• ’Toppers get thumped by Sartans in opening round

    ALBUQUERQUE – As upset-minded as the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team might have been heading into Friday night’s game, the St. Pius X Sartans were not to be denied.
    The Sartans methodically drove to the basket and pounded the ball in down low to take control of Friday’s Class 4A state championship first round game early. The Hilltoppers took the air out of the ball in the second quarter to try to keep the contest close, but the second half was all St. Pius.
    St. Pius’ defense and rebounding closed the door on any hopes the Hilltoppers might have had of knocking off the Sartans and advancing in the state tournament in the third quarter. St. Pius dominated the boards on both ends, putting in several second chances in the third quarter en route to a 59-31 victory.
    This was the second meeting between the two teams this year and both ended with a similar result. St. Pius won handily in January, topping Los Alamos by 24 points.
    Hilltopper head coach Ann Stewart, who has guided Los Alamos to the playoffs in both years she’s led the team, said afterward Los Alamos needed to win the battle for rebounds and keep St. Pius from setting itself up with easy buckets. Unfortunately, the Hilltoppers were able to do neither Friday night.

  • ’Toppers, Sartans go to the wire, but Pius prevails

    ALBUQUERQUE – Less than a week after the Los Alamos Hilltopper baseball team put a scare into the 2013 Class 4A state runners-up, it took the defending state champions to the brink.
    Los Alamos moved out to a 3-run edge after 4-1/2 innings over the St. Pius X Sartans in the second round of the Sartans’ home tournament Friday.
    But the Sartans put together a 5-run home half of the fifth and pushed the winning run across on the final play of the game to survive a scare and win 7-6.
    Los Alamos and St. Pius met in the semifinal round of the Sartan tournament after both won big Thursday in the opening round.
    It was the Hilltoppers who drew first blood, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the third without getting a ball out of the infield, then tacked on two more in the top of the fifth to move out to a 4-1 edge.
    But, with the game about to go into tiebreaker rules – games at the St. Pius tournament are limited to 2 hours and 15 minutes – the Sartans’ Mitch DiLorenzo reached on a error to start the bottom of the sixth, then, after stealing second, attempted to steal third. The throw to third base was low and bounced away from third baseman Jared Mang.

  • On Schedule 03-08-14


    Softball: Los Alamos at Moriarty, varsity, 3 p.m.; JV, 5 p.m.

    Baseball: Los Alamos at Albuquerque Academy, 4 p.m.


    Track and field: Los Alamos at Rio Rancho, boys and girls JV, 3:30 p.m.

    Baseball: Hope Christian at Los Alamos, varsity, JV, 4 p.m.


    Track and field: Los Alamos at Cleveland Invite, boys and girls varsity, 8:30 a.m.

  • Sports Briefs 03-09-14

    Pace Race season starts April 1

    The Atomic City Roadrunners running club will hold its first Pace Race of the year April 1 starting at the Canyon Rim trailhead.
    The run will start at 6 p.m.
    The Roadrunners meet for Pace Races at various sites around the county weekly. Races are at 6 p.m. Tuesdays. Races consist of 1- and 3-mile courses.
    Anyone interested in participating may attend.
    For more information, visit the club’s website, atomicrunners.com or call Ted Williams 672-1639.

    Sr. Olympics registration is open

    The Los Alamos Senior Olympic Games will be held locally starting April 11.
    The local games run through May 13. A variety of different events are offered to participants.
    To participate, entrants should be 50 years of age or older.
    Registration forms are available at the YMCA. Price for participation is $20. Registrations will be accepted through March 21.
    For more information on the local Senior Olympic Games, call 662-3526.

    Pitching, fielding camp coming to White Rock

  • Sports Briefs 03-07-14

    Isotopes’ Select-A-Seat is Saturday

    Tickets go on sale Saturday for individual games at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque. The tickets can be purchased at the Isotopes box office or by visiting abqisotopes.com starting at 10 a.m.
    The Albuquerque Isotopes are the Triple-A franchise of the Los Angeles Dodgers Major League Baseball club.
    Also Saturday, the Isotopes will host their annual Select-A-Seat event. Fans holding season tickets or ticket mini-plans can choose which seats they would like for those games.
    The first game of the season at Isotopes Park is scheduled for April 11 against the Tacoma Rainiers. 

    Run For Her Life set for March 30
    Registration is open for the fourth annual Run For Her Life 5K and 10K races.
    The races are scheduled for March 30. Races will start at 9 a.m. at East Park in Los Alamos.
    Registration forms can be found online at atomicrunners.com or at Fusion Multisports, Los Alamos Fitness Center and the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center.
    All proceeds from the race will be donated to charities working in the field of breast cancer research.
    For further information, call 672-1639.

