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  • LA boys hoops top SF High

    The Los Alamos boys basketball team is winning close games at the right time.
    After claiming an impressive 52-49 comeback victory against Belen on Friday, the Hilltoppers defeated Santa Fe High 55-53 in overtime on Saturday at Griffith Gym.
    After Saturday’s win, Los Alamos improved to 8-6 overall and claimed its third straight victory. The Hilltoppers traveled to face Taos on Tuesday after the Los Alamos Monitor’s print deadline.
    Not only will the wins result in resume builders, but they will also contribute towards confidence for Los Alamos, as District 2-5A play begins in less than a week.
    ‘Toppers edge Demons in OT
    This season, a win against Santa Fe High is a Class 6A win that any team would want.
    And the Hilltoppers got that win by outscoring the Demons 10-8 in the overtime period. During that run, Antonio Trujillo hit a 3-pointer to give the Hilltoppers a lead that it didn’t relinquish.
     

  • Topper girls drop finale in Aztec

    The Los Alamos girls basketball team dropped an opportunity on Saturday to finish a regular season tournament on a high note.
    After holding Piedra Vista to only 10 points in the first half, the Hilltoppers were outscored 33-7 in the second half and fell 43-28 in the third place game of the Lady Tiger Rumble in Aztec.
    The Hilltoppers still led with two minutes left in the third quarter but a Piedra Vista bucket gave the Panthers a 24-23 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
    In the second round on Friday, Los Alamos fell to host Aztec 61-33.
    The Hilltoppers allowed 17 points in the first half, before falling apart defensively in the second half and allowing 44 points. Los Alamos also led 18-17 at the half but struggled on offense in the final 16 minutes and was limited to 15 points.
    Los Alamos moved to 4-12 overall after the tournament and hosted Taos on Tuesday after the Los Alamos Monitor’s Wednesday print deadline.     
     

  • Prep boys basketball: Toppers get big win at Belen

    This time Los Alamos didn’t shy away in the fourth quarter.

    Down 44-34 entering the final quarter, Los Alamos hit crucial shots and made defensive stops to pick up a big 52-49 win at Belen on Friday night. 

    “That was probably as patient as we’ve been all year,” Los Alamos coach Mike Kluk said. “Usually when we get down six or eight points, we try to win it with our next shot. Tonight, they were really patient, got really good shots and even got three 3’s in a row in one stretch. We didn’t panic so much when we got behind.”

    The Hilltoppers had every excuse to panic being down by 10 with eight minutes remaining. But instead, Los Alamos executed on offense, including back-to-back 3’s from Ramon Roybal and Jack Stewart that cut Belen’s lead to 46-42 with 6:20 left in the game.

    A contested jumper from Anthony Trujillo gave Los Alamos its first lead of the second half, 48-47 with 1:25 remaining. After Trujillo’s go ahead jumper, the Hilltoppers managed to keep the Eagles from getting good looks and with 30 seconds left, Cade Gasway rejected a Belen attempt to tie it. The Eagles got a decent look from 3-point range but the shot was off the mark.

  • Prep girls basketball: ‘Toppers snap losing skid

    The Los Alamos girls basketball team ended its eight-game losing skid.
    The Hilltoppers blew out Monument Valley (Utah) 60-35 on Thursday in the first round of the Lady Tiger Rumble in Aztec.
    It was Los Alamos’ first win since Dec. 1, 2016. The 60 points were the most the Hilltoppers have scored in a game this season.
    Los Alamos faced host Aztec on Friday in the second round after the Los Alamos Monitor’s Sunday print deadline. The Hilltoppers closed out the tournament on Saturday.
    In other first round matchups, Aztec defeated Crownpoint 61-14, Durango (Colorado) downed Navajo Prep 40-31 and Piedra Vista defeated Montrose (Colorado) 44-34.

  • Prep boys basketball: LA gets past Pojoaque, 56-50

    They needed this one.
    For momentum and confidence going forward, the Los Alamos boys basketball team’s 56-50 win at Pojoaque Valley on Tuesday can go a long way.
    The Hilltoppers improved to 6-6 overall, while the Elks fell to 5-5 on the season.
    “We really knew that we had to win this one,” Los Alamos coach Mike Kluk said after the game in an interview with KRSN. “We have to start building a resume and losing to a 4A squad, even as good as Pojoaque is, would’ve not helped our resume.”   
    Antonio Trujillo’s triple with 3:10 left in the game gave Los Alamos a 48-39 lead, the biggest of the night, but the Elks countered. Pojoaque went on a four-point run to cut the lead to 48-43.
    A Trujillo layup and a Jack Stewart free throw extended Los Alamos’ lead to 51-43 with 1:30 left to play, as the Hilltoppers were able to fend off a late Pojoaque rally and claim their first win against the Elks since the 2011-12 season.
    After a highly contested first half that ended 24-21 in favor of Los Alamos, the Hilltoppers engineered a 13-point third quarter. Trujillo gave Los Alamos a 28-21 lead with 5:50 left in the third quarter and Michael Naranjo extended the Hilltoppers lead to 30-21.

