In an attempt to keep his team sharp and focused with the season coming to a close, New Palestine head coach Brian Kehrt started Tuesday’s game against Indian Creek with his all-defensive lineup.
The only problem? The Dragons struggled to score themselves — until the second half.
Leading by five at halftime, New Palestine upped its defensive effort and moved its feet much better in the third quarter, completing an early 13-4 run. Outscoring the visitors 17-8 in that pivotal quarter, New Palestine went on to a 55-32 win.
Senior guard Raegan McMurray was her usual self, leading the Dragons with 19 points and 15 rebounds as the team improved to 12-5 this season. And when she gets to the foul line, good things happen for New Palestine. McMurray finished 13 of 15 from the charity stripe against the Braves (8-11).
Indian Creek was led in scoring by junior guard Addie Rund, who finished with 12 points.
“(Indian Creek) is a basketball team that has some quickness,” Kehrt said. “I was disappointed in the first half, but we still held a lead. (Indian Creek) is young and is going to be good.”
A 3 by sophomore guard Haley Harrison, who finished with eight points, gave New Palestine a commanding 42-26 lead with just over six minutes to play in the fourth quarter. The Dragons had led 37-23 at the end of three.
Senior forward Madelyn Gary contributed seven points for Indian Creek in the loss. She had five points after halftime and led the team with six rebounds.
For the game, the Braves finished just 10 for 28 from the field and 10 of 21 from the foul line.
The Dragons also held the Braves to seven points in the first quarter to go along with five turnovers. Sophomore forward Katie Herron was all over the offensive glass and contributed four points and five rebounds in the quarter as the Dragons led 14-7.
Indian Creek, which entered the game having won six of its last nine contests after a 2-7 start, received seven points from Rund in the opening half.