Basketball (Boys V) New Palestine High School

Another chip on the wall: Boys basketball downs G-C for sectional title

By Andrew Smith | Mar 2, 2024 9:35 PM


The New Palestine boys basketball team took the lead in the second quarter and controlled the game from there Saturday night, beating No. 6 Greenfield-Central 60-48 to win the 11th sectional championship in school history. The title was the Dragons' second consecutive and fourth in six years. The 15th-ranked Dragons (22-5) advance to face No. 10 Ben Davis in next week's regional. Julius Gizzi scored 21 of his game-high 31 points in the second half, helping the Dragons stave off multiple G-C rallies. He eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his career and now has 1,018 for his career. Ben Slagley added 10 points. The teams played a back-and-forth first quarter, with Brady Armstrong getting the Dragons going with an early 3-pointer. Gizzi added another to help the Dragons take an early 11-6 lead, but G-C finished the quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 13-11 lead on a 3-pointer by Dallas Freeman at the buzzer. After a basket by Slagley opened the second quarter, G-C responded with a 3-pointer by Braden Robertson to take a 16-13 edge. But the Dragons quickly responded with an 11-0 run. Evan Darrah hit a 3-pointer to tie the game, then a three-point play on the next trip to put the Dragons on top. Gizzi then hit a 3-pointer and a basket to cap the 11-point run and put the Dragons on top 24-16. After a G-C basket, Gizzi scored to give the Dragons a 26-18 lead at the break. In the third, Gizzi scored quickly to put the Dragons up by 10, but G-C responded, hitting three 3-pointers in the frame to cut the lead to four on multiple occasions. Each time, the Dragons responded, as Slagley had a three-point play and Gizzi scored eight points in the frame. He hit two free throws with seven seconds left to push the lead to eight, but Braylon Mullins hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for G-C, giving NP a 39-34 lead going into the fourth. Austin McMahan extended the lead to six early in the fourth, but G-C responded with a 3-pointer by Robertson to cut the lead to 40-37. But the Dragons went to work, as Gizzi scored a three-point play to push the lead to 43-37. Again. G-C hit a 3-pointer - this time by Brady Johnson - to cut the lead to three, but the Dragons found Gizzi open under the basket for a layup. Slagley added a basket and Gizzi three free throws to push the lead to 50-44. On one possession, Slagley was fouled and hit one free throw. G-C was called for a technical foul and Gizzi hit the ensuing two free throws to push the lead to 10. From there, the Dragons put the game away at the line. In addition to the two double-figure scorers, both Darrah and McMahan scored six. McMahan also played incredible defense on G-C's top scorers. Moses Haynes scored four points and Armstrong three. Freeman led G-C with 15 points, while Robertson scored 12. Mullins tallied nine.