The New Palestine girls basketball team used a big second-quarter run to seize the lead and then kept Pendleton Heights at arm’s length throughout the second half en route to a 58-50 victory.
The Dragons (16-7) advance to face Anderson (15-10) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the sectional final at the Tiernan Center in Richmond.
The Dragons will be playing in their third consecutive sectional championship game, seeking their second sectional title in three years and sixth overall.
NP fell behind 23-14 in the second quarter after a 17-4 PH run, but the Dragons finished the half with 15 consecutive points to take a 29-23 edge at the break. The Dragons had strong balance in the run, with Michaela Jones scoring six points, Isabella Gizzi five and Faith Hensel four.
NP then took a 39-33 lead after three, and continued to hold the Arabians at bay in the fourth. PH closed the lead to 46-43 and 50-46 in the closing minutes, but the Dragons were strong from the line. Gizzi was 10-10 from the stripe in the fourth quarter, in which she scored 12 of her game-high 21 points. NP was 15-of-20 from the line in the final quarter.
Gizzi led the way with 21 points, including 17-18 from the line. Addi Jones added 10, including eight in the first half to help stake the Dragons to the lead. Hensel scored nine points. Jordan Reid scored six points, as did Michaela Jones and Grace Marshall.