The New Palestine boys basketball team rallied from a nine-point deficit to take three different fourth-quarter leads Saturday, but Southport hit three free throws in the final minute to beat the Dragons 48-46.
The Dragons trailed 31-22 in the third quarter but rallied back to take leads of 42-41 and 44-43 on back-to-back baskets by Dylan Romine. Southport’s Brevin Jefferson answered both to give the Cardinals a 45-44 lead going into the final minute.
Maximus Gizzi hit a driving shot with 45 seconds left to give the Dragons a 46-45 lead, but Southport’s Brian Miller drew a foul and hit two free throws with 20 seconds left to re-take the lead. NP had a shot to take the lead in the final 10 seconds that was too strong. Southport hit one free throw, giving NP one final chance. A driving shot missed and the Cardinals escaped with the two-point victory.
Romine led the Dragons with 14 points. He scored eight in the second quarter as NP rallied from an early deficit to take a 14-13 lead. Southport finished the period on a 10-3 run to take a 29-22 halftime lead, with Miller hitting two 3-pointers in the spurt.
After the Cardinals took the lead up to nine early in the third quarter, Dawson Eastes came alive, scoring five points, including a three-point play, to lead a comeback. Jack Walker also had a basket and a foul, drawing NP as close as 35-33. Southport finished the quarter with a basket, but Matthew True began the fourth quarter with a three-point play to cut the deficit to one. He followed with a 3-pointer to again cut a Southport lead to 41-39.
Eastes scored 11 points and True 10 to give the Dragons three players in double figures. Gizzi and Walker scored four points each.Eric Roudebush scored two and Maxen Hook one. Jefferson led Southport with 18 points, including eight in the final quarter. Miller added 10 points.
The Dragon JV also fell 40-37, with Steele Brasfield leading the Dragons with 11 points. The NP freshmen won 41-22.
The Dragons (5-4) are next in action Friday at Pendleton Heights in a boys/girls varsity doubleheader. The girls will play at 6 p.m., with the boys game following at 7:30 p.m.