned second place finishes. The 200-yard butterfly relay and 200-yard freestyle relays teams placed in third. 

    The Los Alamos girls finished with 130 total points. 

    The 200-yard medley relay team led Los Alamos on the boy’s side with first place finish (3:24.13). 

    In the 400-yard individual medley relay and the 200-yard medley relay, the Hilltoppers finished in second place. The 200-yard freestyle and breaststroke relay teams placed third, while Los Alamos got a fourth-place finish from the 200-yard backstroke relay team. 

  • Prep volleyball: ’Toppers...

    It was fitting that the Los Alamos volleyball team would survive a five-set scare with its season on the line.
    The Hilltoppers defeated Capital (19-25, 25-22, 25-23, 12-25, 15-9) on Tuesday at Griffith Gym to advance to the semifinals of the District 2-5A tournament. Los Alamos traveled to face Del Norte on Thursday (after the Monitor’s print deadline).
    “When it comes to the fifth game they just get a lot of reps,” Los Alamos coach Diana Stokes said. “They did some really good things. And the two games that Capital won... they were solid. It was just a matter of which team can stay up the longest.”
    Both teams began the final set tied 5-5. After a long stoppage from the officials, the Hilltoppers took a 10-7 lead. That lead was charged by freshman Natalie Gallegos who finished with four kills in the fifth set. An Elodie Thelliez kill sealed the win for Los Alamos. 

  • LA cross country set for state

    The Los Alamos girl’s cross country team will need to have its best performance of the season to extend its state title streak.
    The Hilltoppers travel to Rio Rancho on Saturday to compete in a meet where they’ve had loads of success - the Class 5A state meet. The Los Alamos girls will run at noon on the campus of Rio Rancho High School.
    The Hilltoppers go into the meet winning seven-consecutive state titles. But this year, Los Alamos has yet to finish first in a meet. Class 5A favorite Albuquerque Academy is likely the reason for that. The Hilltoppers have faced the Chargers in their last two meets and Academy got the best of Los Alamos both times.   
    Class 5A could very likely come down to both of these teams.
    Celeste Martinez and Carly Wall, who were the top two finishers in the District 2-5A meet, will look to lead the Chargers to their first state title since 2008.
    For Los Alamos, the return of junior Zoe Hemez has made the Hilltoppers a real danger to upset Academy on Saturday. Hemez adds more depth to a Los Alamos line up that was led by eighth-grader Lidia Appell for the majority of the season.

  • Prep football: Last-second heave...

    A double-digit fourth-quarter lead wasn’t enough for Española Valley to quarrel with history.
    With seven seconds left in the game, Los Alamos trailed 34-29 until quarterback Nick Quartieri rolled out to his left found receiver Kevin Maresca for a 34-yard touchdown pass as time expired to give the Hilltoppers a 35-34 win against the Sundevils on Friday in Española.
    “It feels like a dream,” an elated Quartieri said. “We had a lot of emotions. We were just so pumped. I feel like crying right now. I’m just so happy... tears of joy.”
    The fourth-quarter comeback started when Quarteri and Maresca connected on a 29-yard touchdown pass to cut the Sundevils lead to 28-22 with 10:27 left to play.
    Española answered when its following drive was kept alive by a roughing the punter penalty called on Los Alamos. A 74-yard pass set up a one-yard Joerey Manzanares touchdown with 6:36 remaining to give Española a 34-22 lead. Quartieri ran for a 10-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 34-29 with 1:46 left. The final game-winning drive was set up after the Hilltoppers defense forced an Española three-and-out.

  • ’Toppers girl’s soccer set for...

    Los Alamos girl’s soccer coach Gary Ahlers said he typically likes playing a first round game instead of having a bye.
    But this year is different.
    The fourth-seeded Hilltoppers, who have been plagued with a series of injuries, will face No. 5 Goddard at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the Class 5A state tournament quarterfinals at the Bernalillo Soccer Complex in Bernalillo.
    “I don’t like to have a bye week but with the injuries we’ve had, it gave us some time,” Gary Ahlers said. “We have a full contention now.”
    Among the major injuries that Los Alamos suffered during the tail end of the season, was sophomore Katie Hopkins, who suffered a concussion on Oct. 8. Hopkins will start on Thursday but will likely be limited, according to Gary Ahlers.
    “She (Hopkins) is going to be available,” Gary Ahlers said. “(Monday) was the first day where she was able to do any type of physical contact. But come Thursday she’ll be good.”
    The Hilltoppers go into the contest with 14 days of rest and finished the regular season 15-5 overall and second in District 2-5A, behind No. 2 Albuquerque Academy.