Palisades Sprints Past Marina in Championship

Wednesday’s Marina tournament championship between Los Angeles Palisades and Marina could be a preview of a state tournament matchup. Palisades, a Los Angeles City Section 4-A finalist, has four starters back from last season, while defending Southern Section Division I-A champion Marina has three.

If it happens, Marina has been warned: Bring running shoes.

Palisades’ quickness and speed proved too much for the Vikings as Palisades ran away with a 68-46 victory over Orange County’s second-ranked team.

Palisades (10-4) hasn’t lost a game this season at full strength, and had not shot over 40% from the field. But the Dolphins shot 62.8% (27 of 43) against Marina and made their first seven three-point shots.


“We did everything we could; we used our zone, man, trap, both presses, and they had an answer for everything,” Marina Coach Pete Bonny said. “We hit a three, they hit a three. We got a fastbreak layup, they got a fastbreak layup.

“I’m not sure anyone could have beaten them.”

Chanda McLeod had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Vikings (14-1), who shot 27.5% (19 of 69) and were unable to convert much from Palisades’ 19 turnovers.

The Dolphins opened a 44-29 lead in the first half by shooting 65.6% from the field (19 for 28).

Marina was still in it early in the second quarter, down 29-22, but got blitzed by the Dolphins’ three-point barrage. Leilani Estavan hit a three-pointer from the left corner, but missed converting it into a four-point play. It worked out for Palisades because the Dolphins got the offensive rebound and Nicole Funn drilled a three-pointer from the opposite corner. Then tournament most valuable player April Freeney’s long-range connection extended the lead to 38-22 as part of a 14-2 run.