Today's Sports

  • Offense struggles late as LAHS...

    Finishing up the first round of district contests, the Los Alamos High School girls’ basketball team headed to district-leader Capital High School Tuesday evening, falling 52-36 in a game that was often closer than the score indicated.

    On paper, the game appeared to be a mismatch. Capital entered the contest 3-0 in District 2-5A games, while the Hilltoppers came in 0-3 in district play and winless since late December.

    Much like LAHS’ last game, against Española Valley, the team fell behind early.

    Throughout the first quarter, Capital couldn’t miss, while the Hilltoppers had trouble hanging onto the ball.

    The Jaguars connected on seven shots in the quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers that allowed Capital to jump out to a quick 18-4 lead.

    The Hilltoppers’ only points in the quarter came from a pair of layups from Natalie Gallegos and Anna Lemke.

    Despite trailing by such a large margin, LAHS came out in the second quarter with a noticeable increase in energy.

    One of the big reasons for that was junior guard Alex Calderon, who saw his first action in district play. She immediately sparked the offense from the point guard position, and set the team up for success with her passing and playmaking ability.

  • Jones, Thome, Guerrero, Hoffman...

    Over 600 home runs. More than 600 saves. A .300 career average.

    In the age of baseball analytics, there’s still room in the Hall of Fame for big, round numbers you can count on.
    Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman were rewarded Wednesday, easily elected in the newest class headed for Cooperstown.

    “I don’t know how you tabulate or calculate WAR,” Jones said, referring to a sabermetric stat that didn’t exist for much of his career.

    “Yes, you can dig deeper,” he said. But he added: “What I want to see is batting average, on-base percentage, runs produced.”

    Designated hitter Edgar Martinez came close after a grass-roots campaign to promote him. Boosted by advanced metrics, he’ll get his last chance on the ballot next year.

    Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, both tainted by the steroids scandal, edged up but again fell far short.

    A switch-hitter who batted .303 with 468 home runs, Jones was an eight-time All-Star third baseman for the Atlanta Braves.

  • Defense struggles for LAHS in...

    After being stuck in the middle of the league standings throughout most of the season, the Los Alamos High School ice hockey team returned to the Los Alamos County Ice Rink for four pivotal games against Telluride and Durango.

    These were especially important games, because matchups against Telluride provided the Hilltoppers an opportunity to take down one of the top teams in the league, while games against Durango offered LAHS a chance to distance itself from other teams in the middle of the league.

    However, the team was unable to capitalize on the opportunity, dropping both games against Telluride, losing one game to Durango and earning a tie in the other game.

    The struggles against Telluride have been consistent throughout the season, as LAHS drops to 0-4 against the Lizard Heads. Last weekend the team lost 7-4 Friday night and 9-4 Saturday morning.

    This year’s series against Durango has been more competitive, as the Hilltoppers won the first meeting in mid-December before losing two of the past three matchups. This weekend, the Hilltoppers tied the Devils 5-5 Saturday night and lost 8-3 Sunday morning, likely the result of fatigue after playing four games in three days.

  • Schwartz turned Eagles’ defense...

    Jim Schwartz inherited one of the NFL’s worst defenses and turned them into one of the best in less than two years.

    When coach Doug Pederson hired Schwartz to be the defensive coordinator in 2016, the Philadelphia Eagles were coming off three straight seasons ranked in the bottom four in yards allowed.

    Schwartz changed the scheme back to a 4-3 base and rebuilt the defense using many of the same players left from the old regime.

    He also brought a swagger that’s reflected in his players.

    Three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, two-time Pro Bowl safety Malcolm Jenkins, defensive linemen Brandon Graham and Beau Allen, and linebacker Mychal Kendricks were part of the unit that struggled under former coach Chip Kelly and former defensive coordinator Billy Davis.

    But they’ve thrived under Schwartz because his system fits their skills.

    “He always puts us in great position to make plays,” Jenkins said.
    Schwartz made an immediate impact last season, helping the defense go from 30th in yards allowed and 28th in points to 13th and 12th, respectively.

    This season, they ranked fourth in both categories and had the league’s No. 1 run defense.

  • Hilltoppers prepare for toughest...

    Of all the games the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team will play this season, there will likely be none tougher than the test the Hilltoppers face tonight in Española.

    The Española Valley High School Sundevils are the top-ranked team in Class 5A, and are viewed by many as the top team in the state of New Mexico, regardless of classification.

    This week, that stance has only grown stronger. Tuesday night in Española, the Sundevils faced District 2-5A rival, and No. 3 ranked 5A team, Capital High School in what has become one of the best rivalries in the state.

    And facing its toughest opponent so far this season, the Sundevils cruised to an 83-65 win. It was so decisive that the stands that were filled to capacity at tipoff were half empty by the middle of the fourth quarter.

    Capital, which came into the game giving up fewer than 55 points per game on average, gave up nearly that many in the second half alone.

    Española Valley is one of the most well balanced teams in the state, with the ability to defend every player on the floor, and score in a variety of ways.

  • Shorthanded Hilltoppers come up...

    The recent rough stretch for the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team continued over the weekend, as the Hilltoppers lost to Goddard High School and Albuquerque Academy inside Griffith Gymnasium.

