Basketball (Boys V) New Palestine High School

Boys basketball surges past Shelbyville

By Andrew Smith | Feb 9, 2024 10:02 PM

The New Palestine boys basketball team surged to a lead in the final minutes of the first half, then pushed it to double digits in the third quarter Friday en route to a 72-52 victory over Shelbyville. The teams played a tight first quarter. The Dragons showed solid balance, with five different players scoring as the teams were tied at 11-11 after eight minutes. In the second quarter, the Dragons surged into the lead, with Julius Gizzi scoring seven points. Shelbyville cut the Dragons' lead to 28-25 in the late stages of the third quarter, but a free throw by Ben Slagley, a transition basket by Austin McMahan off a block-to-block feed from Moses Haynes, and a 3-pointer by Brady Armstrong just ahead of the buzzer pushed the edge to 34-25 at the break. Haynes was fouled on a 3-poiner in the opening minute of the third and hit all three free throws to push the lead to double digits. Armstrong and Darrah each hit triples as the Dragons maintained a double-digit lead at 54-43. Gizzi added five points on a three-point play and two free throws. The Dragons put the game away in the fourth, as Gizzi hit 8-of-8 from the line and scored 12 points, while Slagley added four as NP outscored Shelbyville 20-9 in the final frame. Gizzi finished the night with 26 points, moving to within 14 points of setting the Dragons' single-season record of 608. Slagley tallied 11 for his second straight double-figure game. Darrah scored nine points off the bench, hitting three of the Dragons' seven 3-pointers. Haynes tallied eight points. Armstrong hit two 3-pointers for six points. McMahan also scored six. Keagan Harrison added four and Alex Guhl two. Caden Claxton led Shelbyville with 14 points, while Mar Nicholson added 13. The 18th-ranked Dragons (16-4, 5-1 HHC) are next in action Saturday at home against Connersville.