Palisade gets harder than expected win vs. Huskies

Palisade’s Nicole Routhier looks for her shot during Tuesday night’s game against Battle Mountain.

Rematches can be deceiving.

After routing Battle Mountain 71-26 in the first game, the Palisade High School girls basketball team had a tougher time with the Huskies on Tuesday night at home, winning 62-50.

“I think Battle Mountain has improved tremendously,” Bulldogs coach Toni Gunther said. “We didn’t see that toughness the first game, so hats off to them.”

Battle Mountain showed it was tougher from the start. The Huskies led for a majority of the first quarter, taking a 7-2 lead halfway though the first. Palisade went on a 5-0 run to end the quarter and tie the game 7-7 heading into the second.

The Bulldogs looked to take control in the second as Holly Odneal and Sarah Hays combined for 14 points and pushed their lead to 25-11 with a little more than two minutes left.

But the Huskies showed some resiliency, going on a 10-4 run led by 3-pointers from Haille Hogfeldt and Adriana Morken, to cut the Palisade lead to 29-24 at halftime.

“We came out (thinking) it was easy the last time, so it will probably be easy this time,” Hays said.

Palisade began the second half by forcing four Battle Mountain turnovers, but wasn’t able to go on a run, which allowed Battle Mountain to hang around. The Huskies eventually cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 36-32.

“We talked about having composure,” Gunther said. “It is good that we are not freaking out and playing through when teams make runs on us.”

Palisade tightened up defensively and pushed its lead to eight by the end of the third quarter.

That cushion was enough to finally break the Huskies. The Bulldogs cruised in the fourth led by six points from Nicole Routhier.

The Bulldogs (5-15, 5-6 Western Slope League) had three players finish in double figures, led by Hays’ 17. Odneal added 13 and Routhier finished with 12. Battle Mountain was led by Morken, who had a game-high 21 points.

Palisade has three WSL games left, beginning Friday when they travel to Eagle Valley.

“Every game is very important and we are just going to talk about one game at a time, beginning with Eagle Valley,” Gunther said.


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