By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
With the momentum having swung to the other bench midway through the fourth quarter of last Friday’s City Division I playoff opener, Palisades High’s boys basketball team needed a big shot to reassert control.
Dylan Griffin provided it by taking a pass from fellow senior Sheldon Zanders and swishing a three-pointer from the corner to give the Dolphins a nine-point lead with 3:15 left and they went on to defeat Van Nuys, 53-41, to set up a quarterfinal matchup at Western League rival University.
“We had game film on them and the plan was to use our size and athleticism since they’re not very big,” said leading scorer Graham Alphson, who gave a strong all-around effort with 17 points, nine rebounds, seven steals, five blocks and three assists. “I was driving by myself when suddenly it came to me that this could be my last home game.”
Alphson set the tone with 12 points in the first half. In the second he got lots of help from his friends. Griffin finished with 12 points, Caden Arnold had eight and Zanders added seven for the No.5-seeded Dolphins (12-11), who led 27-13 at intermission.
David Lee and Julian Hicks each had 10 points for the No. 12 Wolves (13-17), who tied for first in the Valley Mission League.
If victorious yesterday, Palisades will play No. 1 View Park or No. 9 Venice in the semifinals Saturday at Southwest College.