Hilltoppers drop third straight district game

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By Phil Scherer

Facing one of the top 10 teams in Class 4A on the road, the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team continued to struggle to find consistent sources of offense, falling to Taos High School 59-48.

Since district play began, offense has been hard to come by for the Hilltoppers, as leading scorer Gavin Campos fouled out of the first two district contests. Though he returned to form Friday against the Tigers, finding secondary sources of offense continued to evade LAHS.

Both teams struggled to find an offensive rhythm in the first quarter, as LAHS knocked down only three shots, and Taos found the bottom of the basket five times. Campos scored 5 points in the opening quarter, but went only 1-3 at the free throw line. The Hilltoppers trailed 11-7 after the first quarter.

LAHS woke up offensively in the second quarter, as Campos connected on a deep three-point basket and Matthew Owen scored on a layup and a midrange jumper. Taos was deadly offensively in the quarter, though, knocking down a trio of three-pointers and extending its lead to 32-21 heading into the halftime break.

The Hilltoppers continued to struggle after the break, as Owen knocked down a three-pointer, but the rest of the team went silent from the field. Though Taos only connected on five shots in the quarter, the Tigers extended the lead to 43-28 heading into the final eight minutes.

After being largely absent from the offense for most of the game, David Owen came alive in the final quarter with 10 points, and Campos knocked down a pair of three-pointers. It appeared LAHS was going to make an impressive comeback, as the team cut its deficit to 7 points with more than four minutes left in the game, but that was as close as it got. The Tigers regained control in the final minutes, and earned a 59-48 district victory.

Campos led the Hilltoppers with 18 points, and David Owen added 11 points, most of them coming in the final quarter.

LAHS drop to 0-3 in district play, and 5-16 overall. The team returns to action 7 p.m. Thursday, with a home district matchup against Pojoaque Valley.