Boys Varsity Basketball · Eastes’ 31-point night leads boys basketball victory

Dawson Eastes scored a career-high 31 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, to lead the New Palestine basketball team to a 76-61 victory over Pendleton Heights.

Maximus Gizzi is presented a gameball by Tom Giles (second from right), recognizing Gizzi becoming the NPHS career scoring leader. Gizzi now has 1,310 career points.

The victory improved the Dragons’ record to 3-1 in the Hoosier Heritage Conference.

NP trailed 24-17 after a quarter due to a hot start by the Arabians, but NP clawed back. Eastes gave the Dragons the lead at 31-30 with a driving shot late in the second quarter. NP outscored the Arabians 18-7 in the second quarter to take a 35-31 halftime edge.

An 8-0 run pushed the lead to 53-43 in the third, as Eastes and Maximus Gizzi hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Steele Brasfield hit a shot. Gizzi opened the frame with two 3-pointers and closed it with a driving shot at the horn to put NP up 55-47. Gizzi scored 13 of his 24 points in the third quarter.

In the fourth, the Dragons maintained the lead with Eastes sandwiching a basket and a three-point play around a 3-pointer by Brasfield, followed by a basket by Maurice McGee. PH answered each, but another hoop by Eastes, followed by a three-point play and a basket, pushed the edge to 70-56 and the Dragons were on their way to a victory.

Eastes’ previous career high had been 29 points, set during the 2018-19 season against Westfield. It was his second straight 25-plus point game at home. Gizzi added 24 points, his 11th consecutive 20-point game. He now has 1,310 career points, extending his school record. Gizzi was recognized before the game for breaking Tom Giles’ record of 1,285 points, which had stood since 1979. Gizzi also broke the NP steals and assists records in the contest.

Eric Roudebush added 10 points. Brasfield scored seven, including five in the final quarter. McGee and Blaine Nunnally scored two each.

Winners in two of their last three, Dragons (4-9) return home Saturday to face Mooresville.