For three quarters Saturday, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team hung right with the Albuquerque Academy Chargers.
In the fourth quarter, however, the game got away from the Hilltoppers, putting an end to a chance to grab some momentum before the team gets into the meat of its district schedule.
But Academy, after a sluggish offensive start to both the first and second quarters, almost couldn’t miss in the second half. Academy was 11 of 12 from the floor and 18 of 23 from the foul line as it pulled away in the final 8 minutes to win 63-48 at Griffith Gymnasium.
Los Alamos (2-16) actually led after one half, playing an efficient game on offense.
The Hilltoppers were able to work the ball around until it got someone loose.
In the first half, Los Alamos connected on 10 of 18 from the field, one of its best shooting halves of the season.
Academy, which missed its first 7 shots of the game and first 8 shots of the second quarter, stayed with Los Alamos largely on the strength of its domination on the boards. Academy grabbed 7 offensive rebounds in the first half and had plenty of second- and third-chance points, which helped it stay within striking distance.