Bulldogs fall to stingy Bears

For one quarter, the Palisade girls basketball team played with something it hadn’t all season — confidence.

Using a swarming defense, the Bulldogs (0-8, 0-1 Western Slope League) fought the visiting Rifle Bears (6-3, 1-0 WSL) in the first quarter, trailing only 14-10 heading into the second.

But as the game went on, Rifle began applying more pressure and the Bulldogs eventually broke in a 65-35 loss at home.

“I am pleased with their effort,” Palisade coach Toni Gunther said. “The goal now would be to put four quarters together.”

The key in Friday night’s game was Rifle’s full-court pressure in the second quarter, which allowed the Bears to take a four-point game and turn it into an 11-point (29-18) lead going into halftime.

“We really tried to rely on our defense,” Rifle coach Stephanie Heald said. “We wanted to run the full court press and get into the passing lanes and create the game we can play.”

Rifle came out of halftime and turned up the heat on Palisade, going on an 11-4 run and pushing its lead to 50-28 heading into the fourth quarter. Leading the way for the Bears was sophomore Cortney Cordova, who had five steals in the game to go along with her 22 points.

“We don’t have much height so we have to do whatever it takes to get the ball back,” Heald said.

Makayla Wilkins had 14 points and Ciara Euler added 10 for the Bears.

Senior Holly Odneal paced Palisade with 23 points and Sarah Hays finished with five.


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