The New Palestine girls basketball team got off to a strong start Thursday, but used a big fourth-quarter finish to beat Ritter 67-55 on the Dragons’ Senior Night.
The victory gives NP a 20-2 record – the first 20-win season in school history – and completes a perfect 11-0 home season.
Led by junior Jordan Reid’s 10 points, the Dragons jumped out to a 21-11 first-quarter lead, but Ritter climbed back to tie the game at halftime and eventually take a 37-35 lead in the third quarter. The Dragons eventually pulled back ahead 48-45 going into the fourth, then began the final quarter with back-to-back baskets by Reid and Leah Seib to extend the lead to seven. Ritter again cut the lead to 52-48, but back-to-back hoops pushed the edge to 56-48. Seib then tallied a three-point play to push the lead to double-digits at 59-48. NP put the game away with strong free throw shooting from there.
Seib scored 13 of her game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter. She tied her career high – which she also matched in Tuesday’s win over Lawrence Central. She hit 8-10 from the floor and 8-8 from the line and had four rebounds. Reid added 18 points on 6-12 shooting from the floor and 6-8 from the line. She added eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Tatum Biddle added nine points off the bench on 4-4 shooting. She had four boards. Megan Jolly had seven points on 3-4 shooting, to go along with five assists and four steals. Katie Herron had two points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Haley Harrison had five points. Claire Cherry added two on an assist from fellow senior Avery Biggs. Senior Emily Newcomb had a steal in 14 minutes of steady play.
Meghan Sandifer led three Raiders in double figures with 12 points.
NP shot 52 percent for the game (24-46) and 77 percent from the line (17-22). The Dragons held Ritter to 35 percent shooting in the second half (7-20) and 42 percent for the game (20-47).
The Dragons’ JV also won 59-25.
Thursday was the final home game for the Dragons’ eight seniors – Biggs, Harrison, Cherry, Jolly, Seib, Herron, Newcomb and Biddle. They have put together the most victories in a four-year span in school history, posting an aggregate record of 71-23 – including 37-8 the last two years – the most wins for a class in school history. They also won the program’s first HHC title since 1994 this season, and the first sectional title since 2004 last year. They’ll look to begin their title defense Feb. 1 at Mt. Vernon against either Greenfield-Central or Richmond.