• Events put on hold by winter weather

    Some Los Alamos Public Schools athletic events were nixed by the weather Friday afternoon.
    Los Alamos’ scheduled middle school and high school wrestling tournaments were both called off this weekend, while the Hilltopper boys basketball team was unable to get down to its consolation round game Friday afternoon in Albuquerque.
    The Hilltopper basketball team had to take a forfeit in the second round of the Joe Armijo Invitational as it couldn’t get off the hill in time for its scheduled game against Albuquerque Academy Friday afternoon. Los Alamos elected not to take part in Saturday’s seventh-place game, either.
    The only team that was in action Friday was Los Alamos’ girls basketball team. The girls actually spent the last two nights in Albuquerque and avoided the winter storm altogether.
    The Hilltopper girls played in Friday’s consolation round of the invitational, but were doubled-up by Cibola 44-22. They were scheduled to play Academy Saturday but the result of that game hadn’t been reported as of press time — Los Alamos defeated Academy 41-30 earlier this month.
    The loss to Cibola, a Class 5A school, dropped Los Alamos to 3-4 on the season.
    In the girls side of the tournament, Volcano Vista was scheduled to face off against Hope Christian in the finale.

  • Ski area hoping for more snow soon

    Friday’s storm was a good starting-off point for Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, but it will need more snow, preferably a lot and all at once, before it can open.
    Pajarito, which is just one of two downhill ski areas in the state which has yet to open this winter, picked up 6 inches from Friday’s snowstorm. While ski area manager Tom Long said that was a good start, that isn’t nearly enough to get its season going.
    Nevertheless, Pajarito staff has high hopes for the current low pressure system that blew Friday’s storm in from the Pacific.
    There was a winter weather advisory in effect for Saturday night, with projections of as much as 8 inches of snow above 9,000 feet in the area. Under ideal conditions, that would give Pajarito an accumulation total of about 14 inches.
    “We’re all really excited to see this,” said Long. “When we get enough snow we can be ready to be running in two days. Everyone here’s excited.”
    Long said the snow from Friday’s storm was relatively heavy and wet — the temperature on the mountain was about 25 degrees during the snowstorm — which he said is better than dry, powdery snow in terms of making a base.
    With wetter snow, Pajarito might be able to open with a lesser base total, roughly 18 inches.

  • Sports Update 12-14-12

    LA’s hockey game against Cibola postponed until Dec. 21

    The New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League announced tonight’s scheduled game between Cibola and Los Alamos has been postponed due to weather conditions.
    The game will be played Dec. 21 in Los Alamos.
    No announcement has been made concerning Los Alamos’ game Saturday night at Santa Fe.
    Los Alamos and Cibola are currently the top two teams in the NMIIHL standings.

    Snow falling on Pajarito, Ski Santa Fe opens Saturday

    Pajarito Mountain announced that it had received approximately 4 inches of snow this morning.
    Pajarito has not yet opened this season due to lack of snow, but has received a total of 5 inches in the past week. It has not announced an opening date. As of Saturday, it will be one of only two ski areas in New Mexico that will not have opened for the season.
    For Saturday, Ski Santa Fe will open with a 23-inch base. Three lifts are scheduled to be operating.

  • Mayfield pulls away to win

    ALBUQUERQUE – In its quest to finally break into the win column this season, the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team looked like it might have a shot in the final period Thursday night.
    Instead, the Mayfield Trojans got some big buckets late to pull away and hold on for the victory at Albuquerque Academy.
    Mayfield’s Isaiah Rivera took over the fourth quarter, scoring 13 points to help the Trojans secure a 60-49 victory in the first round of the Joe Armijo Invitational.
    It was a teeth-grinding loss for the Hilltoppers, who appeared to have fate on their side when guard Seth Drop nailed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from half-court to end the first half.
    But Rivera’s big fourth quarter, combined with Los Alamos center Travis Richins fouling out with 4:38 remaining in regulation on a head-scratching call, were too big of hurdles for the Hilltoppers to overcome.
    Hilltopper head coach Fil Dominguez said he saw some things he liked out of his team Thursday, but there is at least one aspect of its game that needs to get better in a hurry.
    “We can’t stop a lady in a wheelchair,” Dominguez said of his defense. “Right now, we’re trying to find a defensive stopper.”

  • 'Toppers get hammered in 2nd half

    ALBUQUERQUE – Early in the second half, Erin Kirk buried a 3-pointer to put the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team 29-27.
    Unbeknownst to the Hilltoppers, that would be their last hurrah of the ballgame.
    After going toe-to-toe with the Los Lunas Tigers in the first half of Thursday’s opening round of the Joe Armijo Invitational, Los Alamos was hammered in the second half of its game against Los Lunas.
    Los Lunas, taking advantage of eight Los Alamos turnovers in the third quarter and turning them into 11 points on the other end, outscored the Hilltoppers 32-6 in the final 7:30 of the period.
    The big turnaround blew open what had been a tight contest up to that point. Tinaya Murphy had 7 points and Teige Zeller dropped in 6 during the third quarter to lead Los Lunas.
    Los Lunas led by just one point, 28-27 at the break, and that came about only because of two late 3-pointers by Sanae Gaerlan.
    It was an inexplicable turnaround, but Los Alamos head coach Tarah Logan said her inside players, Hayley Each, Marissa Larribas and Kirk got into foul trouble, throwing a monkey wrench into much of what the Hilltoppers were doing.

