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Today's Sports

  • Top-ranked Sundevils dominate...

    Facing its biggest test of the season, the Los Alamos High School boys’ basketball team was unable to slow down the top ranked team in Class 5A, falling to Española Valley High School 87-63.

    But just looking at the final box score wouldn’t do the Hilltoppers justice. In the early going, it was clear that the kids from Los Alamos were overwhelmed, and somewhat intimidated.

    Ill-advised shots were taken all over the floor, and turnovers happened with regularity throughout the first quarter. The Sundevils scored the first 9 points of the game, and the Hilltoppers answered with 7 straight.

    And then the real problems began. With the help of Hilltopper turnovers, Española Valley scored 22 straight points, and appeared unstoppable from everywhere on the floor.

    The scoring run gave the Sundevils a 31-7 lead in the second quarter, a deficit that would be nearly impossible for any team to overcome.

    LAHS never stopped fighting, though.

    Through the remainder of the second quarter, the Hilltoppers kept the deficit the same, with both teams scoring 15 points. After knocking down just three shots in the first quarter, LAHS connected on six shots in the second quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers from Ramon Roybal and Brandan Duran.

    Heading into halftime, the Sundevils led 46-22.

  • Hilltoppers fail to execute in...

    Finding areas that need improvement on the Los Alamos High School girls’ basketball team is easy. Figuring out the solutions in those areas is far more difficult.

    Issues that have popped up all season, free throw shooting, ball handling, clock management, were on full display Saturday night as the Hilltoppers fell to Española Valley High School 37-27.

    It was a sloppy contest from the very beginning, as the Hilltoppers were unable to hold onto the ball, leading to easy baskets for the Sundevils. Española Valley’s Kaylee Chavez took advantage of the offensive opportunities throughout the first quarter, as she scored 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.

    Meanwhile, the Hilltoppers were unable to get anything going in the first quarter, scoring only 3 points on one made basket.

    After the first quarter, the Hilltoppers trailed 17-3.

    The struggles continued on the offensive end for LAHS into the second quarter, but the defense was much better. The Sundevils were only able to score 6 points in the second quarter, but LAHS added just 4 points, as the Hilltoppers trailed 23-7 heading into halftime.

  • Cibola too much for LAHS to...

    Heading into this season, Los Alamos High School hockey coach Kevin Brake said he expected this to be a rebuilding year. And he was completely right. With a young roster, and very little experience on defense, the group has struggled this year and finds itself well behind the leaders in the standings of the New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League as the season winds down.

    Last weekend, in the final games of the season at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink, league leader Cibola invaded and dominated a two-game series, defeating the Hilltoppers 5-1 Friday night and 12-4 Saturday morning.

    Cibola has only lost one time in regulation this season, and has a record of 11-1-2. The Cougars have outscored opponents 114-50, and are one of the most aggressive teams in the league.

    Friday night, Cibola wasted very little time showing why it has dominated all season.

    Six minutes into the first period, Cibola’s Steven Bitzer scored a shorthanded goal, his first goal of the season, to put the Cougars on top 1-0.

    Though Jared Carnes scored for the Hilltoppers with just over one minute left in the first period to even the score 1-1, the joy was short-lived.

  • 28 Russians have Olympic doping...

    Twenty-eight Russian athletes had their Olympic doping bans overturned Thursday, throwing the International Olympic Committee’s policy on the country into turmoil.

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling was set to reinstate seven Russian medals from the 2014 Sochi Olympics, including gold in men’s skeleton and men’s 50-kilometer cross-country skiing.

    “This does not mean that these 28 athletes are declared innocent, but in their case, due to insufficient evidence, the appeals are upheld, the sanctions annulled and their individual results achieved in Sochi are reinstated,” CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb said in Pyeongchang.

    The IOC said it had taken note of the CAS decision “with satisfaction on the one hand and disappointment on the other,” adding the decision “may have a serious impact on the future fight against doping.”

    The 28 who had their bans lifted could now seek late entry into the Pyeongchang Olympics, but the IOC said “not being sanctioned does not automatically confer the privilege of an invitation.”

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said the ruling “can’t fail to please us, and it confirms our position that the overwhelming majority of our athletes are clean athletes.”

  • Taos Ski Valley has terrain for...

    With a La Nina weather pattern, the Southern Rockies have experienced more sunshine than snow. As a result, the Taos Ski Valley snowmaking crew and groomers have been completely focused in delivering pristine corduroy resulting in the ideal terrain for learning to ski and snowboard.

    With two designated beginner areas, Pioneer and the newly redesigned Strawberry Hill, Taos Ski Valley’s world renown Ernie Blake Snowsports School is focused drawing new participants to the sport. To encourage new skiers and snowboarders, Taos Ski Valley is excited to launch “The Perfect Progression Package” which provides full-day instruction, beginner lift ticket and ski or snowboard rental equipment at a savings of 20 percent off.

    “Skiing and riding is all about the go and flow,” says Burt Skall, Snowsports Director at Taos Ski Valley. “Learning from the best instructors in the country will get you up, sliding and enjoying the amazing sports of skiing and riding quickly and safely.”

