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  • Hilltoppers drop district game against rival Sundevils

    Even in years when the boys’ basketball teams aren’t state title contenders, the rivalry between Española Valley and Los Alamos High School remains fierce and competitive, with every game seeming like the most important of the year. That’s how it felt inside Griffith Gymnasium Tuesday night, as the Sundevils invaded the home of the Hilltoppers and walked away with a hard-fought 73-58 victory. 

    Long before the game began, the stands inside Griffith Gymnasium were packed with fans of both teams, creating the most electric atmosphere in the building since these same two teams met a year ago. 

    Early on, it was clear the Hilltoppers were feeding off the crowd, as senior guard David Owen and junior forward Gavin Campos ran up and down the floor in transition throughout the first quarter, picking up 4 points apiece. Junior guard Matthew Owen also provided a spark, knocking down a three-pointer. 

    The Sundevils led 12-10 after the first quarter thanks to a pair of three-pointers from Brian Martinez and 7 points from star senior guard Ryan Trujillo. 

  • Online registration open for LA lacrosse

    Registration for the Los Alamos Youth Lacrosse Spring 2019 season is now open at laylax.org. Teams are forming for high school boys, high school girls, and youth (co-ed). There will be no in-person registration this year.

    The base fee is $160 for high school players and includes the required US Lacrosse membership fee. High school boys also pay $25 for a uniform. Players may request equipment and pay the rental fee during online registration.

    The season begins Feb. 4 for high school boys and girls. The season start date for youth is to be determined. 

    Boys high school practice will be 4:15 p.m. Mondays/Thursdays at Pueblo Field in Los Alamos and 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays/Wednesdays at Dara Jones Field in White Rock.

    Girls high school practice will be 4:30 p.m. Mondays/Thursdays at Dara Jones Field in White Rock and 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays/Wednesdays at Pueblo Field in Los Alamos.

    Youth practice, which won’t begin until mid-March, will be Tuesdays at Pueblo Field, Thursdays at Dara Jones.

    Volunteers are needed. Please contact info@laylax.org to volunteer and for more information about the season.

  • High Flyers earn first place at Winter Invitational

     The High Flyers Gymnastics Level 4 women’s Junior Olympic team placed first last weekend at the Winter Invitational in Albuquerque. The team scored a 107.550, two full points higher than the second place team, and beat out seven other New Mexico teams for the award. Elizabeth Hatch, Elena Gallegos, Seanna Shedd and Gwendolyn DeBardeleben all had great performances in the senior divisions for the team. 

  • Atomic City Update: Young basketball teams provide plenty of excitement at LAHS

    If you want lots to see exciting basketball and lots of drama, there has been no better place to find it this winter than inside Griffith Gymnasium. The Los Alamos High School basketball teams are far from perfect. They suffer from inexperience. Almost every player from the boys’ and girls’ teams has had to step into a new role this season. 

    But lately, things have started to turn around. In the last two weeks, the boys have played at their home gymnasium three times, and the girls once. LAHS is 4-0 in those games, and every one of them has come down to the final moments. 

    It can be infuriating to watch at times, there is no doubt about that. The Hilltoppers have had leads of at least 10 points in every one of those games, and the team has seen that lead slip away every time. It has taken dramatic last minute scores in every game to secure victories, but the Hilltoppers keep finding a way. 

    After his team’s third straight win on Jan. 19, boys’ head coach Mike Kluk said, “This is one of those perfect examples that I would rather win ugly than lose pretty.”

  • Hilltopper offense struggles in road loss to Moriarty

    For three quarters Thursday night in Moriarty, the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team was in control. Then, issues that have plagued the team all season popped up again. Shots stopped falling, passes were intercepted and the Hilltoppers lost control, losing to the Pintos 38-35 in the District 2-4A opener. 

    LAHS entered the game on a three-game win streak, with all three games coming at home last week. Thursday’s game against Moriarty offered a chance to keep the hot streak going and win a district road game, which is always a hard task. 

    Early on, it appeared the good times would keep rolling, as LAHS jumped out to an 11-4 lead after the first quarter. Junior forward Gavin Campos was aggressive, knocking down a three-point shot and driving through the lane for an impressive layup.

    Those were his only 5 points of the game, though, as he quickly found himself in foul trouble and had to sit out much of the next two quarters. 

    Junior guard Matthew Owen picked up the offensive slack for the Hilltoppers in the second quarter, coming up with 7 points, including a deep three-pointer. 

    Luc Chavez, another junior guard also contributed in the quarter, scoring 4 points. 

