Pali High Hoops Wins Two of Three in Palm Springs
By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
Road trips often bond teams closer together and that was one of the reasons Coach Adam Levine traveled with his Palisades High girls basketball team to Palm Springs over Winter Break to play in the Desert Heat Classic.
The Dolphins won two of the three games they played and got a chance to test themselves against teams outside the City Section. It is a strategy Levine hopes will pay off when the postseason rolls around, especially with Palisades on track to make the eight-team Open Division.
Junior guard Sammie Arnold earned All-Tournament honors in leading the squad to victories over Shadow Hills and Murrieta Mesa to take third place.
Arnold made four 3-pointers and finished with 18 points in the Dolphins’ 62-25 opening victory over the host school last Thursday. She added 10 points and five rebounds in a 49-47 defeat to Culver City the next day and had 10 by halftime of Saturday’s 63-34 rout of Murrieta Mesa.
In the final, Harvard-Westlake beat Culver City, 69-35. Palisades has played one of the toughest schedules in Southern California. Its resume includes highly-ranked opponents Eastlake Roosevelt, La Jolla Country Day, Clovis North, Keppel and Valencia.
Palisades (8-7 overall, 3-0 in Western League) has four games next week: league contests against Westchester on Monday, University on Wednesday and Venice on Friday, then heads south for an intersectional battle Saturday at 5 p.m. at Redondo Union, which made the CIF Southern Section and state Open Division playoffs last year.
Palisades came from behind to beat Carson to win the City Division I championship last winter. The Dolphins are one of the favorites to win the Open Division this season paced by captain Jane Nwaba, their only senior.