  • Hilltoppers nearly pull off...

    The Los Alamos boys’ basketball team played its most complete District 2-5A game yet, and it just wasn’t enough.

    In Wednesday night’s battle at Griffith Gymnasium between the Hilltoppers and Capital High School, the Jaguars jumped out to a lead and hung on, despite an impressive comeback attempt by LAHS.

    “The effort was there,” LAHS head coach Mike Kluk said. “We kept digging out of that hole, but unfortunately we kept digging the hole. It’s the story of the season. We miss shots that other teams have no problem making. We miss free throws. We turn the ball over. You just can’t do that, especially against good teams like Capital.

    The Jaguars entered the game ranked No. 3 in District 2-5A, with the team’s only district loss coming last week on the road against No. 1 Española Valley.

    In Wednesday’s game, both teams started out shooting well, and matching each other shot-for shot.

    Aaron Garcia was the catalyst for Capital in the first quarter, scoring 11 points and knocking down five shots.

    The scoring came all over from the Hilltoppers, as Michael Naranjo scored 6 points and David Owen had 5 points in the opening quarter, which ended in a 17-17 score.

  • Defense, balanced scoring leads...

    The University of New Mexico women’s basketball team used a balanced effort along with strong defense to snap its three-game losing streak and defeat Utah State, 80-47, Wednesday night at Dreamstyle Arena.

    The Lobos (17-6, 5-5) had four players finish in double figures led by Jaisa Nunn’s 12th double-double of the season as she finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds (her fifth game of having 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds). Combine that with UNM holding the Aggies (5-17, 3-8) to 18 first-half points – the lowest point total the Lobos have held a team to in the first half this season – and it was a strong all-around effort by the Lobos.

    “I thought tonight, defensively, was one of our better games,” UNM coach Mike Bradbury said. “We’ve been working on that for the last 10 days. We were pretty good. We weren’t perfect, but we were better than we have been.”
    UNM jumped out to a 22-14 lead after the first quarter (ending the period on a 17-6 run due in large part by draining 4 of 8 3-point attempts) before pulling away in the second.

  • Offense struggles late as LAHS...

    Finishing up the first round of district contests, the Los Alamos High School girls’ basketball team headed to district-leader Capital High School Tuesday evening, falling 52-36 in a game that was often closer than the score indicated.

    On paper, the game appeared to be a mismatch. Capital entered the contest 3-0 in District 2-5A games, while the Hilltoppers came in 0-3 in district play and winless since late December.

    Much like LAHS’ last game, against Española Valley, the team fell behind early.

    Throughout the first quarter, Capital couldn’t miss, while the Hilltoppers had trouble hanging onto the ball.

    The Jaguars connected on seven shots in the quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers that allowed Capital to jump out to a quick 18-4 lead.

    The Hilltoppers’ only points in the quarter came from a pair of layups from Natalie Gallegos and Anna Lemke.

    Despite trailing by such a large margin, LAHS came out in the second quarter with a noticeable increase in energy.

    One of the big reasons for that was junior guard Alex Calderon, who saw his first action in district play. She immediately sparked the offense from the point guard position, and set the team up for success with her passing and playmaking ability.

  • Jones, Thome, Guerrero, Hoffman...

    Over 600 home runs. More than 600 saves. A .300 career average.

    In the age of baseball analytics, there’s still room in the Hall of Fame for big, round numbers you can count on.
    Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman were rewarded Wednesday, easily elected in the newest class headed for Cooperstown.

    “I don’t know how you tabulate or calculate WAR,” Jones said, referring to a sabermetric stat that didn’t exist for much of his career.

    “Yes, you can dig deeper,” he said. But he added: “What I want to see is batting average, on-base percentage, runs produced.”

    Designated hitter Edgar Martinez came close after a grass-roots campaign to promote him. Boosted by advanced metrics, he’ll get his last chance on the ballot next year.

    Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, both tainted by the steroids scandal, edged up but again fell far short.

    A switch-hitter who batted .303 with 468 home runs, Jones was an eight-time All-Star third baseman for the Atlanta Braves.

  • Defense struggles for LAHS in...

    After being stuck in the middle of the league standings throughout most of the season, the Los Alamos High School ice hockey team returned to the Los Alamos County Ice Rink for four pivotal games against Telluride and Durango.

    These were especially important games, because matchups against Telluride provided the Hilltoppers an opportunity to take down one of the top teams in the league, while games against Durango offered LAHS a chance to distance itself from other teams in the middle of the league.

    However, the team was unable to capitalize on the opportunity, dropping both games against Telluride, losing one game to Durango and earning a tie in the other game.

    The struggles against Telluride have been consistent throughout the season, as LAHS drops to 0-4 against the Lizard Heads. Last weekend the team lost 7-4 Friday night and 9-4 Saturday morning.

    This year’s series against Durango has been more competitive, as the Hilltoppers won the first meeting in mid-December before losing two of the past three matchups. This weekend, the Hilltoppers tied the Devils 5-5 Saturday night and lost 8-3 Sunday morning, likely the result of fatigue after playing four games in three days.