Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Preps Dominated Sports Headlines in 2000.

Byline: Will Webber Journal Staff Writer

Years 2000 In Review

A Look Back at Top Stories in the North

The year 2000 was a memorable one for sports in northern New Mexico. A look at the Top 10 stories from the year gone by, as well as a collection of other memorable events that garnered headlines:

1. REALIGNMENT: Undoubtedly the biggest sports story in northern New Mexico this year was the ambitious realignment of all high school athletic districts. The New Mexico Activities Association added a larger Class AAAAA to accommodate the state's biggest schools while the remaining four classes were reshaped to give prep sports an entirely different look.

Less than a full academic year into the plan, reactions have been largely mixed. While some hail the changes as a welcome relief, others argue the end result is a loss of traditional rivalries and increased travel time.

2. BOYS STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT: March Madness produced one of the more memorable boys' tournaments in recent memory. Several games went down to the wire.

While southern New Mexico teams generally dominated, the north's Los Alamos Hilltoppers marched to the Class AAA title behind the combined efforts of 7-footer Chris Jackson and swing man Brandon Rich. The 'Toppers won four games in four days to become the only boys team outside of Lea County to claim a state championship. Holding off Aztec in the final, Los Alamos also survived a near-statewide power outage that dimmed the lights at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces for 36 minutes. …

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