The New Palestine girls basketball team bridged halftime with a big run to seize the lead, then held off a late comeback to beat Franklin Central 55-50 Tuesday at NPHS.
The Dragons trailed 28-20 in the second quarter, but then switched defenses into a zone. They scored the last six points before halftime and extended the run to 17-1 in the third quarter, turning that eight-point deficit into a 37-29 lead.
FC cut the lead to six on a couple of occasions, but NP began to push the lead to double-digits, with Michaela Jones’ 3-pointer pushing the lead to 44-35. Jordan Reid followed with a steal-and-score to extend the edge to 49-37, before a furious rally by Franklin Central led to 11 straight points, cutting the lead to 49-48 with 23 seconds left. FC hit two 3-pointers and had a three-point possession in that span.
Isabella Gizzi drew a foul and hit both ends of a one-and-bonus to push the lead to three. FC hit a driving layup to cut the edge to one in the final 10 seconds, but Gizzi drew an intentional foul. She hit four more free throws in the closing seconds to seal the victory.
Gizzi was 13-14 from the line and scored 17 points. She was 6-6 in the fourth quarter and scored eight points. Reid led all scorers with 22 points, including eight in the third-quarter run. She hit 8-16 from the floor and 6-7 from the line. Michaela Jones added 10 points, including two big 3-pointers. Addi Jones scored four and Grace Marshall two.
Rachel Loobie tallied 20 points to lead FC.
The Dragons JV won 38-25.
The Dragon varsity is now 3-1 on the season, and next plays Saturday at home against Lawrence North. The JV game tips at noon, followed by the varsity at 1:30 p.m.