By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
If ever there was a “must win” situation in the regular season, last Friday night’s contest against archrival Venice was one for the Palisades High boys basketball team. Reeling from back-to-back losses to Westchester and University, the host Dolphins rallied behind Graham Alphson’s 25 points and eight rebounds to hold off the Gondos, 68-57, and even their record at 8-8 heading into the final round of Western League action.
“Our defensive rotation was a little bit off at first,” said Alphson, who scored 10 points in a 59-51 defeat to University two days prior but had nine in the first half versus Venice. “In the second quarter we brought a different type of energy and that’s how we have to play if we want to go Open or even have a shot at winning Division I.”
Guard Anthony Spencer put forth a solid all-around effort to the tune of 10 points, six steals and five assists. Caden Arnold had nine points, Sheldon Zanders also had 10 points, including a steal and layup to cap a 12-0 run that put Palisades up 24-21 midway through the second quarter. Caden Arnold had nine points, Dylan Griffin had six and Ryder Gianotti swished a three-pointer to bring the fans to their feet and give his team a double-digit lead.
Palisades started league in the mix for a City Open Division berth. Now, it may need to upset Fairfax or Westchester to make the highest playoff division.