Pali High Hoops Sixth at Spot Up Christmas Classic

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

Confidence is high for the Palisades High boys basketball team as it resumes Western League action on Monday against Hamilton.

The Dolphins had reason to feel good about themselves after giving El Camino Real all it could handle Saturday in the fifth-place game of the Spot Up SoCal Christmas Classic at Burbank High.   

Palisades lost 65-62 but gave a much better account of itself than it had one month earlier when it lost to the same team by 14 points in the opening round of the Rose City Round Ball Classic in Pasadena.

“It shows we’re improving, especially on defense,” said Pali High senior forward Will Janney, who made the All-City Open Division defensive second team as a safety on the Dolphins’ football team in the fall. “We run hard zone defense and you have to be a smart team to beat that. It took a couple weeks to transition from one sport to the other but I got back in the rotation quicker than last year.”

Dylan Griffin grabs a rebound during Friday’s 53-46 victory over Providence at Burbank High.

Palisades opened the tournament with a 74-64 victory over Inglewood, then suffered a blowout loss to Bishop Montgomery, one of the best teams in the state.

On Friday, Nick Kerkorian scored 15 points and Sheldon Zanders had nine as the Dolphins (7-8) beat Providence 53-46 in a game that was close from start to finish.

Graham Alphson had a game-high 24 points, Kerkorian had 10, Dylan Griffin had eight and Caden Arnold had seven against the Conquistadores in Saturday’s game, which was tied 30-30 at halftime.