The New Palestine girls basketball team staged a furious second-half rally Tuesday night, but it fell short in a 51-45 home loss to Beech Grove.
The Dragons trailed by 16 points early in the second half before going on a run to cut the deficit to four in the fourth quarter.
Playing the first of two big games this week, NP fell to 13-5 on the season. The Dragons host fellow Hoosier Heritage Conference co-leader Pendleton Heights Thursday, with the winner claiming at least a share of the league title. Beech Grove improved to 15-4.
Leah Seib tied her career high with 19 points for the Dragons. She led a 14-2 run that cut a 38-22 deficit to 40-36 midway through the fourth. The Dragons held Beech Grove without a field goal for 7:45 during that span. Tatum Biddle and Seib scored the third quarter’s last six points, and Seib opened the fourth with a 3-pointer to cut the Hornets’ lead to six.
Megan Jolly’s steal-and-score with 5:39 left cut BG’s lead to 40-36. But the Hornets responded with six straight points.
After a first half in which BG hit 50 percent of its shots, NP ratcheted up its defense in the second, holding the visiting Hornets to 7-of-18, while the Dragons’ shooting improved. NP finished the game at 33 percent – 18-of-53, while BG was 19-of-42.
Jolly added nine points and three steals for the Dragons. Seib added nine rebounds to her double-figure night. Katie Herron and Tatum Biddle added five points and four boards each, while Emma Grable gave the Dragons valuable minutes off the bench with five boards. Haley Harrison had three assists, six rebounds and a steal.
The Dragon JV won 34-19.
Thursday’s game against Pendleton Heights will begin with the JV tip at 6 p.m., followed by the varsity at 7:30 p.m.