The New Palestine boys basketball team posted its best defensive game in more than two years Friday, sending off its senior class with a 47-34 victory over Greenwood.
The game featured the fewest points allowed for a Dragon team since allowing 32 in a victory over Yorktown Jan. 27, 2017.
Matthew True gave the Dragons an early lead with back-to-back 3-pointers and finished with 20 points. The Dragons led wire-to-wire, building a lead to nine in the second quarter and 16 in the third.
True and Romine each hit 3-pointers in the opening minutes to stake the Dragons to leads of 6-0 and 9-4. NP led 10-8 after a quarter, but started the second on a 7-0 run, with Dawson Eastes hitting a 3-pointer. True and Maximus Gizzi each hit baskets in the spurt, which gave NP a 17-8 lead. Eric Roudebush added two more hoops to push the edge to 21-14 at the break.
After NP surrendered the first basket of the second half, the Dragons responded with seven straight points – Gizzi scoring five and True with two – to push the lead to 28-16. It grew as high as 16 after Maxen Hook had back-to-back layups, followed by a fast-break layup by True.
NP led 38-25 going into the final period. Greenwood cut the lead to single digits before a 3-pointer by True out of the left corner pushed the edge to 41-29. Greenwood scored the next five points to cut the lead to 41-34, but a basket by Romine and a handful of steals answered that. NP put the game away at the line.
In addition to True’s 20 points, Gizzi scored eight. Hook and Romine tallied five each. Roudebush had four. Eastes tallied three and Jack Walker two.
It was the final home game for True, Romine, Walker, Luke Ramsey, Jacob Hockett and Justin Rightley. They finished their senior season with a 14-8 regular-season record and a 6-1 conference mark. It marks the Dragons’ second straight winning season – the first back-to-back winning seasons since 2012-13 – and second straight runner-up HHC finish.
True moved into ninth place on the NPHS all-time scoring list with 925 points, passing Royce McDougall (917 points from 1964-67). Gizzi added to his total and now has 935 points and is in eighth place. He needs 65 points to catch Ray Hobbs in seventh.
The Dragons open sectional play at 6 p.m. Tuesday against Greenfield-Central in Richmond’s Tiernan Center. New Pal Radio will broadcast all tournament games.
The Dragon JV fell 50-45.