In a matchup of conference champions to close the regular season, the Hoosier Heritage Conference champs prevailed.
Visiting New Palestine used a 23-point fourth quarter to pull away to a 57-38 victory over Mid-State Conference co-champ Greenwood Friday.
The Dragons led 34-28 going into the final quarter, but exploded in the fourth. Dawson Eastes and Maximus Gizzi hit back-to-back shots to help push the lead. Steele Brasfield then followed with a hoop before Gizzi and Blaine Nunnally hit six straight free throws.
Gizzi was 9-11 from the line – all in the fourth quarter – to help seal the game. As a team, the Dragons were 13-17 from the stripe in the fourth quarter and 17-22 in the game.
Steele Brasfield hit a pair of 3-pointers and Matthew Brown two baskets each to give NP a 10-9 lead after one. After Greenwood scored the first basket of the second, Gizzi drained a 3-pointer to give the Dragons a 13-11 edge and launch a 13-3 run that pushed the lead to 22-16. Gizzi scored seven points in the quarter, while Eric Roudebush drilled a 3-pointer. In the third, NP used an early run to push the lead to double-digits at 30-20 before Greenwood cut the lead to 34-28 going into the fourth. Brown hit a pair of shots in the period, while Gizzi hit a late basket and Nunnally two free throws to extend the lead to six.
Gizzi finished the night with 20 points – his 20th 20-point game of the regular season. He now has 1,578 career points. Brasfield added 13 points, including five in the fourth quarter. Brown scored eight, Nunnally six – all from the line – Roudebush five and Eastes four. All of Eastes’ points came in the final quarter. Logan Hovis added one point.
The Dragons finish the regular season with a 12-12 record. They open sectional play at 6 p.m. March 6 at the Muncie Fieldhouse against either Anderson or Mt. Vernon.