The New Palestine boys basketball team held off a late rally Friday to beat Shelbyville 55-54 in a Hoosier Heritage Conference contest.
The victory gave the Dragons an 11-7 record and a 4-2 mark in the Hoosier Heritage Conference. NP moves into a second-place tie in the HHC with Shelbyville and Pendleton Heights.
Shelbyville took an early lead, but an 8-0 run led by Dylan Romine and Matthew True put NP up 15-9. The visitors again took a lead early in the second, but NP again answered to retake the lead and push it to 30-22. NP led 30-26 at halftime, and held the lead for the remainder of the game.
Romine and Gavin Hausz led the way for the Dragons with 14 points each. Hausz scored six in the third quarter to help NP build a 38-28 lead. Shelbyville followed with a 10-2 run to cut the lead to 40-38, but True answered with a 3-pointer to push the lead back to five. Again, after Shelbyville cut the lead to one in the final four minutes, Hausz hit a putback to put NP up three. The Dragons then kept Shelbyville at bay from the line, hitting 10 of 12 in the fourth quarter, despite Shelbyville hitting four 3-pointers in the closing minutes.
With NP up 54-51, Eric Roudebush hit a free throw with 26 seconds left to push the lead to four. Shelbyville’s Josh Williams hit a 3-pointer to cut it to one, and NP had two turnovers in the final 10 seconds. But a missed free throw and a desperation shot off the rim allowed the Dragons to hold on.
True was the Dragons’ third double-figure scorer with 13 points, as he also hit two free throws in the final minute to help seal it. Romine was 4-for-4 from the line in the fourth. Dawson Eastes had five points. Maxen Hook and Kyle King scored four each, and Roudebush tallied one.
Cooper Lewis led Shelbyville with 20 points, hitting four 3-pointers. Zach Kuhn had 19 and Williams 10.
The Dragons next play Monday at home against Connersville, with a 6 p.m. JV tip, followed by a 7:30 p.m. varsity tip.
NP also won the JV game 44-30, led by Austin Howell’s 15 points.