• Girls’ basketball earns dramatic victory over Española in district tourney

    All season, Los Alamos High School girls’ basketball coach Lanse Carter has believed sophomore Michaela Gonzales is a special player. Thursday night, she proved him right. With the team’s top three scorers on the bench with foul outs, Gonzales stepped up and led the Hilltoppers to a 71-60 win over Española Valley in the district tournament semifinals. 

    Gonzales has been a vocal leader for the Hilltoppers all season, and at various points has knocked down key free throws and shots to lead her team to victory. 

    But, until Thursday’s game, her contributions have always been secondary to the outstanding scoring and rebounding abilities of Becca Green. She has been overshadowed by the ball-handling abilities of Alex Calderon. 

    But with Calderon, Green and Natalie Gallegos on the bench late in the game, Gonzales could no longer be overlooked. She knocked down shot after shot and kept her team’s season alive. 

    “That was a total team win,” Carter said. “No question about that.”

  • LAHS drops district tourney final to Pojoaque, earns No. 12 seed at state tourney

    Despite losing in the district tournament championship game 55-41 to Pojoaque Valley, the Los Alamos High School girls’ basketball team will play at least one more game. LAHS earned the No. 12 seed in the Class 4A state basketball tournament and will play No. 5 seed Highland in the first round 7 p.m. Friday 

    The Hilltoppers had a chance to earn a better seed in the tournament with a good performance against Pojoaque Valley in the district tournament, but the team struggled throughout the evening. 

    Becca Green, who normally dominates under the basket for the Hilltoppers, was limited to just 4 points in the game, and went just 2-7 from the free throw line. 

    Free throws were an issue across the board for LAHS, particularly in the first half. The Hilltoppers went just 3-17 from the free throw line in the first and second quarter.

    Two of the made free throws came from Alex Calderon, who finished the game with a team-high 13 points. She also made LAHS’ only three three-pointers of the game. 

    LAHS trailed 15-6 after the first quarter, and the deficit grew to 28-16 by halftime. 

  • Five Hilltoppers earn medals at wrestling state championships

    After winning the district championship for the second year in a row, the Los Alamos High School wrestling team carried its momentum over to the state championships, finishing in seventh place in Class 4A.

    The Hilltoppers finished with 106.5 points as a team. Aztec claimed the state championship with 225 points, including three individual state champions. 

    The top finisher for LAHS was Damian Gonzales, who was the runner-up in the 126-pound weight class. After advancing to the finals, Gonzales was defeated by Christian Robison, who finished the season with a record of 41-3. 

    Milo Light also had a strong run in the state championships, finishing in third place in the 285-pound weight class. This was quite the accomplishment for Light, who was injured for much of his senior season. Last year, Light finished in sixth place in his weight class. 

    Also having strong showings were Roman Ulibarri in the 106-pound weight class and Dylan Irish in the 182-pound weight class, who both finished in fourth place. 

  • Boys’ swimming finishes as state runner-up; girls finish in top 10

     The Los Alamos High School boys’ swim team finished as the state runners-up last weekend at the state championships, while the girls finished in eighth place overall. 

    The LAHS boys finished with a total of 276 points, just four points behind La Cueva, which won the state championship. The Hilltoppers finished in front of Albuquerque Academy, last year’s runner-up. 

    The Hilltopper girls finished with 126 team points. Academy was the state champion in that competition, finishing with 383 points. The Chargers dominated the competition, as La Cueva finished in second place with 314 points. 

    The top overall performance for the boys came from Orion Henderson, who finished in third place in the 200 Individual Medley with a time of 1:56.32. Henderson also finished in fourth place in the 500 Freestyle with a time of 4:50.87. 

    Ian Jaegers also made the finals in a pair of events. He earned sixth place in the 100 freestyle and seventh place in the 100 Backstroke.

    For the girls, Jillian Bennett finished in third place in the 100 Breaststroke with a time of 1:06.38. 

  • Boys’ basketball advances to district tournament semifinals

    All throughout the regular season, Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball coach Mike Kluk knew his team had enough talent to compete against any team. Now, in the district tournament, his team is proving it with an unlikely run to the semifinals. 

    LAHS finished the regular season with a district record of 2-6, good enough to earn the No. 4 seed and host the first round of the district tournament. LAHS easily dispatched Moriarty in the first round 64-53, then advanced to the quarterfinals and defeated Pojoaque 47-43.

    Monday night against Moriarty, the Hilltopper offense came out of the locker room on fire, building a 16-2 lead in the blink of an eye. 

    The team knocked down eight shots from the floor in the opening quarter, and was led offensively by Gavin Campos and David Owen, who both made great passes to set up opportunities and converted every opportunity that came their way. 

    LAHS extended its lead to 33-16 by halftime, as Campos scored 10 points and Owen added 8 points. 

