The New Palestine boys basketball team built an early double-digit lead and held off a late rally by Southport to beat the visiting Cardinals 45-42.
The Dragons came out of the gate strong, building an 18-8 lead in the first quarter. Steele Brasfield drilled two 3-pointers and scored seven of his game-high 15 points in the opening frame. Blaine Nunnally added a pair of baskets and Matt Brown scored three points in the period.
Southport came storming back, as the Dragons were held to one second-quarter field goal – a 3-pointer by Ian Stephens. The Cardinals took a 25-23 halftime lead with a 3-pointer at the buzzer, capping a 17-5 second frame.
Blaine Nunnally scored four of the Dragons’ first seven points in the third quarter to tie the game at 30-all. Nunnally followed with a three-point play and Brasfield a basket to push the lead to 35-30. The pair hit two free throws each to push the edge to 39-35 going into the fourth. Nunnally tallied nine of his 14 points in the third quarter.
The Dragons were held without a field goal in the fourth quarter, but allowed the Cardinals just two field goals – both 3-pointers. Despite hitting 6-of-14 from the stripe in the final quarter, the Dragons were able to hold on to win, getting a late defensive stop.
NP scored six of its 11 field goals in the opening quarter and did much of its scoring after the opening frame from the free throw line, where the Dragons were 20-of-38.
In addition to Brasfield’s 15 points and Nunnally’s 14, Brown scored seven points for the Dragons. Ian Stephens scored three points. Damon Hockett and Kyle Bastian scored two points each. Eli Stephens and C.J. Oliver each scored one pont.
A.J. Dancler scored 13 points to lead Southport, which is now 0-6.
The Dragons improved to 6-3 on the season. They next play Jan. 15 at Pendleton Heights.
The Dragons also won the JV game 52-36.