Wednesday Games: PaliHi Boys Basketball/Girls Soccer

Pali Boys Basketball Falls in City Quarterfinals

Graham Alphson scores two for PaliHi on Wednesday against View Park.

The Palisades High Dolphins were up 10 points at halftime against View Park on Tuesday night, but ultimately lost, 70-64, in the L.A. City Section Division 1 basketball playoffs.

The 4th-seeded Dolphins beat South Gate, 60-39, and No. 12 View Park upset Sylmar, 63-61, to reach their quarterfinal game at PaliHi.

Trailing 36-26 at halftime, View Park switched to a fast press, and tied the game 48-48 at the end of the third quarter. The Dolphins couldn’t adjust and there were multiple turnovers that allowed the Knights to catch up.

PaliHi Coach Donzell Hayes urged his boys to “Slow down!” but View Park’s intensity and speed controlled the game.

With under four minutes left, Viewpoint led 63-56, and though the Dolphins tried to switch the pace, the closest they came was 65-60 with about a minute left to play.

Junior Graham Alphson led Pali with 21 points, and senior and co-captain Nick Kerkorian had 16.

The Dolphins were 13-14 during the regular season and 6-5 in Western League action, behind basketball powerhouses Fairfax (10-0) and Westchester (8-2), plus University (7-3).

Pali had a relatively young team, with only five seniors out of 17 players on the roster, which should bode well for next year.

During a time out in the fourth quarter, Coach Donzell Hayes (center) urges his team to slow play to take back control of the game.


Girls Soccer Beats Bravo 5-0

PaliHi co-captain Jordan Darrow (10) received a pass and shot it past the goalie.

The PaliHi girls soccer team sailed through its first-round City Section tournament game, beating Bravo 5-0 at home on Tuesday.

Seeded sixth, the Dolphins will travel to play 3rd-seeded San Pedro tomorrow, and the winner will most likely play 2nd-seeded El Camino Real.

“This was nowhere near our best performance,” Pali Coach Christian Chambers said after the game. “It wasn’t one of our vintage performances.”

The Dolphins played fast with accurate passing, which meant most of the game was on the offensive side of the field, forcing the Bravo goalie to make numerous saves.

Sophomore Isabel Gill scored the game’s first goal in about the 20th minute. In the 38th minute, a pass from co-captain and senior Frankie Van Norden to co-captain Jordan Darrow enabled Darrow to score from right in front of the net.

A minute later, the Dolphins had their third goal when a hard kick from about 20 yards out by junior Julie Navarro found the net.

Three minutes into the second half, Darrow made a lateral pass to sophomore Kayden Graves, who was in front of the goal and put it in. The final goal came at the 50-minute mark, when Graves returned the favor to Darrow who was in front of the net and scored.

Pali’s senior goalkeeper Leah Radow was credited with one save.

The Dolphins are 12-2 overall this year and were 9-0 in league. The team’s only losses were against El Camino Real (3-1) on January 3 and Santa Monica (3-1) in December.

Chambers was asked why the Palisades girls were seeded so low, especially since they had defeated two Valley teams, Taft (1-0) and Birmingham (4-0).

“I was surprised, I thought we’d be seeded higher,” he said, but then explained about Academy players.

Many of those players are high school age and once they join an academy, that coach doesn’t want them playing high school ball. But some players at Granada Hills, for example, are coming back specifically to play in the City Section tournament. One of PaliHi’s top players as a sophomore didn’t play for the team last year but had planned on coming back to play her senior year. Although she’s listed on the roster, her Academy coach won’t let her play.

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