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Green named district player of the year

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By Phil Scherer

Following a dominant junior season, Los Alamos High School girls’ basketball player Becca Green was named the District 2-4A player of the year. 

She was also named a first-team all-district performer along with senior Alex Calderon. 

Green, in her third season on the Hilltopper varsity team, dominated under the basket all season, especially in district play. 

In the eight regular season district contests against Española Valley, Moriarty, Pojoaque Valley and Taos, Green scored in double digits in every game. 

She was especially dominant against the Sundevils, a team that later advanced to the state semifinals. 

She scored 26 points in the first meeting between the two teams, then scored 28 points in the rematch. 

In the district tournament semifinals, she scored 16 points to lead the Hilltoppers to victory. 

Against Pojoaque, the regular season and tournament district champions, she played a key role despite being guarded by girls taller than her at all times. 

She scored 16 points in the first game and 19 points in the rematch. One of her other most impressive games of the season came early in non-district play, when she scored 27 points against Artesia in one of the biggest wins of the season for the Hilltoppers. 

Though she was a key player for LAHS her freshman and sophomore seasons, she had a better sense of the fundamental parts of the game this season and became a better shooter and rebounder thanks in part to her head coach, Lanse Carter, in his first year with the Hilltoppers. 

Calderon, LAHS’ other first-team all-district performer, played point guard this season and became the team’s top threat from three-point range. 

She was a key factor in many of the Hilltopper district victories, and her ability to dribble her way out of a full-court press caught the attention of coaches all around the state. 

She was particularly impressive against the Sundevils. 

In the first matchup against the Sundevils at Northern New Mexico College, Calderon knocked down six free throws in a row in the fourth quarter to close out a Hilltopper victory, and then scored 13 points in the district tournament semifinals. 

Also honored for the Hilltoppers this week were Natalie Gallegos and Michaela Gonzales, as both earned second-team all-district honors. 

Gallegos, a junior, was strong defensively all season and showed good offensive skill when given the opportunity to shine. 

Gonzales, a sophomore, stepped into a starting role in her first year on the varsity team and became an immediate leader on the court and in the locker room.

Many times this season, she won games for the Hilltoppers thanks to her outstanding defense and clutch free-throw shooting. 

LAHS advanced to the state tournament this year as the No. 12 seed, losing to Highland in the first round. 

After going 6-21 each of the previous two seasons, LAHS won 13 games and were the runners-up in District 2-4A.