  • 'Topper boys lose in opening round

    ALBUQUERQUE - The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team whittled a Mayfield Trojan advantage down to just one point with under 5 minutes remaining Thursday, but that would be as close as the Hilltoppers would get.

    The Hilltoppers lost a tight ballgame to Mayfield in the first round of the Joe Armijo Invitational at Albuquerque Academy Thursday, falling 60-49. The Hilltoppers  had several chances late to take the lead, but the Trojans pulled away late in the quarter to secure the win.

    Los Alamos takes on tournament host Albuquerque Academy Friday at 1:15 p.m. For more information, check out Friday's Los Alamos Monitor.

  • Tigers, Trojans will take on Hilltoppers at tourney

    Both the Los Alamos Hilltopper basketball teams will compete in one of the toughest tournaments of the regular season starting Thursday.

    The Joe Armijo Invitational, hosted by Albuquerque Academy, gets going Thursday morning. The bracketed tournament includes some of the top boys and girls teams from the Albuquerque area.

    In the opening round, both Hilltopper teams could be tested. The Hilltopper girls will take on Los Lunas at 1:15 p.m. while boys will play the Las Cruces Mayfield Trojans at 4:45 p.m.

    Mayfield (3-4) is something of an unknown quantity at this point. Of their seven games played on the season, the Trojans have faced just one from New Mexico, Chaparral. The other six have been from the El Paso, Texas, area.

    The Trojans qualified for the Class 5A tournament last year with a 16-14 record but were bounced out in the first round by Eldorado.

    Neither Mayfield nor Los Alamos have been exactly blowing up any scoreboards this year. Los Alamos is averaging just 37 points scored per game while Mayfield has managed 43.6 points per contest.

    Los Alamos' girls down low will have a tough test Thursday as well. Los Lunas' Teige Zeller, who led the Grants Pirates to grabbing the No. 1 seed in last year's Class 4A playoffs, transferred to Los Lunas in the offseason.

  • LA falls at Belen, remains winless

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys basketball team couldn’t stop a long-range barrage from the Belen Eagles Tuesday night on the road.
    Belen hit 12 3-pointers against Los Alamos’ defense, which struggled to get through screens near the perimeter.
    Los Alamos fell to 0-6 on the year with a tough set of games coming up, falling at Belen 69-47.
    The 47 points scored by the Hilltoppers was actually their best output of the season, but head coach Fil Dominguez said he wasn’t impressed with his team’s defensive performance in its last two outings.
    “Our defense is really porous right now,” he said. “We’re not getting up to the shooters. Our kids need to take their defense personally. We work on defense every day in practice. We look good in practice but that’s not translating to the games.”
    Los Alamos surrendered 66 points against St. Michael’s last Thursday. Tuesday, the Eagles had the hot hands throughout.
    Los Alamos will take part in the very tough Joe Armijo Invitational starting Thursday. It will play Las Cruces Mayfield, a Class 5A team, in the opening round.
    So far this season, Mayfield has played mostly teams from around the El Paso, Texas, area.
    The Armijo Invitational is hosted by Albuquerque Academy.

  • 'Toppers topped by Huskies, 50-37

    In its biggest test of the season so far, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team came out with less than glowing marks.
    The Hilltoppers were held to just 12 points in the second and third quarters, allowing the Hope Christian Huskies to take a big lead heading toward the finish. The Hilltoppers pushed back in the fourth quarter, cutting a 17-point deficit down to nine on two occasions, but the Huskies prevailed 50-37 at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Hope Christian, a formidable Class 3A program, forced 16 Los Alamos turnovers in the first half, using mostly basic defenses mixed in with some full court pressure, and scored 16 points off fast break chances, that extending into the start of the third quarter.
    The loss for the Hilltoppers snapped a three-game winning streak, two of those wins coming against Class 4A opponents.
    Hope (4-1), which already has posted a win over a good Class 5A team, La Cueva, was one of the taller teams Los Alamos has faced this season. Interestingly, its big girls didn’t prove to be much of a factor, especially the 6-foot-1 Leala Longmire, who only played about seven minutes in the contest, struggling with foul trouble throughout.

  • Huskies prevail vs. Hilltoppers

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls basketball team tried to come back from a big second half deficit but the Hope Christian Huskies held on to win Tuesday night.

    Los Alamos trailed by as many as 17 in the second half but opened the fourth quarter with a 10-4 run. It wouldn't be enough, however, as Hope picked up a 50-37 victory at Griffith Gymnasium.

    The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Los Alamos, which plays at a tournament at Albuquerque Academy Thursday. For more information, see Wednesday's Los Alamos Monitor.