The New Palestine boys basketball team dropped a 53-41 decision Saturday at Connersville to cap the weekend.
The Dragons moved to 12-7 on the season with the loss to the Spartans, who are also 12-7.
The teams traded the lead several times in the opening half, with Blaine Nunnally’s five first-quarter points and a 3-pointer by Ian Stephens helping the Dragons build a 12-11 lead after eight minutes. Steele Brasfield’s early 3-pointer gave NP a 15-13 lead in the second, but Connersville answered. Matthew Brown scored two baskets later in the frame to forge a 19-all tie at halftime.
Brown scored the first three points of the second half – all from the line – to give NP a 22-19 lead in the third quarter, but Connersville guard Tobey Billups led a run that allowed the Spartans to take a 34-28 lead after three. He scored eight of his game-high 20 points in the frame. After the Spartans pushed the lead to double digits early in the fourth, the Dragons fought back to cut the deficit to 41-35 on baskets by Nunnally and Eli Stephens. NP had opportunities to cut the deficit further but struggled from the foul line in the frame. Connersville responded with back-to-back baskets to push its lead back to 10.
Nunnally led the Dragons with 14 points. Brown scored nine. Brasfield tallied seven points. Eli Stephens scored four, Ian Stephens three and Kyle Bastian and C.J. Oliver two each.
The Dragons are next in action Friday at home against Mt. Vernon.
The Dragon JV won 48-42.