Last chance for Palisades to prove it belongs among City's elite
There's plenty riding on the outcome of today's/Friday's Western League boys' basketball game between Palisades and Westchester. The host Comets need a win to earn a share of first place with Fairfax, while the Dolphins could improve their playoff seeding with an upset.
Palisades (24-5 overall, 8-3 in league) is holding in at 24 in The Times' top 25 rankings and has already clinched third place in league. The Dolphins have twice beaten Hamilton, Venice, University and Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, but they've come up short against Fairfax (twice) and Westchester.
Westchester (25-3, 10-1), on the other hand, has won seven in a row since its 68-63 loss at reigning City and state champion Fairfax. The Comets, ranked fifth by The Times, surged to a big lead on their way to a 74-59 victory at Palisades in mid-January.
Having beaten Westchester head-to-head, Taft seems a lock for the No. 1 spot at Saturday morning's City seeding meeting. Westchester and Fairfax will contend for the second and third seeds, so where does that leave Palisades? The Dolphins may be the fourth-best team in the City, but as strong as their league is, it's not likely a third-place team will be seeded fourth ahead of, say, the Coliseum or Marine league champions.
However, beating Westchester would certainly strengthen the Dolphins' case.
In light of a shooting incident after Wednesday's Westchester-Fairfax game at Loyola Marymount University, tip-off for today's Westchester-Palisades game was changed from 7 p.m. to 4 p.m.
-- Steve Galluzzo
-- Image from www.freedolphin.com