HS Basketball: Palisade boys open league play ready to defend title

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Over the weekend a handful of our local basketball teams got in game time at tournaments throughout the state. On Wednesday the Palisade Bulldogs boys and girls teams open up conference play.

The boys are coming in with high expectations. In Brian Tafel's first year as head coach, the team finished the 2012-13 season as the 4A Western Slope League champs and know it's going to take a lot of hard work to claim that spot once again.

The Bulldogs were able to get in some pre-season work at Central High School's annual Warrior Challenge, finishing 1-2 but you can't let that early season record fool you.

It's exactly how they started in 2012 before entering conference play and producing a 12-2 record, earning the first place spot and a trip into the playoffs.

As the defending champs, everyone's out to get them, starting Wednesday

"We're excited to get league play started," said Coach Tafel. "I think the tournament was a great experience for us. We got a lot better, played some great competition, at this point in the year we're just trying to get better every day and so we've got good practices this week, and we look forward to getting going against Battle tomorrow."

The girls start off the night with a 5:30 game against Battle Mountain. So far the Lady Bulldogs are 2-0 on the season after taking wins against Falcon and Faith Christian.

The boys game will follow. Just last season Palisade came out with a slim 45-44 victory over the Huskies. This one starts at 7:00.

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