Edmiston’s last-second decisions lift Palisade
With the game coming down to the wire, Palisade’s Jake Edmiston wanted the ball.
Edmiston didn’t want it for selfish reasons, but as one of the Bulldogs’ two seniors, he wanted to be the player making the decisions. With two seconds left, he made the right choice by finding Riley Josey for the go-ahead basket to give Palisade a 44-43 win over Battle Mountain at home.
“(Jake) is a leader and we will find ways to win when he makes good decisions with the basketball,” Palisade coach Steve Phillips said. “Everyone else followed his lead.”
The Bulldogs (3-17, 3-8 Western Slope League) led the whole game until 28 seconds left when a Ruby Ybarra reverse layup gave the Huskies their first lead at 41-40. Palisade answered when Edmiston’s layup bounced out and Josey put back the offensive rebound to give the Bulldogs a 42-41 lead.
Battle Mountain’s Mitch Cooley was fouled with eight second remaining and made both free throws on the Huskies’ next possession. Choosing to forego a timeout, Edmiston ran the length of the floor and despite looking like he was going to go up for the shot, made a crisp bounce pass between two defenders to Josey who got up high enough to avoid the defense and give the Bulldogs the win.
“I thought he was going to take it all the way to the hole,” Josey said. “But he dished it, and I don’t know how he got the pass through, so I really didn’t do anything but just finish the play.”
Josey had one of his stronger games of the season, finishing with 16 points and eight rebounds. The senior did miss some easy shots in the game but made up for his early mistakes by converting on the final two buckets.
Phillips said after the game Josey commented about his earlier misses and being able to score the final four points.
“In the locker room, Riley said ‘It’s about time,’ ” Phillips said. “And I told him that is why you play 32 minutes.”
Battle Mountain deserves credit for having a chance to win as the Bulldogs played a nearly perfect first quarter, jumping to a 18-3 lead propelled by Jeremy Hayden’s seven points. By halftime the Huskies were able to cut the lead to 28-20, grinding their way to a 36-36 tie with 3:22 left.
“It was a good win for us,” Phillips said. “We started off really well and were able to weather the storm.”
Hayden added 12 points to Josey’s game high of 16 and Edmiston had a solid all-around game, finishing with six points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists.
Battle Mountain was led by Cooley’s 14 points.