Today's Sports

  • High Flyers win Winter...

    The High Flyers Level 2 gymnastics team won first place team last weekend at the Winter Invitational held at Eagle Ridge Gymnastics in Rio Rancho.

    The 11 girls on the team, who range in age from 6 to 10, were competing in their second-ever meet.

    In individual awards, Lauren Evenhus placed first all-around with a score of 36.025 and also took home first place medals on uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise.

    Cora Perkins place second on uneven bars and balance beam, while Emily Dolence tied for second on floor and placed third on uneven bars.

    In the older age division, Toby Gelfand took first place on uneven bars.

    Vivian Sintay placed second on uneven bars and balance beam, and third on vault, while Sonya Pakin took third place on both uneven bars and floor exercise. 

    Other gymnasts who competed last weekend on the High Flyers Level 2 team include Gianna Rolfe, Caterina Mereghetti, Ciara Colgan, Abigail Campbell and Maya Seet.

    In Level 3 competition, Elizabeth Hatch placed second all-around with a second place finish on uneven bars and a third place finish on vault.

    In the younger age division, Mia Gallegos placed third on vault and uneven bars, while in the older age division, her sister Elena Gallegos placed third on uneven bars and floor exercise.

  • LAHS comes up short against Del...

    After being away from Griffith Gymnasium for more than a month, the Los Alamos High School girls’ basketball team returned home for its district opener Tuesday evening, falling to Del Norte High School 39-36.

    The Hilltoppers entered the game searching for momentum after losing four games in a row, including a 61-16 road loss to Eldorado High School. Scoring has been an issue all season for LAHS, and the team was looking for any kind of spark to turn that trend around.

    With a starting lineup that included all freshmen and sophomores, the Hilltoppers got off to a quick start, scoring 7 points in the first two minutes of the game, and jumping out to a 7-0 lead.

    In the early going, the Hilltoppers semed to be doing everything right, including intercepting multiple passes from Del Norte, and converting on layup opportunities on the other end.

    The advantage was short-lived, however, as Del Norte roared back to tie the score by the end of the first quarter at 9-9.

    As was the case throughout the game, the first quarter was defined by sloppy play and turnovers on both sides, keeping the score low despite constant back-and-forth action.

    In the second quarter, Del Norte found its range from beyond the 3-point line, knocking down three deep shots to take a small lead heading into halftime, 22-19.

  • Hilltoppers lose district opener...

    The inconsistency that has haunted the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team throughout the season continued Wednesday, as the Hilltoppers fell 64-51 to Del Norte High School on the road in the team’s District 2-5A opener.

    Coming into the game, LAHS was looking to get back on track after a home loss to Lovington High School Saturday afternoon in which the team struggled on both ends of the floor.

    In the early part of the first quarter against Del Norte, it appeared the same struggles would continue for the Hilltoppers.

    The Knights jumped out to a 10-2 lead midway through the quarter, forcing LAHS head coach Mike Kluk to take an early timeout.

    One of the major early issues for the Hilltoppers was foul trouble on sophomore Gavin Campos.

    On two straight possessions, Campos drove toward the basket to attempt a layup but was called for an offensive foul.

    The two quick fouls forced him out of the game, and changed the offensive strategy for LAHS.

    After the timeout, senior Ramon Roybal caught fire, connecting on a pair of 3-pointers to get the Hilltoppers back in the game.

    As the quarter drew to a close, Roybal also connected on a running midrange shot.

    Thanks to a 7-point run to end the quarter by LAHS, the score was tied 12-12 after the first quarter.

  • LAHS picks up bounce-back win...

    Led by 20 points from sophomore guard Gavin Campos, the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team got back on track Tuesday evening, defeating Taos High School 82-62.

    Heading into the matchup, many questions surrounded the Hilltoppers, notably the health of two of the team’s best players.

    Senior guards Antonio Trujillo and Ramon Roybal missed time over the past week with injuries, and it was uncertain whether either would be able to play against Taos.

    As it turned out, both were good to go and played significant minutes, though neither started.

    In their places, Campos and David Owen, a junior, entered the starting lineup at the guard positions.

    Campos began scoring almost immediately, collecting 6 quick points in the first quarter, a time when the rest of the team was struggling to find an offensive rhythm.

    Senior forward Troy Hammock, who has been a key offensive contributor in recent weeks, picked up 4 points in the first quarter.

    Despite those contributions, the Hilltoppers trailed Taos 15-14 after the first quarter, as the Tigers knocked down three 3-pointers in the quarter.

    The offensive production picked up significantly for the Hilltoppers in the second quarter, with players consistently knocking down jump shots.

  • LAHS drops two weekend games

    Playing games on back-to-back days isn’t easy for a basketball team under any circumstances. Doing it without the team’s best player makes it even more challenging.

    This was the situation facing the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team last weekend, as it lost at home to Belen High School, and on the road to Santa Fe High School without the services of senior guard Antonio Trujillo.

    Trujillo, who has averaged more than 13 points per game this season, was on the bench with an injury in both games.
    The impact of him being out of the lineup was noticed immediately at the start of Friday’s game against Belen, as the Eagles jumped on top of the Hilltoppers 13-8 in the first quarter, and LAHS connected on just three shots. Two of those three shots were 3-pointers from Michael Naranjo and Ivan Balakirev, two of the team’s big men.

    Getting the ball to the big men continued to be the theme for the Hilltoppers in the second quarter, as all 10 points the team scored in the quarter came from Balakirev, Naranjo and Troy Hammock, another of the team’s inside presences.

