The New Palestine girls basketball team used a 13-point second half run Tuesday to seize control of a 53-32 victory over host Connersville in the opener of the 4A Connersville sectional.
The Dragons improved to 16-6 – the first time in school history the team has posted three straight 16-win seasons – and will face Greenfield-Central in Friday’s 7:30 p.m. semifinal.
Haley Harrison tied her career high with 18 points, hitting five 3-pointers – all coming at clutch times. After NP jumped out to an 11-4 lead, Connersville twice cut the edge to four. Each time, Harrison drilled a triple to extend the lead. The last touched off an 8-0 run that also included a driving three-point play by Katie Herron.
Connersville cut a 24-13 Dragon halftime lead to four with the first seven points of the second half. Again, Harrison buried a 3-pointer to stem the tide. This time, it touched off a run that put the game away. Herron followed with a free throw, Harrison a driving three-point play and Megan Jolly a steal-and-score to push the lead to 33-20.
Seib sandwiched the fourth quarter with baskets before five straight Connersville. NP answered that with another 15-point run that put the game away, pushing the lead to 52-27.
Seib finished the day with 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting. She also had four rebounds. Harrison had four rebounds and two assists to go along with her 18-point night. Herron had eight points and six boards. Emma Grable scored seven points and four rebounds. Jolly had four points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Eliza Adams added three points. Tatum Biddle had two assists.
Marley Smith led Connersville with 12 second-half points. NP held the host Spartans to 31 percent shooting – 10-of-32. The Spartans were just 4-of-18 from two-point range. NP shot 21-of-47 from the floor, hitting 44 percent.
The Dragons’ Friday-night semifinal meeting against Greenfield-Central will be the first between the schools since 2000.