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BBB: Frontline leads Dragons to win over Westfield

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

New Palestine center Seth Cox entered the weekend having strung together six solid quarters, according to NP coach Adam Barton.

Make it 10.

Cox scored a career-high 16 points, leading a potent inside game offensively, and was key defensively for the Dragons in a 54-39 victory over the Westfield Shamrocks Friday at NP.

Cox, the Dragons’ 7-foot senior center, hit 7-of-11 shots from the floor and grabbed five boards, while frontcourt running mate  Connor Roach had six points and team-highs with six boards and four assists in NP’s fourth straight victory.

It didn’t take long for the Dragons to find the inside game – on the first possession, a pass from Brandon Jonas in the corner found Roach for a quick inside basket. Roach and Cox combined for 10 points in a back-and-forth first quarter that NP finished with a 15-14 lead.

After Westfield’s Spencer Tebbe drilled a 3-pointer to put the Shamrocks up two on the second quarter’s first possession, NP answered with a 10-point run and would never trail from there.

NP built a 27-21 halftime lead, but pounded the ball inside to put the game away quickly in the third. At the start of the quarter, the Dragons went to Cox on the right block three straight times. He scored all three, quickly pushing the lead to 12. The run would end up being a 12-2 spurt and put the Dragons up 16. Westfield would close no closer than nine the rest of the way.

As a result, the Dragons didn’t need to rely on their usually-potent outside game, as they attempted only eight 3-pointers against Westfield’s aggressive 2-3 zone. Ryan Curry, who finished the night with a game-high 17 points, hit one 3-pointer, but found driving lanes to shoot 6-of-8 from the line and hit several inside shots.

NP’s defense held Westfield to 31 percent shooting, and the Shamrocks were often one-and-done on the offensive end, with the Dragons holding a 30-21 rebounding edge. Samson Haynes, the Dragons’ senior point guard, also had six boards and three assists.

The Dragons conclude what has been a strong 2013 with a game at Franklin Central on Saturday. JV tipoff is 6:30 p.m., with varsity tipoff at 8 p.m. The game will be broadcast by HancockCountySports.com.


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