The New Palestine girls basketball team made big plays down the stretch and hit key free throws to hold off Ritter 56-52 Thursday in the Dragons’ Senior Night.
Before the game, NP honored senior player Emma Grable, as well as managers Jordan Brittsan, Samantha Cornelius and Morgan Deaton.
Grable then had a hot start, scoring the Dragons’ first four points in a tight contest in which neither team led by more than five until the game’s final minutes. The game featured nine lead changes.
Leah Seib tied her career high – set two nights ago against Lawrence Central – with 20 points. Megan Jolly and Katie Herron scored 12 each.
A seven-point run – keyed by back-to-back baskets by Herron and a three-point play by Seib – gave NP a 35-30 lead in the third quarter. Ritter later used a 6-0 run to take a 40-39 lead. Seib hit back-to-bak buckets in the third quarter’s final minute to put NP up 43-40 going into the final frame.
That would be the game’s last lead change, as Ritter would cut the lead to one with 3:07 left at 48-47. Jolly answered with a basket, Herron grabbed a rebound in traffic and Haley Harrison followed with two free throws. to make the lead 52-47. Another stop and a free throw by Jolly pushed the lead to six. NP hit 7-of-12 from the line in the final 90 seconds to seal the game.
Seib was 7-of-9 from the floor and a perfect 5-of-5 from the line. She also had five rebounds and three assists. Jolly was 4-of-8 from the floor and added four assists and five rebounds. Herron was 5-of-7 from the floor and led the Dragons with seven rebounds, including four on the offensive glass. As a team, the Dragons were 20-of-41, shooting 48 percent. NP was 11-of-20 in the second half. The Dragons held Ritter to 17-of-42 – 40 percent – including 32 percent after halftime.
Grable and Harrison added six points each. Eliza Adams and Tatum Biddle had three rebounds each to help NP outrebound the Raiders 30-24. Biddle also had three assists.
The Dragons finish the regular season 15-6 – the team’s third consecutive 15-win season. They next play at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 4A Connersville sectional against host Connersville.
The Dragon JV also won 50-34 to finish the season.