Boys Varsity Basketball · Dragon basketball weekend preview: vs. Mt. Vernon/at Whiteland


The New Palestine basketball team returns home for the penultimate week of the season, hosting Mt. Vernon Friday before traveling to Whiteland for a Saturday contest. 

Fans are encouraged to wear orange to Friday’s game vs. Mt. Vernon to honor and celebrate the life of Brody Stephens. There will be a raffle and orange beads and ribbons for sale, as well as a “Change for a Change” collection.

The NP-MV game is a key one in the HHC standings. Both teams enter with one loss and will clinch at least second place in the league with a win, and could clinch a share of the HHC title with a win coupled with a Delta loss to Shelbyville.

It’s also the 75th meeting in the history of the New Palestine-Mt. Vernon rivalry.

Saturday night, the Dragons travel to Whiteland for their final road game of the 2018-19 regular season. It will be NP’s sixth game against a Mid-State Conference school.

Both games – and all remaining New Palestine boys basketball games – will be broadcast on New Pal Radio.

Friday: Mt. Vernon (8-9, 4-1 HHC) at Dragons (12-7, 5-1 HHC)
Site: New Palestine HS
Promotion: Brody Stephens night
Time: JV 6 p.m., V 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Dragons (12-7) at Whiteland (7-12)
Site: Glenn Ray Gymnasium, Whiteland (directions)
Time: JV 6 p.m., V 7:30 p.m.

Broadcast (both games): 

Click for game notes and media preview

Friday vs. Mt. Vernon

SETTING THE SCENE

Tonight marks the 75th time the Dragons and Marauders have met since 1963, the longest active series for New Palestine basketball. NP has played Mt. Vernon or one of its predecessors every season of the Dragons’ known basketball history, which dates to 1909. NP is looking for its first win over MV since 2014.

A victory for NP would clinch second place in the HHC for the second consecutive year. A victory combined with a Delta loss to Shelbyville would share the title.

The IHSAA sectional draw will take place at 5 p.m. Sunday, broadcast on IHSAAtv.org. New Palestine and Mt. Vernon both play in the 4A Richmond sectional.

DRAGONS NOTES

The Dragons enter the weekend having played four consecutive games decided by five points or less, including two that went to the final seconds last weekend. NP beat Shelbyville 66-64 Friday behind junior guard Maximus Gizzi’s 25 points and 13 from senioru guard Matthew True. Junior forward Dawson Eastes added eight points and eight rebounds.

Saturday, the Dragons shot 11-of-18 from 3-point range – including 7-9 from True – in a 50-49 loss to Connersville. True scored 23 points, while Gizzi tallied 15. They were especially strong in the second half, when they combined for 27 of NP’s 29 points.

In the game against Connersville, Gizzi became the ninth player in NPHS history to tally 900 career points. He now has 905 and needs 12 points to pass Royce McDougall (1964-67) for eighth place in the NP career scoring list. True also moved into the top 10 against Connersville, passing Dick Pruet (1960-63), who had 864 career points. True now has 873 points.

Junior guard Maxen Hook had six rebounds against Shelbyville and now has 150 boards for his career. Eastes is four rebounds away from 250 for his career. True is six boards away from 250.

SCOUTING THE MARAUDERS

MV enters the weekend led by two seniors – Peyton Meadors and Cade Gentry. Meadors averages 17.9 ppg and 5.2 rpg to lead the Marauders. Gentry tallies 12.4 ppg. Guard Brandon Bell tallies 8.1 ppg, while Keith Rupert is among the HHC assists leaders at 3.8 per game.

The Marauders are also in the mix for one of the top three spots in the HHC. They have one conference game remaining, next Friday against Yorktown.

Saturday at Whiteland

SETTING THE SCENE

The Dragons meet Whiteland for the 43rd time since the first known meeting in 1937-38. NP trails the series 22-20, but won last year’s meeting 63-49.

This is the fifth of six games the Dragons will play against a Mid-State Conference school. NP is 1-3 against the Mid-State.

SCOUTING THE WARRIORS

Whiteland enters the weekend having dropped six consecutive games since a 63-59 win over Franklin Jan. 18. The Warriors started the year 4-3, including a season-opening win over Mt. Vernon. Whiteland has played one other HHC team, falling 66-55 Saturday at Shelbyville.

Senior Cameron Crowe leads the Warriors with 14.3 ppg and 4.9 rpg. Senior Brennan Neal adds 11.2 ppg and 2.5 rpg.

Whiteland plays a conference game Friday at Martinsville before hosting the Dragons. This will be Whiteland’s Senior Night.