    Heading into halftime, LAHS trailed 28-18. None of the Hilltopper guards scored in the first half, as Balakirev led the way with 7 points, Hammock had 6 points and Naranjo added 5 points.

  • Balanced scoring proving to be...

    Finding balanced scoring across a roster is what almost every basketball coach in the country is searching for.

    By splitting the scoring evenly, it makes it hard for defenses because they are unable to key in one or two players and slow down the entire offense.

    As the season moves along, it appears that coach Mike Kluk and the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team are finding scoring all across the roster, and it’s beginning to pay dividends.

    The team is nearing the halfway point of its season, and currently has five players averaging more than 7 points per game.

    Leading the way for the Hilltoppers is Antonio Trujillo, who is averaging 13 points per game. He started out the season as the offensive leader of the team, scoring 19 or more points in four of LAHS’ first seven games.

    In recent weeks, his production has slowed, and has allowed other players to step up in his place.

    One of the key contributors in recent games has been Troy Hammock, who was the offensive leader for the team in the Roswell Poe Corn Tournament, and continued that this week against Pojoaque High School.

    In the Roswell tournament, he scored 15 points against Artesia, 10 points against Farmington and 18 points against Gallup. He followed that up with a 12-point performance against Pojoaque.

  • Atomic City Update: NMSU proves...

    As I watched college football bowl games over the past few weeks, there were plenty of exciting stories and unbelievable performances.

    However, the best story of them all came from our home state, and proved that in sports, anything really is possible.

    For the first time in 57 years, the New Mexico State University football team won a bowl game. It’s a sight that many people thought was impossible. For years, the program has been stuck in neutral, unable to recruit players with much talent and forced to use outdated facilities on a daily basis.

    After winning no more than four games since 2004, the team rebounded this year with six wins, earning a bowl bid against Utah State in the Arizona Bowl.

    And despite trailing 20-13 late in the game, the Aggies rallied to tie the score, and won 26-20 in overtime.

    Obviously, this is a big moment for NMSU and all of its loyal supporters, but I think it also reminds all of us that with patience and a good game plan, any program can be turned around.

    Becoming complacent with mediocre play is something seen far too often in sports. The examples are endless. In the NFL, the Cleveland Browns are in a constant rebuild, and have been for nearly two decades.

  • LAHS boys basketball dominates...

    The Los Alamos High School boys basketball team returned home Tuesday evening, defeating Pojoaque Valley High School 65-32.

    This was just the team’s second home game of the season, with the first coming on Dec. 1 against St. Michael’s High School. Tuesday’s game marks the end of a tough start to the season for the Hilltoppers, in which the team played 10 of its first 11 games on the road.

    “There was a little more pep in their step in warm-ups tonight,” LAHS head coach Mike Kluk said. “I think they like playing for the home crowds, and I think we shoot a little better here from the outside, so I’m hoping that plays to our favor.”

    The boost of playing in front of the home crowd seemed to help the Hilltoppers early, as the team played aggressive defensively, and knocked down some key shots.

    One of the big moments of the game came early on, when senior guard Ramon Roybal knocked down a deep 3-pointer as time expired in the first quarter to give the Hilltoppers a 14-9 lead.

    LAHS seemed to use that shot to build momentum heading into the second quarter, as the Hilltoppers jumped all over Pojoaque on both ends of the floor. LAHS held Pojoaque scoreless over the first five minutes of the quarter, building a sizable lead.

  • Boys basketball struggles at...

    After taking nearly two weeks off for the holiday break, the Los Alamos High School boys basketball team got back to action last weekend in the Roswell Poe Corn tournament, finishing in sixth out of eight teams competing.

    The tournament appeared to be starting on a high note for the Hilltoppers, as LAHS jumped out to an early lead on Artesia High School in the first round matchup. In fact, the Hilltoppers led by 10 in the first quarter, led by 6 quick points from Troy Hammock.

    The strong play continued into the second quarter, as the LAHS offense continued to be productive, and the defense stood strong. At halftime, the Hilltoppers led 30-15.

    Everything changed for LAHS after halftime, however. Artesia began slowly chipping away at the lead, and took control. The Hilltoppers scored just 8 points in the quarter, compared to 25 for Artesia. The uptick in offense allowed Artesia to take the lead heading into the fourth quarter 40-38.

    LAHS was never able to get its offense going down the stretch, and scored just 5 points in the final quarter. Artesia remained in control throughout, and defeated the Hilltoppers 52-43.

    Hammock finished with 15 points, while Michael Naranjo scored 9 and Antonio Trujillo added 8.

  • 2017 proves to be successful for...

    Of all the programs at Los Alamos High School, few were more successful in 2017 than the cross country program, which again was a factor in the state championship race, and had a number of standout individual performers.

    On the boys’ side, no one was more impressive than freshman Rafael Sanchez, who finished in fifth place at the state championship meet, and also competed in the Nike Cross Regionals race. His time of 15:49 made him the 14th fastest freshman in nation.

    For the girls, freshman Lidia Appell and eighth-grader Norissa Valdez were the key standouts, finishing in fifth and eighth place, respectively, at the state competition.

    Overall, the girls finished as the state runner-ups, and the boys finished in third place.

    For the girls, it was the 28th straight podium finish, while for the boys it was the 21st straight podium finish.

    The future appears bright for both programs, with the boys and girls returning their top runners next season, and for many seasons to come.

    There is no doubt expectations will remain high for LAHS cross country in 2018 and the years to come.