The New Palestine Dragons led from wire-to-wire, shooting 50 percent from the floor and getting a strong defensive effort in a 48-40 girls basketball victory over Whiteland Saturday afternoon at NPHS.
The Dragons scored the game’s first seven points and held the visitors scoreless for the game’s first 7:32, and allowed just three points in the first 12:15 of the contest, opening with an 11-3 run. The Dragons led by as many as eight points in the first half, and responded to a 6-0 Whiteland run early in the third with an 8-1 spurt that saw Raegan McMurray score three points and feed Haley Stratman for a 3-pointer and Gia Nitschke for a layup on four consecutive possessions to push the lead up to 30-21. A three-point play by McMurray made it a double-digit lead at 35-25 with 6:54 left, and the Dragons held on despite heavy fouling by the Warriors. NP hit 9-of-12 from the line in the final three minutes to put the game away.
McMurray had 15 points for the Dragons, hitting 3-of-6 from the floor and 9-of-14 from the line. She also had team highs with three assists and six rebounds and a blocked shot. Gia Nitschke topped double figures for the second time in three games, hitting all four of her field goal attempts and both FTs for 10 points. She added three boards. Emma Laughlin and Haley Stratman had seven points each. Carly Hackler had six points, four rebounds and a blocked shot. Natalie Kehrt added three points and four rebounds. Katylen Keele had six rebounds off the bench in 12 minutes of action.
The Dragons shot 50 percent from the floor (13-26), including 7-13 in the second half. They were 20-of-29 from the line. NP held Whiteland to 22 percent shooting in the first ahlf and 31 percent for the game (15-48). NP outrebounded the Warriors 30-26.
NP (8-8) next plays Tuesday at Beech Grove, beginning a three-game week that will also see home games Thursday (vs. Eastern Hancock) and Saturday afternoon (vs. Decatur Central).
The Dragons dropped the JV game 49-16.