The New Palestine basketball teams are back in action this weekend, with the girls wrapping up HHC play Friday against Pendleton Heights, while the boys kick off a four-game homestand.
Action begins at 6 p.m. Friday night, when the Dragon girls and PH tip off a doubleheader. The NP boys game against the Arabians will follow. The game will be Coaches vs. Cancer night, with both schools teaming up to raise money for the American Cancer Society, recognize survivors and those fighting cancer. T-shirts and bracelets will be on sale. Fans can also participate in a basket raffle.
Also during Friday’s girls game, NPHS will honor the 1990 girls basketball sectional championship team, the first sectional title team in the program’s history. Prior to the boys game, Maximus Gizzi will be honored for becoming New Palestine’s career scoring leader with 1,286 points.
GIRLS: Pendleton Hts. Arabians (8-8, 4-2) at New Palestine Dragons (12-6, 5-1)
BOYS: Pendleton Hts. Arabians (5-6, 1-0) at New Palestine Dragons (3-9, 2-1)
- Site: NPHS
- Time: Girls 6 p.m. / Boys 7:30 p.m.
- Admission: $5
- Promotions: Coaches vs. Cancer night (bracelet & T-shirt sales, basket raffle) & 1990 girls basketball sectional championship team reunion.
BOYS: Mooresville Pioneers (8-4) at New Palestine Dragons (3-9)
- Site: NPHS
- Time: JV/F 6 p.m. / V 7:30 p.m.
- Admission: $5
SETTING THE SCENE
The Dragons begin the second half of the season with a home double weekend, beginning with Coaches vs. Cancer night Friday against Pendleton Heights. The Dragons enter the weekend with a 2-1 HHC mark, including 2-0 at home. PH was runner-up in the Madison County Tournament last weekend.
PH leads the all-time series 21-12, but the Dragons won last year’s meeting 71-65 at Pendleton Heights.
The Dragons and Pioneers resume their series, which has been marked by close games. Last year, the Dragons won a 61-54 overtime decision at Mooresville’s Curry Center. Mooresville leads the all-time series 12-9, but NP has won three consecutive meetings.
This will be a double weekend for both teams. Mooresville hosts Columbus North Friday.
Senior guard Maximus Gizzi broke one of the longest-standing records in NPHS history Saturday when he scored his 1,286th career point to become the Dragons’ career scoring leader. Gizzi tallied 25 points in each of last weekend’s games against Delta and Southport, including 22-24 from the line. He broke Tom Giles’ school record of 1,285 points, which had stood since 1979. Gizzi has tallied 20 or more points in 10 consecutive games, with his high being 31 in the Jan. 4 game at Shenandoah.
Gizzi tied another school record last Saturday with three steals against Southport, giving him 102 for his career. That equals the mark set by Ryan Curry in 2015. Gizzi has 327 career assists, needing one to equal Mitch Miggenburg’s school record set in 1995.
The Dragons had a complete team victory in beating then-3A No. 5 Delta 73-65 Friday night. Gizzi tallied 25 points, while Dawson Eastes recorded his sixth career double-double with a season-high 25 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Eric Roudebush tallied 15 points, one shy of his career high, and eight boards. Freshman guard Blaine Nunnally tied his career high with six assists. Eastes also had 10 points in Saturday’s contest at Southport, which the Dragons led by 10 points early and held the lead through halftime.
According to the Sagarin computer rankings, NP has played the 23rd-toughest schedule in the state to date.
SCOUTING THE ARABIANS
PH enters the weekend having won three of its last five, including two wins in the Madison County Tournament last week. PH beat Anderson Prep 92-40 and Lapel 66-55 before falling to Alexandria 47-44 in the title game. Sophomore Jamison Dunham (17.3 ppg) and junior Davrick Black (16.4 ppg, 3.8 apg) lead the Arabians’ outside game, while senior Tristan Ross (14.6 ppg, 11.7 rpg) averages a double-double.
SCOUTING THE PIONEERS
Mooresville enters the weekend having won six straight games, including wins over Gary 21st Century, Indianapolis Metropolitan and Lebanon to win the Lebanon tourney. The Pioneers then beat Greenfield-Central and Franklin to open 2020, most recently a 60-50 victory over Franklin Jan. 11.
The Pioneers have three double-figure scorers – senior Ty Wright (16.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg), junior Miles McGowen (13.7 ppg, 8.9 rpg) and junior Luke Fowler (10.6 ppg, 3.3 apg).