With injured All-City forward D’Andre Bell still on the bench, the Palisades High boys’ varsity basketball team has had to learn how to compete without him over the Winter Break. The Dolphins finished 0-3 in the Top of the World Tournament at Cerritos College on Christmas week, losing to Southern Section powerhouses Verbum Dei, Dominguez and Long Beach Jordan. But Pali recovered to post a respectable 2-2 mark at last week’s Torrey Pines Classic in San Diego. After a 68-53 loss to San Diego University (despite 18 points from Carl Robertson), the Dolphins bounced back with a 60-49 victory over Simi Valley, led by point guard Corey Counts’ 21 points. Bell, who is bound for Georgia Tech, saw his first action of the season in last Thursday’s 48-42 victory over Torrey Pines, scoring a team-high 11 points. Palisades (4-9) opens Western League play next Wednesday at perennial City contender Westchester. Ronda Crowley’s varsity girls’ team was also busy over Winter Break. The Dolphins went 1-3 at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Chandler, Arizona, losing to Niwot of Colorado, Long Beach Millikan and San Leandro and posting a 33-30 victory over one of the host schools, Basha. After Christmas, Palisades was back on the court, this time in Antioch, California, for the West Coast Jamboree, where it lost its first two games to Oakland Fremont and Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos before rebounding to beat Dimond of Anchorage, Alaska, 54-51. The Dolphins host Westchester in their Western league opener next Wednesday.
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