First-half struggles doom young ’Dogs

Holly Odneal scrambles to grab a loose ball

The Palisade High School girls basketball team hadn’t played a game in eight days.

For a young team, game time is crucial. The time off showed Thursday afternoon as the Bulldogs (0-2) struggled to find any offense in the first half of their game with Carbon County, Utah, in the first day of the Wildcat Invitational at Fruita Monument High School.

The Dinos held Palisade to seven first-half points, including only one in the first quarter, in a 44-25 victory.

“We need to get better and I think we are in practice, but we are stepping into games and not having the competitiveness we want to,” Palisade coach Toni Gunther said. “Right now we need to get tougher and make fewer mistakes.”

Similar to the Bulldogs’ first game of the season against Fruita Monument, a big quarter in the first half sealed Palisade’s fate.

The Dinos dominated the first quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 15-1. Emily Cox led the Dinos, scoring eight points and grabbing six rebounds.

“They killed us in the first quarter,” Palisade guard Sarah Hays said. “You look at that first quarter and that can’t happen. We can’t get down by 20 points because it is hard to come back.”

The second quarter wasn’t much better for the Bulldogs. Carbon County took a 28-7 lead into halftime.

“For some reason we are staring out pretty low-key,” Gunther said. “We are talking about playing for four quarters.”

The second half was much better for the Bulldogs, who outscored Carbon County 18-16. Hays led the way, finishing with seven points.

Holly Odneal led the Bulldogs with eight points and seven rebounds.

“At halftime we came out knowing we could do it, so we tried to do our best in the second half,” Hays said. “The rest of these games we have to come out and win the first quarter.”

Samantha Smith, who had nine points on three 3-pointers, led Carbon. Julia Potts added 10 points for the Dinos, who are attempting to duplicate the success of last year’s tournament, when they went 3-0.

“We try to set our goals high and try to come in and win three games,” Carbon County coach Cami Carlson said. “Overall I thought we did pretty well but we got lazy in the second half, which I didn’t like.”

Palisade will attempt to get its first win of the season against Grand Junction at 4:30 this afternoon. Carbon County plays Battle Mountain at 6:15 tonight.

“We need to play our game and not worry about who the other team is, because if we play our game, we can be right in there,” Gunther said.


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