  • Atomic City Update: All sports should be treated equal by high schools

    Here in Los Alamos, we do a great job of treating every sport equally and making sure the young men and women at the high school have a nice and memorable experience. Throughout my time in New Mexico, almost every school has been that way, and I have had a great time traveling around the state going to different events.

    That’s why it was so disappointing to see that Taos High School doesn’t treat every sport the same. When I went to a girl’s basketball game there Wednesday night, it was shocking.

    A couple weeks ago, I was in Taos for a boy’s basketball game, and the atmosphere was electric. The entire band was there, and they played the national anthem as well as songs throughout the game. The cheerleaders formed two full rows on one of the baselines. The Knights of Columbus presented the colors prior to the game. The PA system was so loud and enthusiastic I wouldn’t be surprised if people could hear it all the way here in Los Alamos. The game was on the radio and streamed on YouTube. It was perhaps the best atmosphere I have seen all year.

  • LAHS boys’ basketball drops Senior Night contest to Taos

    Throughout the season, the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team has found a way to remain competitive. Even against the toughest opponents, the Hilltoppers are usually within striking distance in the second half. The issue has always been finishing the game. That theme continued on Senior Night at Griffith Gymnasium, as the Hilltoppers fell to Taos 67-54.

    This was the final regular season home game for LAHS seniors Gabriel Holesinger and David Owen, both of whom have played key roles for the Hilltoppers over the past four seasons.

    LAHS began the game strong, as junior Gavin Campos scored 11 points in the opening quarter. His efforts helped lead the Hilltoppers to a 19-17 lead heading into the second quarter.

    Taos’ Abdul Khweis was equally strong in the opening quarter, scoring 13 points.

    The second quarter was an entirely different story for the Hilltoppers, as the team failed to knock down a single shot from the field. The only two Hilltopper points came on a pair of free throws by Owen.

    On the other side, Taos took full advantage, outscoring LAHS 18-2 in the quarter to take a 35-21 lead heading into halftime. Khweis was the leading scorer at the break with 16 points.

  • Hilltoppers lose key district matchup to Española

    The road to the regular season district championship became much tougher for the Los Alamos High School girls’ basketball team over the weekend, as the Hilltoppers lost to Española Valley 46-44 inside Griffith Gymnasium. 

    LAHS is now in a tie atop the District 2-4A standings with Pojoaque Valley, as both teams now have one loss apiece. Heading into the final week of the regular season, both teams have 5-1 records. LAHS and Pojoaque will face off at 7 p.m. Friday inside Griffith Gymnasium. The winner of that game will be the regular season district champion and the top seed in next week’s district tournament. The loser will be the No. 2 seed in the district tournament. 

    The Hilltoppers had a chance to inch closer to the district title against the Sundevils, but had trouble getting into an offensive rhythm and controlling the game. 

  • LAHS wrestling wins District 2-4A championship

    For the second year in a row, the Los Alamos High School wrestling team is the district champion. The Hilltoppers defeated Española Valley, Moriarty, Pojoaque Valley and Taos Feb. 16 to claim the District 2-4A championship in front of a home crowd at Griffith Gymnasium. 

    One of the biggest factors that led to an LAHS victory was the team’s strength in numbers. The Hilltoppers had wrestlers in all 14 divisions, which no other team was able to accomplish. Taos was the closest with 12 wrestlers, while Española Valley brought eight wrestlers, Moriarty had nine competitors and Pojoaque Valley had five wrestlers. 

    The Hilltoppers claimed the district title with a total of 205.5 points, while Taos claimed second place with 176 points. 

    Moriarty was the third place team with 107 points. Española Valley was fourth with 83 points, while Pojoaque Valley finished with 59 points. 

  • Girls’ basketball defeats Taos, sets up showdown with Pojoaque

    Heading into the final game of the regular season, the Los Alamos High School girls’ basketball team still has a chance to earn the regular season district championship. Wednesday night in Taos, the Hilltoppers improved to 6-1 in District 2-4A, picking up a 55-43 win over the Tigers. 

    This was an important game for the Hilltoppers, as the team was coming off a tough 46-44 loss against Española Valley last weekend, the team’s only district loss to this point.

    In that game, only four players got into the scoring column for LAHS.

    The Hilltoppers equaled that mark in the first quarter against Taos, as the shots were dropping early. Becca Green picked up 6 quick points as the Tigers were unable to guard her under the basket. LAHS also knocked down a trio of three-point shots in the opening quarter, from Natalie Gallegos, Jenna Harris and Hannah Sanchez. 

    After the first quarter, LAHS led 16-10. 

    The lead grew to 15 points by halftime, as Taos failed to knock down a single shot from the floor in the second quarter. The Tigers’ only offense came from the free throw line, where the team went 3-6.