The New Palestine basketball team is home Friday night to close the regular season against the Greenwood Woodmen. It will be Senior Night as we honor the Class of 2019.
Tonight’s game, and all NPHS tournament games, will be broadcast on New Pal Radio.
Friday: Greenwood (9-12) at Dragons (13-8)
Site: New Palestine HS
Promotion: Senior Night, fan appreciation night, football state championship ring ceremony
Time: JV 6 p.m., V 7:30 p.m.
Broadcast (both games):
- New Pal Radio (link to listen or click the embedded link below).
SETTING THE SCENE
Tonight is Senior Night as the Dragons honor their senior class of Matthew True, Luke Ramsey, Jack Walker, Dylan Romine, Jacob Hockett and Justin Rightley. In their last two seasons, they have led the Dragons to a 28-18 record and back-to-back runner-up finishes in the HHC.
With last week’s 60-50 win over Mt. Vernon, the Dragons clinched second place in the HHC with a 6-1 mark, with unbeaten 3A No. 1 Delta claiming the conference title.
Tonight is the sixth meeting between the Dragons and a Mid-State Conference squad, but the first at the Dragons’ den. NP is 1-4 against the Mid-State this season. Greenwood is 1-3 against Hoosier Heritage Conference foes, with its win coming Saturday at Mt. Vernon.
This is the 42nd meeting between NP and Greenwood since 1949-50. They have played annually since 1984-85. NP leads the series 24-17.
The Dragons have clinched back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2012-13, when NP went 17-7 and 15-6 in consecutive years.
Junior Dawson Eastes had a big weekend last week, posting two double-doubles. He had 10 points and 10 boards against Mt. Vernon and followed with 20 points and 10 rebounds against Whiteland. Eastes has four double-doubles this season. He was named HHC Co-Player of the Week.
Four Dragons scored in double figures in the victory over MV – Dylan Romine tallied 16 points, Matthew True 14, Maximus Gizzi 11 and Eastes 10. Eastes (20), True (18) and Gizzi (11) led the Dragons against Whiteland.
Gizzi moved to eighth place on the all-time NP scoring list last weekend and now has 927 career points. He needs 73 to catch Ray Hobbs (1985-89), who is in seventh place. True moved into the top 10 over the weekend and scored his 900th career point. He has 905 points and needs 12 to pass Royce McDougall (1964-67) for ninth place.
The Dragons hit several other milestones last weekend. Gizzi and Eastes both reached 250 rebounds last weekend. True reached 200 career boards, while Romine tallied his 600th career point. He now has 611.
Five of the Dragons’ last six games have been decided by five points or less.
The Dragons have been bombs away from 3-point range in recent games. They have hit 30 triples in the last three contests. NP was 11-18 against Connersville, 10-19 against Mt. Vernon and 9-21 against Whiteland, hitting 3-pointers at a 51.7 percent clip during those games. True is 14-22 (63.6 percent) in those games.
Gizzi leads the HHC with 4.6 assists/game. True leads the conference in 3-point shooting (45.6 percent). Gizzi ranks fifth (16.7) and True sixth (15.7) in scoring. Eastes is fifth in rebounding (6.8).
SCOUTING THE WOODMEN
Greenwood is coached by someome familiar with the HHC: former Yorktown mentor Joe Bradburn. He led Yorktown to the State Finals in 1997-98 and later coached DeKalb to a sectional title in 2005.
Greenwood is 5-4 since Jan. 25, but that includes victories over Perry Meridian, Plainfield and Mt. Vernon. The victory over Plainfield knocked the Quakers out of the Top 10.
The Woodmen dropped their most recent game, falling 50-42 Tuesday to Indian Creek.
The Dragons compete in next week’s Richmond sectional. NP is seeking its eighth sectional title overall and first since 2012. The Dragons were the runner-up in last year’s sectional. This season, NP is 4-1 against sectional foes, with wins over Pendleton Heights, Mt. Vernon, Richmond and first-round opponent Greenfield-Central. The one loss was a one-point contest at Connersville.
The Dragons open the sectional at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Richmond against Greenfield-Central. The winner faces Connersville at 6 p.m. Friday, March 1, with the championship game slated for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 2. Pendleton Heights and Richmond face off in the other first-round game, with the winner of that contest facing Mt. Vernon.