Balanced approach lifts ‘Dogs to victory

Lately the Palisade High School boys basketball team has been relying on a few key players to provide the points.

That led to two straight losses.

In Saturday’s 69-57 victory over Central, the Bulldogs used Friday night’s loss to Glenwood Springs as motivation.

“We played as a team tonight,” Palisade coach Steve Phillips said. “We played unselfishly, and selfishly when we needed to.”

The Bulldogs finished with five players in double figures. Caleb Hall and Nate Yanez finished with 14 points each, Kane Gunther had 12, Dakota Bond 11 and Jeremy Hayden 10.

“We wanted it really bad tonight,” Hall said. “We weren’t going to put up with losing to Glenwood by 30 and we came out ready to go.”

Central started the game with an early 8-5 lead, but Hall and Bond made key shots to put Palisade back in the lead, which grew as the game progressed.

Both teams were physical, resulting in early foul trouble for Bond and Gunther, along with Central’s Josh Wells and Taylor Sanchez, both of whom eventually fouled out in the fourth quarter.

“We weren’t being smart defensively and it put us in a bad position early on,” Central coach Phil Cain said.

Central’s defense improved in the third quarter, limiting the Bulldogs to 11 points, but offensively, the Warriors managed only eight points.

Vandon Sanchez led the Warriors with 24 points, 19 of those coming in the second half. Taylor Sanchez finished with 14 points and Spencer Hicks had eight.

GIRLS

The Central girls basketball team used its defensive pressure to beat Palisade 65-36.

The Bulldogs held their own for the first four minutes of the game, recovering from an eight-point Central run to stay within two.

From there, Amy Kame and Haleigh Higgins led the Warriors on a 12-2 run.

Kame finished the first half with 22 points, including three 3-pointers and added four more points in the third quarter before heading to the bench for the night. Higgins added 12 points.

“We had a little bit of a slow start but ended up finishing the half strong,” Central coach Todd Dixon said.

Junior Kailie Wallace led Palisade with seven points.


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