  • Prep boys hoops: Toppers go 1-2 in Poe Corn tourney

    The Los Alamos boys basketball team got a good indication of how it matched up against other Class 5A teams.
    The Hilltoppers finished the Poe Corn Tournament in Roswell with one win and two tough losses.
    Los Alamos opened the tournament on Dec. 28 with a 44-33 loss against Belen. On Thursday, the Hilltoppers regrouped and downed Bloomfield 55-44 to setup a fifth-place game against Farmington on Friday. Los Alamos was unable to end the tournament on a high note, dropping a 55-39 decision against the Scorpions.
    Against Belen, the Hilltoppers were playing its best defensive game of the season, only allowing 22 points through the first three quartersl and didn’t allow a point in the third quarter.  With scored tied 22-22 heading into the fourth quarter, the Eagles pulled away and outscored Los Alamos 22-11 in the final eight minutes.
    The 55 points Los Alamos scored against Bloomfield was the most since the Hilltoppers scored 63 points in a win against El Paso High (Texas) on Dec. 10. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for Los Alamos.
    The loss to Farmington assured that Los Alamos would finish 1-2 in a regular season tournament, like it did in the Hub City Tournament in Belen in the second weekend of December.

  • Prep boys hoops: LA opens Poe Corn tourney tonight

    The Los Alamos boys basketball team will get another opportunity to make a name for itself in Class 5A.
    The Hilltoppers open the Poe Corn Invitational against Belen at 6 p.m. tonight in Roswell.
    “That’s a good 5A tournament,” Los Alamos coach Mike Kluk said. “If we can come out of there with a couple of wins, that’ll help our confidence. It’s a big tournament for us. We can gain some respect or we can lose some respect.”
    Los Alamos (4-4) is riding a two-game losing streak, while Belen is 8-1 and has won its last five. Tonight’s matchup will be one of the Hilltoppers toughest tasks this season, as the Eagles have impressive wins against Alamogordo and Roswell and won its hosted Hub City Tournament. Los Alamos also participated in the Hub City Tournament and placed in seventh.
    Belen’s quick start has placed the Eagles on the list of Class 5A contenders, while Los Alamos got off to a 3-0 start but a couple of setbacks against St. Pius and Eldorado have ensured that the Hilltoppers need a good showing in Roswell to be considered a legitimate contender.
    Los Alamos and Belen have played each other the last seven seasons with the Eagles holding a 4-3 edge during that span.

  • LA hockey sweeps Odessa

    After dropping a tough 6-4 decision on Friday against NM Ice U-16, the Los Alamos hockey team came back with a 12-0 victory on Saturday and a 7-2 win on Sunday against Odessa. The Hilltoppers are back in action on Jan. 4, when they’ll host Santa Fe at 5:30 p.m. at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink.  JOHN MCHALE/Monitor

  • Prep girls basketball: Bulldogs edge Toppers

    The Los Alamos girls basketball team fell to 3-10 on the season after dropping a tightly contested game to Artesia 45-44 on Saturday at Griffith Gym.
    The Hilltoppers trailed by 10 entering the final quarter. An Ashley Antencio foul-and-bucket cut the Artesia lead to 43-37 with 3:35 left in regulation. A pair of Isabell Larribas free throws inched the Hilltoppers within four points. The Bulldogs got a 45-41 edge before Elena Abeyta hit two free throws and a triple to make it 45-44 with 11 seconds left.
    After Artesia missed a free throw attempt on the other end, Los Alamos snatched the rebound and Abeyta made her way down the court and put up a lay up attempt that only hit the backboard and didn’t give the Hilltoppers the buzzer-beating win.
    Los Alamos started strong and got off to a 6-1 start and led 7-5 after the first quarter. The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game with 2:07 left in the second quarter and had a 23-21 advantage at halftime.
    Artesia went on a 15-5 run midway through the third quarter that helped it lead 41-31 after 24 minutes.
    Abeyta finished with a team-high 19 points, while Atencio snatched a team-high seven rebounds for Los Alamos.
    The Hilltoppers are off until Jan. 5, when they’ll begin play in the Aztec Tournament.  
     

  • Eldorado runs past Los Alamos, 63-44

    It was evenly matched for 16 minutes.
    Then, Eldorado switched to a full-court pressure defense that dismantled the Los Alamos boys basketball team’s rhythm.
    That second-half adjustment helped Eldorado claim a 63-44 victory against the Hilltoppers Friday night at Griffith Gym.
    “They (Los Alamos) thought that once we stayed with them for a few minutes, we would be in it,” Hilltoppers coach Mike Kluk said. “There was a bit of fatigue settling in from playing two nights in a row. They (Eldorado) picked up the pressure and once they got their legs under them, they just kept rolling.”
    Los Alamos fell to 4-4 overall, while the Eagles improved to 3-1 on the season.
    The Eagles only led 26-23 halftime, as the Hilltoppers were having success defending one of the few teams that matched up in size with Los Alamos. The Hilltoppers also had success getting the ball inside on the offensive end.
    “We came out with some intensity,” Kluk said. “We trying to be tougher tonight and for a half I thought we were fairly tough. But when things got down, I think our toughness went away. We just have to keep working on that.”