Boys Varsity Basketball · Dragon hoops preview: at Perry Meridian, vs. Richmond


The New Palestine boys basketball team is back in action with a rare Thursday game at Perry Meridian. The Dragons then host Richmond Saturday afternoon in a rescheduled game.

NP enters the weekend 10-5 and winners of five of its last six.

Thursday: Dragons (10-5) at Perry Meridian (6-9)
Site: Perry Meridian HS (directions)
Time: F/JV 6 p.m., V 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Richmond (8-9) at Dragons (10-5)
Site: New Palestine HS
Time: F/JV 1 p.m., V 2:30 p.m.

Broadcast (both games): 

Click for game notes and media preview

Thursday at Perry Meridian

SETTING THE SCENE

It’s girls basketball sectional week, so the traditional Friday-Saturday schedule becomes a Thursday and a Saturday matinee for most Indiana teams, including the Dragons.

This is the fourth of six games the Dragons will play against a Mid-State Conference team this season. NP is 1-2 in those games so far, with a win at Mooresville.

PM leads the series 4-2, but New Palestine won 68-50 last season.

DRAGONS NOTES

The Dragons posted two of their most impressive wins of the season last week, beating Yorktown 65-41 and Rushville 86-40. The Dragons had a mix of big offense and defense in both games. Against Yorktown, the Dragons had a 29-point offensive second quarter, then held the Tigers to one point in the third – a season low for points against in a quarter. Saturday night, NP hit 14 3-pointers and shot 60 percent from the floor in the victory over Rushville. The Dragons also held the Lions to three points in the first quarter, outscoring them 22-3.

Three Dragons scored in double-figures in each of last weekend’s games. Against Yorktown, Matthew True scored 20 points, Maximus Gizzi 17 and Kyle King a career-high 11 points. NP shot 10-25 from 3-point range in that game, including 4-7 from True and 3-4 from Gizzi. Against Rushville, the Dragons were a season-best 14-22 (63.6 percent) from deep, including Dylan Romine hitting 3-5 and Austin Howell 3-4. Gizzi, True and Luke Ramsey each hit two triples. Gizzi tallied 16 points, Romine 11 and True 10 in the victory.

Saturday’s 46-point victory margin was the biggest since a 70-24 win over Greenfield-Central in a game played Dec. 27, 2011. The 86 points were the most scored by a Dragon team since a 96-81 win at Shelbyville Feb. 6, 2015.

Two Dragons are closing in on the Top 10 in career scoring. Gizzi now has 838 career points. He needs 13 points to move into the top 10. True crossed the 800-point barrier last weekend and now has 805 career points.

Forward Kyle King set his career highs in points (11) and rebounds (8) vs. Yorktown.

SCOUTING THE FALCONS

Perry Meridian is under the tutelage of veteran coach Mark James, who led Ben Davis to the 2017 IHSAA state title. The Falcons enter the weekend having dropped four straight games.

Saturday vs. Richmond

SETTING THE SCENE

The Dragons and Red Devils meet for the fourth time in their histories. NP has won all three previous ones, including two wins at the Tiernan Center last year. This is the first-ever meeting at New Palestine.

This game was originally scheduled to be the season opener, but was moved due to the Dragons’ football state championship run.

SCOUTING THE RED DEVILS

Richmond is in its first season under coach Shabaz Khaliq, who led Fort Wayne North to the 2017 State Finals – where his team faced Thursday’s opposing coach, Mark James. The Red Devils are seeking their first winning season since 2014 and have equaled the win total of the last two seasons. Richmond plays Thursday at Anderson before facing the Dragons.

Senior Lucas Kroft (21.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg) leads the Red Devils in scoring and rebounding. Sophomore Andrew Kroft (14.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg) is Richmond’s other double-figure scorer.