A late-game rally by the New Palestine boys basketball team fell just short Friday as the Dragons fell 52-51 at Delta.
The Dragons moved to 5-3 on the season and 2-1 in HHC play.
The Dragons trailed 44-36 headed to the fourth quarter, but led by guard Blaine Nunnally, battled back to take a 49-48 lead. Nunnally scored the Dragons’ first four points of the frame. After a basket by Steele Brasfield, he then drilled a 3-pointer to draw the Dragons to a one-point deficit at 46-45. Delta answered with a basket, but the Dragons’ Damon Hockett drilled two free throws and Matt Brown followed with a hoop to give NP a 49-48 edge.
The Eagles’ Brady Hunt hit four free throws, sandwiched around a pair of free tosses by Hockett, to retake the lead. NP had one final possession in the closing seconds to win, but the shot fell off.
Nunnally led the Dragons with 17 points, scoring seven in the fourth quarter. Brasfield tallied 15 points.
NP spent much of the day trying to claw back from an early deficit, as Delta led 15-9 after a quarter and pushed the lead to 26-12 early in the second, before an 11-0 Dragon run drew NP within three at halftime. Eli Stephens and Kyle Bastian drilled back-to-back 3-pointers in that second-quarter spurt. Nunnally scored four points in the run. Delta used an 18-13 third quarter to push the lead back to eight before the Dragons’ late rally.
In addition to the two double-figure scorers, C.J. Oliver scored five points. Brown and Hockett tallied four each. Stephens and Bastian scored three each.
Delta was led by Brady Hunt, who scored 24 points.
The Dragons return home Saturday to face Southport. The JV game tips at 6 p.m., followed by a 7:30 p.m. varsity tipoff.