By MORRIE PONGRATZ
Voice of the Hilltoppers
Tuesday night, at home and tied with Espanola for second place in District 2 AAAAA, the Hilltopper girls faced the district leading Del Norte Knights. A “must win” game if there ever was one. And win the Toppers did, but it was not easy.
The Knights protected the ball against the Toppers full court press and took advantage of their height on the boards. It was not a good shooting night for the Toppers as they missed many layups, probably because of the Knights height.
Senior Ashlyn Trujillo carried the Toppers in the first half with 11 points. The Toppers led 13-10 at the end of the first quarter and 23-14 at half. Trujillo led the Toppers with 5 assists, 7 rebounds and 7 steals.
The 3rd quarter was almost a disaster for the Toppers as they were outscored 5-2 by the Knights. However, in the 4th quarter Kayla Salazar took over the scoring burden for Trujillo scoring 11 points and leading the Toppers to outscore the Knights 20-11 and their final victory 45-30.
Once the Toppers got their lead Coach Nestor Trujillo subbed in his defensive specialists Katya Skurikin, Elena Abeyta and Sienna Ahlers whenever the Knights had the ball.
The Toppers are now tied with Del Norte for 1st place in District 2 AAAAA. Next action for the girls is this Friday when they travel to Santa Fe to tackle the Capital Jaguars.