Girls Varsity Basketball · Girls basketball downs Anderson for sectional title

Saturday night turned out to be a coronation for the New Palestine girls basketball team, as the Dragons seized control in the second half to beat Anderson 64-53 and win the Richmond sectional title.

The 2020 sectional champion New Palestine Dragons.

The victory marked the second sectional title in three years for the Dragons, and their sixth overall.

The Dragons (18-7) advance to next Saturday’s Decatur Central regional, where they will face Brownsburg in the 11:30 a.m. semifinal. Ben Davis will face Lawrence North in the first semifinal.

NP took an early five-point lead, with Michaela Jones scoring seven first-quarter points, but Anderson responded with a 12-2 run to go up 20-15. A big 3-pointer by Grace Marshall helped spark an 11-3 half-ending run that gave the Dragons a 28-25 halftime lead.

The third quarter saw Anderson’s Tyra Ford try to take over the game, as she led the Indians on a 6-0 run to start the quarter and re-take the lead 31-28. But the Dragons again responded, with Jordan Reid’s offense and solid team defense forcing turnovers and transition baskets. Reid scored 11 of her game-high 24 points in the third quarter, helping NP finish the frame with a 21-7 spurt to push the lead to double-digits, 49-38, after three.

In the fourth, the Dragons opened with a 7-2 run to go up 56-40, with Michaela Jones’ 3-pointer being an early dagger. Anderson rallied to close the lead to nine, but Reid and Isabella Gizzi hit four consecutive free throws and Gizzi a driving layup to answer the Indians’ run, put the game away and launch a long celebration at the Tiernan Center.

The Dragons advanced to the title game with two big wins over Hoosier Heritage Conference vials – 41-32 over Mt. Vernon and 58-50 over Pendleton Heights – before claiming the championship.

Reid finished with 24 points, including 18 in the second half, to lead three Dragons in double figures. Michaela Jones added 14 and Isabella Gizzi 10 – including eight in the second half. Marshall and Faith Hensel scored five each. Addi Jones tallied four. Anna Ackerman scored two.