Defense in fourth lifts ’Dogs to win
Defense leads to victories.
The Palisade High School girls basketball team proved that theory in the fourth quarter Friday.
The Bulldogs held Steamboat Springs to nine points in the quarter to take the 55-48 win in a 4A Western Slope League game.
After being tied at 39-39 entering the fourth, the Sailors (5-11, 2-6 WSL) couldn’t keep pace, being outscored 16-9.
Bulldogs’ coach Toni Gunther thought it was a good team effort on the defensive end of
“We talked about defense tonight,” Gunther said. “How important that’s going to be because you never know about offense.”
Offensively, the Bulldogs (4-14, 4-5 WSL) were led by seniors Holly Odneal with 16 points and Sarah Hays with 13 points.
Hays also echoed Gunther’s words about the Bulldogs
“We have to be a team right now,” Hays said. “Everybody had their intensity and we really worked well together.”
The game started fine for the Sailors with a 15-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.
However, the Bulldogs were able to slow down the Steamboat with a 17-7 second quarter.
The Sailors stayed in the game by hitting six 3-pointers including three by senior Brittany Long. Sophomore Hannah Moore had a team-high 12 points, who also went 7 for 11 from the free-throw line.
Steamboat Springs trailed for most of the game, but the Sailors showed up when it mattered.
The Sailors outscored Palisade 24-13 in the fourth quarter to win 50-44 in a 4A Western Slope League boys basketball game.
Sailors’ seniors Alex Wood and Nelson Brassell hit clutch shots in the quarter, including two 3s from Brassell in the final few minutes. The long-range shots stretched the lead to 47-39 with just over a minute left. Wood was team’s leading score with 19 points. Brassell finished with 18.
Palisade (2-16, 1-7 WSL) had a seven-point lead at halftime, but couldn’t finish down the stretch. The Bulldogs got as close as three points with 40 seconds remaining.
Palisade coach Steve Phillips thought not finishing was the key.
“We played well enough to win,” Phillips said. “We did everything we needed to do, but finish.”
Palisade’s defense was the main culprit in the loss.
“We can’t let them shoot threes,” Phillips said. “Defensively, we can’t take minutes off or possessions off.”
The Bulldogs were led by senior Jake Edmiston, who scored 15 points and made some plays down the stretch to keep the game close .
At the first day of the Western Slope Championships in Durango, Grand Junction’s Kelsey Schlagel qualified for state in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Schlagel has already qualified in the 200-yard freestyle but added to that Friday by notching a 1:12.64 in the event. The Tigers had a strong day in the relay events finishing seventh in both the 200 medley relay and the 200 freestyle. The Tigers’ 400 freestyle finished 11th.
“We did pretty well and both our 200 medley and 200-free both posted best times,” Tigers coach Dale Leonhart said.
Palisade/Central’s swim team also had a good individual showing as the WarDogs’ Teddy Hayes finished in the top seven in the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle. Hayes came in sixth in the 50 free at 27.49 and fourth in the 100 free at 59.96.
“All of our girls swam really hard,” WarDogs coach Steve Weir said. “It was a new experience for a lot of our young girls and I think they were in shock about how fast the meet was.”
The finals begin today at 2 p.m. in Durango.