Boys’ basketball earns district win over Moriarty

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By Phil Scherer

Throughout most of district play, leading scorers Gavin Campos and David Owen have struggled to get involved in the offensive flow. Whether it was because of foul trouble or being double-teamed, the duo has not been as effective as in the early part of the season. That all changed Saturday night, as Campos and Owen combined to score 38 points in LAHS’ 55-41 victory over Moriarty. 

The win marked the first district victory for the Hilltoppers since Feb. 20, 2017, a win over Albuquerque Academy in the district tournament. 

Campos and Owen got involved early, both knocking down a three-point shot in the first quarter. 

They also both drove to the basket with impressive moves, easily slicing through the Moriarty defense. 

Thanks to their offensive output, along with a three-point shot by Sahib Khalsa, LAHS led 14-10 after the first quarter. 

Moriarty switched to a matchup zone defense in the second quarter, and LAHS had a difficult time solving it. Much of the second quarter was spent with the Hilltoppers passing the ball around the perimeter, hesitant to take an outside shot. 

On the other side, though, Moriarty wasn’t able to get much more done offensively, only outscoring the Hilltoppers by two points in the quarter. Despite the rough quarter, LAHS entered halftime leading 19-17 in a low-scoring contest. 

While the rest of the offense continued to struggle in the third quarter, Campos took the game over. 

He became aggressive on offense, driving to the basket consistently and also knocking down his second three-pointer of the game. He scored 9 points in the quarter, and propelled the Hilltoppers to a 31-26 lead heading into the final quarter. 

LAHS’ offense re-emerged in the final quarter, as the team connected on 10 shots from the field. 

The team rarely missed, and received contributions from all over the roster. Brian Irwin, JD Carson, Gabe Holesinger and Khalsa all scored in the quarter, while Owen added 8 points and Campos added 6 more. 

Moriarty was unable to keep up, falling behind by double digits and never recovering. LAHS continued to add onto the lead, and won 55-41. 

Campos led the Hilltoppers with 23 points, while Owen added 15 points. 

The win moves LAHS past Moriarty in the district standings, with both now holding 1-4 records in district play. LAHS is ahead based on point differential. 

The Hilltoppers will return to action 7 p.m. Friday on the road against Española Valley.