GBB: Balanced Dragons beat Shelbyville
December 11, 2013By Andrew Smith of New Palestine High School
The Dragons used a balanced attack and a strong effort on the glass to beat Shelbyville 40-31 Tuesday at NPHS.
New Palestine took the lead for good early in the second quarter and pulled away to leads as large as 14, at 40-26 late in the fourth quarter.
It was the Dragons' second straight victory, and put them to 4-3 overall and 2-0 in the HHC. The four wins eclipses last year's win total. It marked the first back-to-back wins for the Dragons since Jan. 28-Feb. 7, 2012.
The Dragons got solid balance, led by Gia Nitschke's nine points and four assists. Haley Stratman just missed a double-double, with eight points and 11 rebounds. Emma Laughlin also had eight points and three steals. Raegan McMurray had six points and eight boards, as well as two blocks. Carly Hackler had four points, two assists and five rebounds. Katlyn Keele had four points and four assists.
A basket by Nitschke, followed by back-to-back 3-pointers by Nitschke and Stratman turned an early 11-8 deficit into a 16-13 lead in a three-possession span. Shelbyville answered with a three, but Keele, Stratman and Laughlin each scored to extend the run to 15-5 and give the Dragons a five-point lead late in the half.
The lead was never closer than four the rest of the way, as NP held Shelbyville to four third-quarter points. The Dragon defense held Shelbyville to 25 percent shooting -- the second straight game where they held a foe to 25 percent or less.
Riley Achenbach led Shelbyville with 15 points.
NP dominated the glass, outrebounding Shelbyville 41-27.
The Dragon JV rallied from a nine-point deficit to win 24-22.
The Dragons' next varsity game will be at 6 p.m. Friday against Greenfield-Central in the first half of a boys/girls doubleheader. It will be Coaches vs. Cancer night. The Dragons will be wearing pink uniforms to help show support for cancer research. The game will be broadcast by HancockCountySports.com.