2nd-quarter drought costly for Bulldogs

Bella Castleton goes up for a layup Thursday during Palisade’s 67-39 loss to Eagle Valley.

Talk about a turnaround.

On Thursday night, the Eagle Valley girls basketball team went into Palisade High School still stinging from a 24-point loss to the Bulldogs earlier in the season.

But when they left the gym, the Devils had a big victory of their own, beating the Bulldogs 67-38.

The big break came in the second quarter, when Eagle Valley guard Jazmine Zapata hit a few shots to give her team the momentum.

“We knew that she’s their go-to person and we gave her too many looks,” Palisade coach Toni Gunther said. “She’s a good player”

With the two teams tied after the first quarter, Zapata scored eight points, including two 3-pointers, to give the Devils a 21-15 lead. The six-point deficit was as close as the Bulldogs would get the rest of the game.

With Zapata leading the way, Eagle Valley outscored Palisade 21-6 in the second quarter and took a 15-point lead into halftime.

Eagle Valley’s 34 first-half points was more than it scored in its first matchup with Palisade. The Devils kept the scoring going in the third quarter, where Zapata — who finished with 25 points — scored 13 more.

Early on, it looked like Palisade would stay with Eagle Valley, thanks to the Bulldogs’ defense.

Amy Austin had a pair of steals in the first quarter, which turned into easy baskets for Palisade.

“She’s fast,” Gunther said of Austin. “She’s coming off of a knee injury, so it’s nice to see her back.”

The Bulldogs kept their up-tempo offense going for the majority of the game although several chances to get back in the game were stopped by traveling calls and missed layups.

“We didn’t execute,” Gunther said. “We get our offense going and hit short shots and we turn the ball over.

“We were getting to the basket, but we didn’t finish,”

Kaile Wallace and Kendra Barnes both finished the game with nine points. Meghan Peters was limited to six points, hitting Palisade’s only 3-pointer of the game. Nicole Routhier chipped in seven points.

Zapata’s 25 points led Eagle Valley, post player Kayla Gagnon had 14 and guard Emily Kingston added 11.

Palisade will be at Delta on Tuesday.


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