Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Competition Begins in State's Toughest District.(Sports)

Byline: Will Webber Journal Staff Writer

The list of District 2AAAA schools reads like a veritable who's who of boys prep basketball: Los Alamos, St. Pius, Capital, Espanola Valley and Taos.

Through the first seven weeks of the season, the five teams have made this district the premier boys league in the state, regardless of classification. Entering this week's district openers, four have winning percentages of at least .714. Also, four of the five reached the state tournament a year ago, with one (Los Alamos) winning a state title.

As if that weren't enough, four have won at least one in-season tournament thus far. All five have toughened themselves for the district by playing the majority of their games on the road.

First, there's Los Alamos, the top-ranked team in Class AAAA and last year's AAA champs. The Hilltoppers also have the state's most recognized player in 7-foot center Chris Jackson, who accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Utah for next year.

Then there's St. Pius, the No. 2 team in the state, which began the season 7-1 during a challenging eight-game road trip. They also have a McDonald's preseason All-America candidate, point guard Joseph Montano.

There's fourth-ranked Capital, which has yet to play its best ball of the season despite posting a 10-2 record. …

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