The New Palestine boys basketball team dropped a 74-73 decision in overtime Saturday night at 2A No. 3 Shenandoah.
The Dragons’ Maximus Gizzi stole a pass on Shenandoah’s final possession of regulation to send the game to OT tied 65-65, but the host Raiders hit 7-of-10 from the line in the extra session. Dawson Eastes gave NP a 67-65 lead on its first possession of OT. The Raiders’ Kaden McCullough hit three free throws on the ensuing possession to give Shenandoah a 68-67 edge.
Shenandoah took two three-point leads, but each was answered by a driving shot by Maximus Gizzi. With 30 seconds left, NP fouled and Shenandoah hit one free throw to go up 73-71. Gizzi responded with a driving shot with 10 seconds left to tie the game, but Shenandoah inbounded and guard Jakeb Kinsey went coast-t0-coast and drew a foul with 4.6 seconds left. He hit one free throw to give his team the lead. Gizzi went coast-to-coast and got to the rim in traffic, drawing contact, but the shot fell off.
Gizzi scored 31 points to lead the Dragons, tying his career high. He tallied six in the fourth quarter – including a three-point play that tied the game at 65-65 in the final two minutes. He also had six points in OT.
The contest was a back-and-forth affair throughout. Shenandoah took a 29-19 lead with 10 consecutive points in four possessions midway through the second quarter. NP answered with an 11-point run led by Gizzi to take the lead, which was 35-33 going into halftime. Gizzi scored seven second-quarter points. Blaine Nunnally tallied a three-point play in the run. The teams continued to swap the lead throughout the contest, with the Dragons responding every time Shenandoah re-took the edge. Shenandoah led 52-48 after three, but the Dragons outscored their hosts 17-13 in the final quarter to send the game to OT.
In addition to Gizzi’s 31, Eastes added 14 points – including 10 after halftime. Matthew Brown scored eight points, as did Nunnally. Eric Roudebush and Steele Brasfield scored six each.
Kinsey led Shenandoah with 23 points. Andrew Bennett – the Raiders’ leading scorer on the season – scored 12 of his 16 after halftime.
The contest capped a stretch of eight consecutive games away from home in three weeks for the Dragons.
With 31 points, Gizzi now has 1,236 career points. He needs 49 points to tie Tom Giles for first on the NPHS career scoring list.
The Dragon JV fell 45-37.
The Dragons (2-8) are back in action Friday at home against Delta.