The New Palestine girls basketball team remained unbeaten Saturday with a 47-44 victory at Southport.
The victory gave the Dragons a 3-0 record for the first time since the 1998-99 season, and broke a three-game losing streak in the series against Southport.
Leah Seib scored 17 points – including 12 in the opening half – while Megan Jolly hit several key late free throws to score 11 points.
The contest was close throughout, but NP took the lead early in the second quarter and maintained it for much of the remainder of the game. A 9-2 second-quarter run – keyed by a 3-pointer and a basket by Seib and a basket by Haley Harrison – pushed the Dragons’ edge to eight, but Southport closed it to a two-point game going into the break, and took the lead on two different occasions early in the third.
Seib scored with 5:30 left in the third to put NP up 30-29 and the Dragons wouldn’t trail from there. Jolly hit a free throw and a 3-pointer in a 6-1 spurt that pushed the lead to 38-32. A basket by Michaela Jones followed by a free throw by Jolly pushed the edge to 41-34. Southport would keep closing to three, but the Dragons comintinued to make shots. Emma Grable hit a basket with 2:30 left to put NP up 43-38. Southport answered, but a one-minute possession punctuated by two free throws by Jolly made it 45-40 with a minute to go. Southport hit a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left to cut the lead to one, but Jolly hit two free throws and the Dragons forced a miss on the game’s final possession to win.
Seib was 7-for-11 from the floor and added eight rebounds to lead the team. Jolly was 8-of-10 from the line – the Dragons were 14-of-23 as a team. She added three rebounds. Harrison added nine points, three assists and four boards, scoring seven points in the opening half. Jones had six points and two assists off the bench. Tatum Biddle had two points and four steals.
NP shot 15-of-44 from the field, and held Southport to 14-of-42. The Dragons’ tenacious defense forced 23 turnovers.
The Dragons return home Tuesday to face Franklin Central, with a 6 p.m. JV and 7:30 p.m. varsity tipoff.
The Dragon JV fell 32-19.