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GBB: Dragons down #6 Triton Central

January 17, 2014
By Andrew Smith of New Palestine High School

The Dragons led nearly wire-to-wire and shot 73 percent in the second half to beat 2A No. 6 Triton Central 54-45 Thursday evening at NPHS.

It was the Dragons' first win against a ranked foe since defeating TC two years ago.

The Dragons hit 8-of-11 field goals in the second half and led by as many as 15 points. The Dragons hit 6-of-7 from the floor in the third quarter to build leads of 35-21 and 41-26.

NP opened the game with nine straight points, and only trailed for 28 seconds in the second quarter. Natalie Kehrt's free throw, baskets by Haley Stratman and Emma Laughlin, two steals each by Laughlin and Kehrt, and another hoop by Laughlin gave the Dragons that nine-point lead before the game was four minutes old. NP led 11-4 after the first quarter.

The Dragons had three players in double-figures -- Kehrt led the way with a career-high 14 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the foul line. She also had four steals, two assists and three rebounds. Katlyn Keele had a career-high 11 points, and added four rebounds. Raegan McMurray had her second straight double-figure game, hitting 4-of-5 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the line to score 11 points.

Laughlin added six points, two assists and three steals. Haley Stratman had five points and four rebounds. Carly Hackler had four points and a tea-high five boards, as well as two assists.

An eight-point run gave TC a 16-15 lead in the second, but Keele answered with a basket that put the Dragons up 17-16. Gia Nitschke's hoop and Keele's free throw put the Dragons up for good, and they led 22-17 at the half. Keele spurred a 13-4 run that opened the third quarter, scoring six points in the spurt and getting the Dragons started on a good note, putting them up 35-21.

TC opened the fourth quarter with a 15-2 spurt that cut the Dragon lead to 43-41. The Tigers had two chances to tie the game, but Natalie Kehrt was fouled on a 3-point shot and sank two free throws to restore a fou-point lead with 2:46 left. TC answered with a hoop, and had a 3-point shot attempt to take the lead hit the rim. Kehrt rebounded, and fed Laughlin for a driving hoop that restored the four-point lead. A steal by Kehrt led to two free throws by McMurray that made it 49-43, and the Dragons hit five free throws the rest of the way to salt away the game.

The Dragons shot 44 precent from the floor for the game (16-36), including 8-11 in the second half. They were 21-29 from the line. TC was led by 6-3 center Sarah Rogian, who had a double-double with 22 points and 12 boards, and guard Samantha Dewey, who had 16 points, six assists and six steals.

NP (6-8) travels to Whiteland for a Saturday matinee. The JV game tips at noon.

The Dragon JV fell to Triton Central, and is now 5-9 on the season.

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