The New Palestine boys basketball team used a hot start to build a double-digit lead, but strong resilience allowed them to seize a 71-65 victory Friday at Pendleton Heights.
The Dragons led 19-5 after a quarter as Matthew True and Dawson Eastes sparked a hot start with two early 3-pointers. True scored six of his game-high 22 points in the opening quarter. Eastes added five of the Dragons’ 19 first-quarter points.
PH rallied to cut the lead to 32-28 at halftime and took the lead on two occasions in the second half, but the Dragons responded each time. PH took a 44-43 lead in the third quarter, but NP responded with eight straight points – 3-pointers from Dylan Romine and Maximus Gizzi sandwiched around a hoop by Jack Walker – to re-take the lead at 51-44. PH again stormed back to briefly take the lead.
The contest was tied on multiple occasions in the fourth quarter, including at 62-62 in the final three minutes. True’s fifth 3-pointer of the night gave the Dragons the lead for good at 65-62. After a stop, True was fouled and hit both shots to extend the lead to five. Gizzi hit two more to extend the run – and the lead – to seven points. PH hit a late 3-pointer, but Gizzi hit two more foul shots to seal the game.
True scored seven points in the fourth quarter and Gizzi six. In addition to True’s 22, Gizzi added 20. Eastes scored 10 points and Romine nine – with each scoring five points in the third quarter to respond to the Arabians’ run. Walker had a season-high six points, while King scored four.
The Dragons are now 6-4 on the season and 3-1 in the HHC. They next play Saturday at Mooresville with a 6 p.m. JV start, followed by the varsity at 7:30 p.m.
The Dragon JV fell 60-53 and the freshmen won 41-25 in games played Thursday.