Basketball (Boys V) New Palestine High School

Boys basketball falls in regional

By Andrew Smith | Mar 10, 2024 1:24 AM


The No. 15 New Palestine boys basketball team battled Saturday, but dropped a 70-59 decision to No. 10 Ben Davis in Saturday's Class 4A Southport regional. Julius Gizzi scored 31 points to lead the Dragons, while Moses Haynes added 17. The game was close throughout until BD used a late run to surge ahead by double digits. Gizzi scored seven first-quarter points and Haynes hit a late 3-pointer - the first of his five triples on the day - to draw the Dragons into a 12-all tie after one. In the second, Gizzi hit a quick 3-pointer to put NP up 15-14, but BD followed with a run that gave the Giants a 26-19 edge, hitting three 3-pointers in the surge. Haynes hit two 3-pointers to bookend a 10-2 run that gave the Dragons a 29-28 advantage, their last lead of the game. But BD's K.J. Windham hit a 3-pointer and Mark Zackery had a steal-and-score in the final 10 seconds to re-take the lead for the Giants. Zackery was called for a technical for hanging on the rim, allowing Gizzi two free throws, which he hit, to cut the deficit to two. On the ensuing inbounds play, Ben Slagley took a shot at the buzzer that was blocked off the backboard. The Dragons argued for a goaltending call to no avail. In the third quarter, the Giants' lead vacillated between two and four points early in the frame. BD went up 42-36 late in the quarter, but Gizzi scored six straight points - four from the line - to knot the game up at 42-all. Zackery scored late in the quarter for the Giants, which turned out to give them a 44-42 lead they'd never relinquish. It launched a 13-1 run in a seven-possession span bridging the quarter that put BD up 55-43. Zackery led the run, either scoring on drives or dishing to teammates for inside shots. Gizzi hit a shot and Haynes hit a 3-pointer to draw the Dragons within single digits at 55-48. BD kept scoring, but the Dragons kept answering. Another 3-pointer by Haynes cut the deficit to 57-51, and a three-point play by Gizzi made it 60-56 with three minutes left. But the Dragons' attack went dry from there, as they were outscored 10-1 down the stretch to allow BD to re-take a double-digit lead before a late hoop by Keagan Harrison. In addition to the two double-figure scorers, Slagley scored five points, while Brady Armstrong, Harrison and Austin McMahan scored two each. Zackery led Ben Davis with 20 points, while Mark White scored 16 and Ramone Enis 11. Zackery and White scored seven each in the fourth quarter, while Enis tallied 10 in the second half, many off dishes from Zackery. K.J. Windham, BD's leading scorer on the season and a Northwestern commit, was held to five points thanks to tenacious defense from McMahan. The Dragons finish the season with a 22-6 record and the 11th sectional title in school history.