Defense lifts ‘Dogs to 10th straight win
Palisade coach Steve Phillips crouched in a defensive stance, and as he jumped and screamed, his purple tie lapped his white dress shirt like waves against a seawall. Behind Phillips on the Bulldogs’ bench, assistant coach Brian Tafel shouted, his hands held in the air as though he were doing the “YMCA.”
“We were guarding each other,” joked Phillips.
Everyone plays defense at Palisade.
While the coaches were in frenzy, the Bulldogs once again were sucking the offense out of a team, this time in a 51-31 win over Glenwood Springs.
Palisade went on a 10-0 run in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs have a 10-game winning streak.
Glenwood Springs failed to hit 10 points in a quarter.
“We did what we did,” Palisade guard Jesus Aguirre said. “We do what we do. We play defense.”
And the Bulldogs (10-2, 3-0 4A Western Slope League) added a dash of offense, led by Kane Gunther’s 21 points
Aguirre had 10 points and a few dives for the Bulldogs. During Palisade’s 10-0 run, Aguirre dove for a loose ball, hitting the hardwood before touching the ball. Then he snatched the ball before a jump ball was called.
Those kinds of plays seemed to speed up Glenwood’s offense to a confused state. The Demons began travelling, throwing errant passes and playing with desperation.
This simply is the way it’s been for Palisade during its win streak: Rattle the opposing offense with staggering defense and get fast-break layups.
What can stop it?
“The other teams can figure that out,” Phillips said. “Hopefully they don’t figure that out.”
Glenwood, led by Mike McGraw’s 13 points, certainly did not.
“It’s just been the same mentality every time,” Connor Whaley said. “We go out to win. Man up.”
In the girls game, Glenwood Springs held Palisade to six first-half points in a 47-24 win over the Bulldogs.
Connor Adams and Cassidy Gaddis led Glenwood (12-1, 3-0 4A Western Slope League) with nine points apiece.
Palisade (4-8, 1-2) had six points apiece from Emily Crow and Moriah Rayment.
“Our goal was to give them one shot,” Glenwood Springs coach Cory Hitchcock said. “And we did that tonight. A league win is a league win.”