Daily Reporter staff report
NEW PALESTINE — Coming off a tough two-point loss to Southport this past weekend, the New Palestine girls basketball team was looking to turn the page.
On Tuesday night, the Dragons only needed eight minutes on their home floor.
Jumping out to a 14-2 lead after the first quarter, New Palestine never looked back, cruising to a 52-20 victory against Franklin Central to halt their losing streak at two games.
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New Palestine opened the season at home Nov. 5 with a decisive 54-10 win against Connersville. In their next two road games, however, the Dragons lost by a combined eight points, including a 48-42 loss to Greenwood on Nov. 10.
Back at home, coach Brian Kehrt’s squad shot 53 percent from the field and 47 percent in the first half to build a 30-10 lead by halftime.
The team’s offensive efficiency spike in the second half at 63 percent as the Dragons pulled ahead 44-14 at the end of the third quarter.
Raegan McMurray paced the team with a season-high 16 points on 4 of 6 shooting and 8 of 9 from the foul line. She also had five rebounds.
Haley Stratman had 13 points and Natalie Kehrt chipped in eight points with four rebounds and a blocked shot.
Katie Herron provided five rebounds and two assists with two points.
New Palestine outworked Franklin Central on the glass, winning the rebound battle 31-18.
The Dragons improved to 2-2 on the year and host Scecinam on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. opening tip.
Mt. Vernon at Lawrence Central, 7:30 p.m.
New Pal swimmers take second
The New Palestine girls swim team opened the 2015-16 season with a runner-up finish in a three-way meet at home on Tuesday.
The Dragons scored 111 points. Roncalli won the event with 131 points. Greenwood was third at 84.
Courtnee Coffman won the 100-yard freestyle for the Dragons. The 200 freestyle relay team of Kenzie Wells, Coffman, Leah Bare and Anna Doolin were also victorious.
Coffman added a runner-up placement in the 50 free.
Shannon Jones was second in diving and Kara Mustard was runner-up in the 100 butterfly. Mustard was third in the 200 IM with her second-best time and was one second off her sectional time in the 100 butterfly.
Faith Stirm was third in the 200 and 500 free.
“This meet was a great starting point for us,” New Palestine head coach Steve Maxwell commented. “The ladies pushed themselves and many of our swims were close to our rested sectional times from last year.”
The team travels to Pendleton Heights for a three-way meet with Rushville on Monday.