LAHS girls’ basketball picks up big win at Capital

-A A +A
By Phil Scherer

After leading by double digits at halftime, the Los Alamos High Scholl girls’ basketball team held on for a 45-41 win Tuesday night on the road against former district rival Capital. 

It was the second meeting of the season between the teams. LAHS and Capital met in the second round of the Capitol City Tournament in early December, with the Hilltoppers earning a hard-fought 41-40 victory. 

Early on in the rematch, it appeared the Hilltoppers would have no trouble pulling away. LAHS jumped out to a quick 13-7 lead, with junior Becca Green scoring the first seven points of the game. 

She found herself double-teamed near the basket throughout the evening, but was still able to get her shots in the air to create offensive opportunities. 

When the shots weren’t open for her, she did a good job of distributing the ball to her teammates, as Alex Calderon, Michaela Gonzales and Mattie Ruminer knocked down shots in the opening quarter. 

LAHS’ offensive momentum continued in the second quarter, as Natalie Gallegos knocked down a wide-open three-point shot. Despite being one of the tallest girls on the team, head coach Lanse Carter has played Gallegos near the three-point line a lot this season in an attempt to get her to broaden her skill set. 

“Her basketball IQ is getting higher and higher,” Carter said. 

Gonzales also helped LAHS stay on the right track in the second quarter, as she knocked down a pair of tough shots, including an impressive layup on a two-on-one opportunity with Jenee Montoya. 

The Hilltoppers went into halftime with a 24-13 lead, as Capital only knocked down four shots in the entire first half. 

After the break, though, Capital looked like an entirely different team. The Lady Jaguars were aggressive on offense and defense, and kept the Hilltoppers off balance. 

On offense, Capital connected on six shots in the quarter, including a pair of three-pointers. 

Capital outscored the Hilltoppers 18-9 in the quarter, cutting the LAHS lead to 33-31. Montoya kept the Hilltoppers in the lead in the quarter, as she knocked down a contested three-point shot and also hit a long two-point jumper. 

LAHS got back to its tough defense in the fourth quarter, holding Capital scoreless for the first six minutes of the quarter. The Hilltoppers were unable to pull away, though, and Capital tightened the game up again, getting to within one point. 

With the one-point lead, Gonzales was able to extend the lead to three points from the free throw line, where she knocked down both shots with under a minute to play. Green iced the game in the final seconds with a free throw of her own, putting LAHS up by four points, 45-41, which proved to be the final score. 

Green led LAHS with 15 points, and Gonzales added 12 points. Gallegos had a good night on both ends of floor, tallying 7 points and playing great defense. 

The win moves LAHS’ record to 6-9 this season, which matches the Hilltoppers’ win total from last year, when the team went 6-21.