The New Palestine boys basketball team started with a 10-point run and never looked back Thursday, beating Perry Meridian 63-42.
The Dragons opened the game with a 10-0 run. Perry Meridian never cut the lead closer than six the rest of the way. NP finished the first quarter with a 6-0 run to go up 18-6, then took a 28-17 lead into halftime. A big third quarter extended the lead to 41-25.
Maximus Gizzi tallied 28 points to lead the Dragons. Dawson Eastes added 17 points and 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season and the eighth of his career.
Gizzi scored nine first-quarter points to help stake the Dragons to the early lead. He scored seven straight in the 10-0 run. Dawson Eastes and Steele Brasfield added 3-pointers in the quarter to help push the edge to double-digits.
Eastes added two powerful drives in the second to hep the Dragons maintain their double-digit lead. In the third, Gizzi scored seven points and Eastes four as NP outscored its visitors 13-8, allowing only two field goals. Gizzi added 10 in the fourth to help the Dragons put the game away.
NP was strong defensively, holding Perry Meridian to just 13 field goals in the game. Jayden Taylor tallied 24 of the Falcons’ 42 points, but the defense provided by Eric Roudebush and others limited Taylor until late in the game, when he scored 12 fourth-quarter points to try to keep the Falcons close. The remaining Falcons scored 18, with none scoring more than six.
In addition to the two double-figure scorers, the Dragons had contributions from throughout the lineup. Blaine Nunnally scored six points. Roudebush tallied four. Steele Brasfield hit a big early 3-pointer. Matthew Brown tallied three points and played solid defense inside. Logan Hovis scored two.
NP’s career scoring leader, Gizzi pushed his career total to 1,462 with his 17th consecutive 20-point game.
While the Dragons were playing a non-conference game, they moved into sole possession of first place in the HHC Thursday, as Yorktown defeated Pendleton Heights 56-42. PH and NP entered the evening tied for the conference lead. NP (4-1 HHC) now leads PH (4-2) by a half-game, and Shelbyville and New Castle (3-2) by a game each.
The Dragons are now 9-10 on the season, having won seven of their last nine. They next play Feb. 14 against Shelbyville.
The Dragon JV lost 48-45 in overtime. The NP freshmen won 29-25.