Girls Junior Varsity Basketball, Girls Varsity Basketball · GBB: Dragons clinch sectional final berth

The New Palestine girls basketball team held Greenwood to two points in the first 14 and a half minutes and used that suffocating defensive effort to pull away to a 46-26 victory over Greenwood in Friday’s Class 4A sectional semifinal at Greenwood.

NP is now 12-11 and will play Center Grove (19-6) at 7 p.m. Saturday for the sectional championship. CG beat Franklin Central 37-34 in Friday’s first semifinal.

But the Dragons were also solid offensively, spreading the floor and driving to the rim, forcing Greenwood to commit a number of fouls and put the Dragons on the line. NP shot 30-of-42 from the stripe in the game against a Woodmen team battling foul trouble.

In the opening half, the Dragons jumped out to an 11-2 first-quarter lead against a 2-3 zone employed by Greenwood, as NP spread the floor and found seams in the zone. Raegan McMurray scored nine of her team-high 15 points in the opening eight minutes. But NP also scored the first seven points of the second quarter to open up an 18-2 edge.

In the second half, the Dragons spread the floor and got to the rim, forcing Greenwood to foul. NP got to free throw line 30 times, hitting 22.

McMurray led the way with 15 points – hitting 3-of-6 from the floor and 9-of-13 from the stripe – and nine rebounds. Gia Nitschke added 12 points, hitting 8-of-12 from the striple – two assists and five boards. Carly Hackler had seven rebounds, and Emma Laughlin had seven points, six boards and three steals.

NP held Greenwood to 11-of-50 shooting and didn’t allow the Woodmen a free throw attempt. The Dragons were 8-of-26 from the floor.