  • Hilltoppers earn dramatic win in district opener

    Throughout the season, the Los Alamos High School girls’ basketball team has shown extended flashes of brilliance, but has struggled to find consistency. Highlight-reel type plays are often followed by mental errors or lapses in judgment on the court. Despite these issues, the team has continued to improve, a theme that continued Tuesday night in the District 2-4A opener against Moriarty. 

    After leading by double digits in the fourth quarter, Moriarty staged an impressive comeback to force overtime before LAHS recovered for a 62-54 victory in the most important game of the season so far. 

    Heading into the game, Moriarty and LAHS were looking to start the district season with a victory to gain better position in the standings. Moriarty entered the contest with a 9-9 record, while LAHS entered the game at 6-11 after facing a tougher non-district slate of games. 

    Early on, the Hilltoppers appeared to be tougher on both ends of the floor, forcing turnovers and wild shots on the defensive side and running a composed and effective offense. 

  • LAHS wins three straight for first time this year

    For the first time since early 2017, the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team is on a three-game win streak. None of the victories have been easy, with the latest, a 47-45 win over Miyamura Saturday at Griffith Gymnasium, coming down to the final moments. 

    Much like all of the games recently, the Hilltoppers got off to a strong start offensively, going up 11-5 after the first quarter. Junior guard Brian Irwin was strong near the basket for LAHS, converting on a pair of contested layups. 

    The LAHS defense was outstanding as well, limiting Miyamura to one made field goal in the first quarter. Junior forward Gavin Campos and junior guard Matthew Owen were particularly strong defensively, covering the team’s shooters on every possession. 

    The shots continued to fall for the Hilltoppers in the second quarter, as Campos scored five points and senior guard David Owen added six points. Miyamura’s top scorer, Gabe Lee, also found his range in the quarter. He scored eight quick points to get his team back in the game, including a pair of three-point baskets. 

    At halftime, LAHS led 26-18, and appeared to be in control. 

  • Hilltoppers win second straight home game

    For the second time this week, the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team defeated a former district rival at Griffith Gymnasium, this time taking down Del Norte 60-57. 

    Much like Tuesday’s win over Albuquerque Academy, the Hilltoppers injected late drama into the contest. After leading by as many as 16 points in the third quarter, LAHS allowed the Knights to get back into the game and tie the score in the fourth quarter. 

    LAHS was able to survive the late rally thanks to the clutch free throw shooting of junior guard Brian Irwin, as well as the aggressive defensive play of junior forward Gavin Campos. 

    Trailing by three points with less than 10 seconds remaining, Del Norte had an opportunity to tie the score and send the game to overtime. The pass down the court came to Jordan Nielsen, Del Norte’s top three-point shooting threat. 

    Nielsen had already knocked down a pair of three-pointers earlier in the game. The game-tying attempt, though, hit off the back of the rim and bounced off, sealing the win for the Hilltoppers. 

  • LAHS girls’ basketball loses road contest to Manzano

    By Isaac Fason

    The Los Alamos High School’s girls’ basketball team traveled to Manzano High School to face the Monarchs Thursday. The Hilltoppers and Monarchs battled hard and the score remained close for most of the game, but the Monarchs managed to pull away in the final minutes of the fourth quarter and beat LAHS 53-46.

    The Hilltoppers came out strong and took an early 6-2 lead in the early minutes of the game, but Manzano responded with strong play of their own and tied the game up at 15 at the end of the first quarter.

    The score remained close for most of the second quarter, and the Hilltoppers held a 23-22 lead with three minutes left in the half. The Hilltoppers closed the second quarter with solid play and went on an 8-2 run to take a 31-24 lead going into halftime.

    Manzano came out of the locker room ready to play, and the Hilltoppers found themselves trailing 33-35 with 4:45 left in the third quarter. Neither team could pull away, and the Hilltoppers went into the fourth just trailing 41-40.

  • Atomic City Update: Live, professional sports help create new, lifelong fans

    One of the most unique experiences I have had since I moved to New Mexico came last weekend, when I was able to watch college hockey teams play at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink. 

    It was a great, fun event, with the University of New Mexico, Dallas Baptist University, Northern Arizona University and the University of Nebraska facing off across two days in the outdoors. 

    It was so cool, and it made me wish that events like that happened more in New Mexico, where the highest level of competition is Division I college athletics at UNM and New Mexico State, or AAA baseball with the Albuquerque Isotopes. 

    If those are the highest levels of competition you have been able to witness living here, I highly recommend planning a trip to see professional sports played at the highest level. For us here in Los Alamos, the closest top-level sports city is Denver, where you can watch the Broncos play in the NFL, the Rockies play in the MLB, the Avalanche play in the NHL and the Nuggets play in the NHL. 

    Once you witness these games played at the highest level, it will give you a whole new appreciation for sports, because watching what those guys can do is truly breathtaking.