By Laurel Busby
Palisades High School’s boys basketball team beat league rival University High School on Friday, Jan. 27 in a tight game that came down to the final quarter.
Tied 40-40 at the end of the third, the Dolphins outscored Uni 18-13 in the fourth to win the game and rise to a 5-2 record in the always challenging Western League. Only 5-1 Westchester, which beat the Dolphins last Wednesday 58-29, and undefeated Fairfax, which won a tight 60-53 game against Pali on Jan. 20, are ahead in the standings.
The Dolphins, coached by Donzell Hayes, also beat LACES 61-39 and Hamilton 69-56 in the last two weeks, while losing to Maranatha, 59-31, in the East L.A. Invitational Showcase to earn a 12-9 overall record.
Senior forward Dayne Downey had a particularly strong game against Hamilton, scoring 30 points while fellow senior Zach Lynch added 12. Aside from the second quarter, when Pali outscored Hamilton 18- 9, the rest of the game was fairly even. The two teams were dead even at 15-15 after the first quarter, Pali outscored Hamilton by a basket in each of the final two quarters.
Against league-leading Fairfax, which beat the Dolphins in a pre-season tournament game 60-40, Pali was able to keep the game fairly close in the second half, even outscoring the Lions in a rousing third quarter, 32-21, to pull within two points. But in a low-scoring fourth quarter, the Lions came through with 6 points, while Pali could manage only one free throw. Rarely has a team been so hot and then so cold in one half of a basketball game.
In the game, Downey was again the high scorer with 16 points, while senior guard Daniel Emein added 13. Downey also scored 16 against Uni last Friday, while Lynch pitched in 15.
The Dolphins played a home game against Venice on Monday this week, and then travel for their next three games to Hamilton on Feb.3 at 6:30p.m., Fairfax on Feb. 6 at 5:30 p.m., and Westchester on Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m. Pali will host LACES for its final league game on Feb. 10 at 5:30 p.m.