  • 'Toppers, Sartans clash in opening round

    The first round of the girls Class 4A state championship basketball tournament will feature a rematch from the regular season.
    Los Alamos will take on the St. Pius X Sartans Friday evening in Albuquerque. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m.
    Los Alamos received the No. 14 seed for the state tournament and will travel to face the Sartans in Albuquerque. The Sartans earned the No. 3 seed.
    All Class 4A girls games will be played Friday at various sites around the state. The tournament’s venue switches to The Pit starting Tuesday for the quarterfinal round.
    This will be the second meeting of the year between the Hilltoppers and Sartans — they met Jan. 10 at Griffith Gymnasium.
    That game didn’t go particularly well for Los Alamos. Los Alamos was held to just five points in the third quarter against the Sartans, who were the No. 1 team in the state at the time, and the Sartans rolled to a 68-44 victory.
    St. Pius is tall underneath the basket, but interestingly, did much of its damage early in the Jan. 10 game from the perimeter. Sartan forward Amanda Sanchez hit five 3-pointers in the first half to finish with 20 points, while guard Natalie Zamora had 21 points.

  • Cleveland throttles LA Wednesday

    It was a rough way to start the season for the Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team.
    Los Alamos opened its 2014 campaign Wednesday at Overlook Park, but had a tough order to fill in taking on the Cleveland Storm, a Class 5A club from Rio Rancho.
    And Cleveland showed why it was tough from the get-go. Cleveland pushed four runs across in the top of the first and scored in every inning of a mercy-rule shortened 15-1 victory.
    It was an interesting match-up between two very young teams — most of the Hilltoppers’ opening day roster is sophomores, while the Storm have more freshmen and eighth graders than juniors seniors.
    But Cleveland swung the bat very well, touching Los Alamos pitchers Emilee Jones and Jordan Hammock for 19 hits in five innings, including three extra-base, two of them coming from pitcher Brooke Hodgson. Hodgson crushed a fastball off Hammock in the fourth inning for a home run to almost straightaway center, giving herself a 13-1 edge at that time.
    Jones threw three innings, giving up 9 runs, before giving way to Hammock, who threw the final two innings.
    Following Wednesday’s contest, Los Alamos manager Roger Anaya said his team still has plenty to work on and is still awaiting the return of three basketball players, including ace pitcher Kiana Zerr.

  • Softball opens vs. Cleveland

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper softball team will start its 2014 campaign at home this afternoon.
    Los Alamos will take on Rio Rancho Cleveland, a very solid Class 5A program, today at Overlook Park.
    There are a lot of new faces around the Hilltopper program this season. More than half the team’s opening day roster is sophomores and the team will be looking to fill some key roles early.
    Among the biggest questions for Los Alamos is which players will step up on the offensive end following the departure of some of its biggest run-producers like Micaelea Christensen and Erin Kirk.
    Los Alamos scored at a healthy 8 runs-per-game clip last season en route to a 14-11 overall record. It went 10-2 in District 2-4A play, including winning 7 games in a row in one stretch, to earn the district title and advance to the state playoffs.
    Today’s game will also be the season opener for Cleveland, which also went 14-11 last season.
    Cleveland, interestingly, is even younger than Los Alamos, with just three seniors, one junior, and a combined eight freshmen and eighth graders.

  • Big late innings lift Hilltoppers to 10-1 rout

    JACONA — A tight ballgame between the Los Alamos Hiltoppers and the Pojoaque Valley Elks finally got broken open in the top of the fifth inning.
    After that, the Hilltoppers kicked that door in even further.
    After scraping together a couple of runs through the first four innings and holding on to a 2-run lead, Los Alamos scored five times in the top of the fifth, added a run in the sixth, then came up with four more runs in its final at-bat to win going away, 10-1 at Jacona Field.
    Jared Mang had back-to-back RBI doubles in the sixth and seventh innings to help Los Alamos secure its first win of the 2014 season.
    It took awhile for the Hilltoppers’ offense to get on track Tuesday. Los Alamos center fielder Colin Kitts said that may have had more to do with the team’s two games the weekend before.
    “We definitely saw some pretty fast pitching,” Kitts said of the team’s contests at Piedra Vista Saturday. “From seeing PV (throwing) maybe around 80 and their breaking ball around 70, coming over here and (the Elks’) fastball being like 70 and breaking balls around 60, it’s something where you’ve got to learn to adjust. Every team’s going to be different.”
    Kitts, like much of the rest of the batting order, was able to make the adjustment.

  • Herrera named girls soccer coach

    Los Alamos High School filled one of its fall coaching vacancies Tuesday with the hiring of AJ Herrera.
    Herrera, who was the head coach for one season with the Los Alamos boys program, will take over the Los Alamos girls program, it was announced by the LAHS athletic department.
    Herrera ran the Hilltopper boys program for one season, 2006, and led it to a berth in the state Class 4A semifinals. He left following that season to take over the program at Santa Fe.
    “That made me a better coach,” Herrera said, noting that Santa Fe and Los Alamos are very different environments in which to run a program.
    With his hiring, Herrera officially takes over the reins from longtime head coach Jiri Kubicek, who stepped down in January after more than 20 years of leading the program.
    Along with his experience coaching the Demons, Herrera was also a collegiate soccer player at Maryland and was one of the top prep players New Mexico has ever produced.