Palisades to face Chaminade in Open Division State Playoffs


 

 

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#23 Senior guard Kayla Merrill-Gillett  – seen her during Palisades’ victory over El Camino Real – will need to be on her game Friday March 11, 2016 against the #2 team in the State,  the Chaminade Eagles.  Image by PopScout

The Palisades (24-8, 10-0) girls basketball team defeated El Camino Real by a score of 65-44 Saturday March 5, 2016, to capture the CIF City Section Open Division Girls Championship.  Now comes the tough part.  The Dolphins face the #2 team in the state – #3 nationally – in Chaminade out of West Hills, CA.  This will be a difficult task, seeing that Chaminade – who’s won the CIF SS Open Division Championship by knocking of Long Beach Poly and their gritty squad – has two standout players in Odom and Higgins.


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Look for Palisades and their talented back-court to provide a spark for the Dolphins Friday March 11, 2016 against Chaminade.  Image by PopScout

Palisades is a very tough and athletic squad.  The girls defend well and attack you on the offensive end of the court.  Their guards are the corner stone of the team – showing the ability to handle the rock, make open shots, and apply pressure on the defensive side of the ball. They do have a nice big who helps out in the paint and shows good skills on the offensive end.  They run a full court press (2-2-1) for the most part and rely on you to make mistakes so that they can pounce on them – like they did to El Camino Real – beating them by a resounding 21 points.  Look for Palisades to try and match the momentum of Chaminade –  who brings it each time they step on the court.


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Look for Palisades Coach Torino Johnson and his coaching staff to pull some strings if they intend to stop Chaminade and advance to the 2nd round of the Open Division State Playoffs.  Image by PopScout.

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It’s up to multifaceted Valerie Higgins and the Chaminade Eagles to show what they’re made of during the CIF SS Open Division State Playoffs.  Image by PopScout

At the end of the day, we like Higgins and Odom too much for Chaminade and feel this will be an easy match-up before moving on to the 2nd round of the Regional State Playoffs.  Why you might ask?  Well…Chaminade is battle tested bro’ – playing in major tournaments this season and competing against top, quality competition-and winning (27-4, 7-1 in league). They also boast a McDonald’s All-American in Sr. Guard Leaonna Odom – who can shake and bake with the best of them. She holds a 98 grade, 5 star rating from ESPN and has signed with Duke. On a side note, strength of schedule has to be taken into consideration, by coaches, if they’re going to be able to gauge their squads’ level of competitiveness throughout the season – to address issues and concerns about your squad and work on them in practice. Practice?  We talkin’ bout practice? Not to take anything away from the teams that Palisades has faced. The Dolphins are on a nice 12 game winning streak going into Friday’s match-up. It should be a good game with Chaminade coming away with the victory.

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