The New Palestine girls basketball team clinched at least a share of the Hoosier Heritage Conference title Saturday, rallying in the second half to beat Yorktown 39-36.
The victory gives the Dragons their first HHC girls basketball title since 1994, the first year for the conference.
After scoring the game’s first two points, the Dragons fell behind in the opening quarter as the Tigers hit back-to-back 3-pointers and led 11-8 after a quarter. The Tigers extended their edge to 18-12 early in the second frame. NP’s Leah Seib scored five straight points to cut the deficit to one, but a late Tiger basket gave Yorktown a 20-17 edge going into halftime.
Seib scored 12 of her team-high 16 points in the opening half to keep the Dragons close. NP’s defense was stout in the second half, holding Yorktown scoreless for long stretches. The Dragons outscored Yorktown 10-7 in the third to tie the contest at 27-27 going into the final period, as Katie Herron scored five big points in the period. Jordan Reid’s steal and layup gave NP its first lead since the opening moments at 29-27 early in the fourth. Reid’s putback after a Megan Jolly steal gave the Dragons a 35-29 edge with 3:20 left – capping a 12-2 run.
Yorktown closed to 35-34 in the final minute, but Reid and Jolly each hit two free throws in the closing seconds to seal it.
The Dragons are now 12-1 overall and 6-0 in the HHC.
Seib led NP with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting. She added five rebounds. Reid scored 10 points and had four rebounds, two assists and three steals. Herron tallied nine points. Jolly had two points, five rebounds, three assists and seven steals. Tatum Biddle tallied two points and had two steals. The Dragons forced 12 second-half turnovers to seize the lead.
Elizabeth Reece led Yorktown with 16 points. The Dragons overcame a 48-percent shooting effort by Yorktown. NP overcame a 34-percent shooting day with 13-18 free-throw shooting and 11 steals on defense. The Dragons were 10-12 from the line in the second half.
NP’s JV also won 56-34.
The Dragons are next in action Friday at home against Whiteland. The JV game tips at 6 p.m., followed by the varsity at 7:30 p.m.