    With senior forward Troy Hammock in street clothes on the bench in both games, the Hilltoppers played with just eight players in uniform. According to LAHS head coach Mike Kluk, it is not yet known whether Hammock will be able to return to action this season.

    The impact of Hammock’s absence was immediately noticeable, as the Hilltoppers were forced to change the starting lineup, and often had a smaller group on the floor during Friday’s game against Goddard.

    Though the offense got off to a good start in the game, repeatedly getting close to the basket for easy baskets, Goddard’s offense was even more impressive. The Rockets knocked down four 3-pointers in the first quarter, and appeared comfortable setting up beyond the arc and waiting for an open shot.

    With the help of those deep shots, Goddard led 18-14 after the first quarter.

    In the second quarter, Ramon Roybal got on a roll for the Hilltoppers, and knocked down three 3-pointers. His strong quarter helped propel LAHS to a halftime lead, 36-32.

  • Jackson named MW player of the...

    Senior Antino Jackson of The University of New Mexico men’s basketball team has been named Mountain West Player of the Week following leading the Lobos to a pair of victories this week, the league announced on Monday.

    The honor marks the first Mountain West award for Jackson who came to the Lobos as a graduate transfer from Akron prior to this season.

    Jackson led UNM to a pair of comeback victories on the week over UNLV (85-81) scoring 17 points on the road and against San Diego State at home, averaging 20.5 points per game while tallying 11 assists.

    On Saturday, he powered the Lobos to a 79-75 victory over SDSU in Dreamstyle Arena - The Pit with a career-high 24 points.

    His previous career-high was 23, which he achieved twice at Akron.

    With just 43 seconds left on the clock Saturday, Jackson turned a 6-0 Lobo run into a 9-0 run with a 3-pointer to take the first UNM lead since 13:39 in the first half. After SDSU tied it 75-75, Jackson hit the eventual game-winning jumper with 22 seconds left on the clock to put the Lobos back on top for good, 77-75.

    In 28 minutes against SDSU, Jackson did not commit a single turnover as the Lobos’ primary ball handler.

    He averaged 30.5 minutes, 20.5 points and 5.5 assists to go along with three steals on the week.

  • Granato prepared for role as US...

    Growing up as the oldest of six children, Tony Granato always seemed to be in charge.

    If that meant telling brothers Don and Robby to help their younger siblings put on their shoes or find their jackets, that’s what he did.

    A decade or so later, those same qualities stood out on the 1988 U.S. Olympic team — even though defenseman Eric Weinrich and 15 other players were older than Granato.

    “I really looked up to Tony as a real leader and someone you could aspire to,” Weinrich said. “He was really a mature guy for the group that we had. I always kind of thought of him as an older player than he really was. He always seemed like one of those guys that would be a good captain.”

    Decades later, the 53-year-old big brother finds himself in that role again on the biggest stage in international hockey.

    Granato will coach an unheralded men’s hockey team without NHL players at the Olympics in South Korea next month. Hand-picked by general manager, friend and 1988 Olympic teammate Jim Johannson, who died unexpectedly on the eve of the games, Granato has spent more than 30 years building to this moment.

    “I’ve been there as a fan, I’ve been there as a player, I’ve been there as an assistant coach,” Granato said .

  • Registration for fencing class...

    The Family YMCA will open registration for the Intro to Fencing for Beginners class on Feb 1.

    Class begins on March 6 and runs for three months. Class size is limited to 10 each year, so those interested will need to act fast to make sure they secure a spot.

    The cost for the three-month program is $120, or $90 for YMCA members.

    The beginning class for students (ages 10 or older) with no previous fencing experience meets each Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the YMCA gym.

    The class will focus on basic footwork and blade skills, in both foil and epee, leading into actual fencing bouts.

    The season will finish May 29 with a tournament.

    The YMCA provides all necessary equipment.

    The YMCA also has a fencing program for those that have completed the beginner course or have other previous fencing experience. Participants may start at the beginning of any month.

    The YMCA provides instruction and equipment.

    Class meets at the YMCA gym on Tuesdays  from 7-8 p.m.

    The monthly cost is $32, or $16 for YMCA members.

    Register now at The Family YMCA, located at 1450 Iris St. in Los Alamos, call 662-3100 or go to laymca.org.

    For additional information, contact Tom Hill at 672-1058.

  • Ski club succeeds at junior...

    What a difference a year and more experience makes. That was evident for the kids on the Southwest Nordic Ski Club (SWNSC) team who traveled to the Rocky Mountain Nordic Junior National Qualifier Jan. 13-15 in Crested Butte, Colorado.

    Being up against all of the big teams from Colorado, such as the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, Aspen Valley Nordic, Summit County Nordic Club, Boulder Nordic Club, Durango Nordic Club, Winter Park Nordic Club, Crested Butte Nordic and Gunnison Nordic Clubs, the kids from Los Alamos definitely had their work cut out for them.

    Last season was the local club’s first taste of the highest level of competition for juniors in the Junior National Qualifier series, which is part of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association sanctioned regional races for kids looking to advance to the national and international levels.

    It starts with racing at the Rocky Mountain region qualifiers, then based on results there, up to the national level.