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New Palestine weekend sports wrap: Boys hoops splits weekend

January 21, 2013
By Andrew Smith of New Palestine High School

Boys basketball

Saturday: New Palestine 53, Whiteland 50: The Dragons pulled out a victory in a tight second half to improve to 10-4 on the season.

NP used a big 14-0 run in the first quarter to take a 16-4 lead after eight minutes, then boosted it as high as 14 later in the period before Whiteland chopped it to 29-19 at the half. But a 13-0 Whiteland run gave the Warriors a 32-31 edge, and the lead repeatedly changed hands from that point forward.

Michael Morris had a strong night for the Dragons, with 19 points, six rebounds and four assists. He was 7-of-8 from the line, hitting several down the stretch in the fourth quarter as the Dragons were trying to keep Whiteland at bay. Seth Cox had his first career double-figure game, hitting all six of his shots for 12 points. Brandon Jonas gave the Dragons a solid start with nine early points to go along with six rebounds. Solomon Haynes scored four points -- but they were key fourth-quarter baskets, the last of which gave the Dragons the lead for good at 46-44. He also had five assists and four steals. Connor Roach had six rebounds.

Morris' back-to-back 3-pointers keyed the 14-point first-quarter run, giving NP a 12-4 edge. But down the stretch, a running shot by Solomon Haynes broke a 44-all tie. After the Dragons forced a stop, Morris was fouled and drained two free throws inside the final 90 seconds to make it a 48-44 game -- the biggest the lead would be for either team in the game's final 14 minutes. Whiteland used its shooting to cut the deficit to one -- and had a shot to tie at the end, after John Hubler missed a free throw, but had the rebound tipped out to him for an open look at the horn that went slightly long.

Austin Fruits had 14 points and four assists for Whiteland. Kyle Alford had 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Dejan Davis had 10 points and nine rebounds.

NP clinched its fourth straight season with double-digit victories. The Dragons next play Friday at home against Yorktown in a game broadcast at ihigh.com/newpaldragons. Whiteland is now 5-9.

New Palestine also raised more than $2,500 in the Coaches vs. Cancer fundraiser Saturday night. The money will be donated to the American Cancer Society, Indiana Blood Center and to NPHS graduate Liza Angelicchio to help with her battle against leukemia.

Friday: Roncalli 51, New Palestine 42: Roncalli scored the game's last 12 points to knock off the Dragons and snap NP's three-game winning streak.

Michael Morris had 19 points for NP, hitting 7-of-15 from the floor. He added three assists three rebounds, as NP outboarded Roncalli 24-20. Morris scored 12 in the second half. Seth Cox had a career-high eight points on 4-of-5 shooting, to go along with four rebounds. Connor Roach had a team-high eight boards for NP, while Samson Haynes had four assists.

Cameron Smock led three Roncalli players in double-figures with 18 points, including 8-of-9 from the floor. He also had six rebounds. Michael Clements scored 12 points.

The two teams shot similarly from the floor, but Roncalli was 11-of-14 from the line, while NP was 1-of-4 from the stripe.

Girls basketball

Rushville 65, New Palestine 38: The Dragons had a strong second and third quarter, but dropped a Hoosier Heritage Conference game at home.

NP trailed 16-3 after a quarter, but played largely even with the Lions for most of the next two quarters. Rushville led 30-16 at the half and 47-31 in the late stages of the third quarter.

Natalie Kehrt led the Dragons with a career-high 12 points, hitting both of her field-goal attempts and 7-of-10 from the line. She also had two rebounds, two assists and two steals. Haley Stratman added nine points and three boards. Emma Laughlin had eight points and two steals for NP. Katlyn Keele and Carly Hackler each had four rebounds.

Mackenzie Campbell led three Lions in double figures with 21 points. Sarah Cook had 13. Rushville shot 54 percent from the floor (19-of-35) and 23-of-31 from the line. NP was 10-of-28 from the floor and 14-of-20 from the stripe.

Rushville improved to 14-2 on the season and finishes its final HHC campaign with a 6-1 conference mark. NP is now 3-14 on the year and 1-5 in the HHC.

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