Bouncing Back

Pali High Girls Basketball Defeats Birmingham for First Win 

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

There’s nothing like a win to boost a team’s confidence and that’s just what the Palisades High girls basketball squad needed on Monday night in Lake Balboa.

After opening the season with four tough losses at the Mark Keppel Tournament in Alhambra, the Dolphins got back on track with a 62-44 victory over Birmingham.

“This was the first game that really mattered because it’s a City opponent and any time you beat a team in your own section it helps your playoff seeding down the line,” said Pali High Coach Adam Levine, who piloted the Dolphins to the City Division I championship in his first season last winter. “I scheduled really strong teams and the purpose for that is to prepare us for the [City] Open Division. We’ll be better by the end of the year than we are now.”   

The Dolphins were more than good enough against the Patriots, racing to a 30-19 halftime lead and answering an early third-quarter surge by the home team with an 11-0 run of their own to seize back control. Demonnie Lagway led the way with 18 points, Jane Nwaba and Sammie Arnold each added 13 points and point guard Alexis Pettis had 10 points for the Dolphins, who resume Brentwood Tournament play today against Knight of Palmdale and Friday against Clovis North of Fresno (both games tip-off at 4:30 p.m.)    

Palisades fell behind 19-2 to Eastvale Roosevelt in its season opener and fell 75-48 despite three 3-pointers by Sydney Meskin.

The Dolphins jumped out to a 14-5 lead against Pasadena but the  Bulldogs closed the first half on an 11-0 run to take a 33-28 lead. Lagway rattled in a 3-pointer to pull Palisades within 55-47 with 2:24 left but Pasadena made its foul shots down the stretch to win, 65-54. Arnold led the way with 18 points for the Dolphins.

The next day Palisades played La Jolla Country Day, one of the top teams in California. The Dolphins led 9-8 at the end of the first quarter and trailed only 28-27 at intermission before getting outscored by 29 points in the second half. They missed a game-tying 3-pointer at the end of Saturday’s  39-36 loss to Mark Keppel.