Boys' basketball: Palisades' James Paleno nets 400th win
Palisades advanced to the championship game of the Los Angeles Windward tournament by beating Carson, 82-45, in the semifinals Friday and the win was extra special for Coach James Paleno.
It was meaningful not only because his team avenged a 61-55 loss to the Colts eight days earlier, but because it marked the 400th victory for Paleno, who took over the program from Jerry Marvin in 1991. Paleno's overall record stands at 400-169 (a .702 winning percentage) and he'll go for victory No. 401 tonight when Palisades (7-2) meets Orange Lutheran (9-0) in the final.
In Paleno's 22 seasons the Dolphins have earned four league titles, claiming a share of first place last season and winning three straight from 1994-96, and have made the Los Angeles City Section's upper division playoffs 20 of 21 times -- remarkable consistency considering that the Western League (with Fairfax and Westchester) has been the toughest in the City for most of that span.
Palisades has yet to reach the City finals during Paleno's tenure but with a veteran roster consisting of eight seniors and five juniors, this could be the year the Dolphins break through. Marvin coached the school to its only City championship in 1969.
-- Steve Galluzzo