NEW PALESTINE — Leah Seib tied her career high with 20 points  Thursday night, and the New Palestine girls basketball team defeated Cardinal Ritter 56-52 on senior night.

The host Dragons honored senior player Emma Grable and their team managers before prevailing in a back-and-forth regular-season finale that included nine lead changes.

Grable scored the Dragons’ first four points. Megan Jolly and Katie Herron both contributed 12 points each. 

A seven-point run, fueled by consecutive buckets by Herron and a three-point play by Seib, put New Palestine ahead 35-30 in the third quarter.

Ritter took a 40-39 lead later in the frame behind a 6-0 run, but back-to-back baskets by Seib put the Dragons back in front 43-40 entering the fourth quarter.

Ritter cut the lead to 48-47 with 3:07 left in the game, but the Dragons never relinquished their lead. New Palestine converted 7 of 12 free throws in the final 1:30 to seal the game.

Seib shot 7 of 9 from the floor and was a perfect 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. She added five rebounds and three assists. 

Jolly was 4 of 8 from the field and dished out four assists with five rebounds. Herron was 5-for-7 from the floor and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

Grable and Haley Harrison each scored six points for the Dragons.

New Palestine finished the regular season 15-6, the team’s third straight 15-win season. They play at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the Class 4A Connersville Sectional quarterfinals against the host Spartans.

Marauders win finale

The Mt. Vernon girls basketball team snapped its two-game losing streak with a 53-40 victory at home Thursday night against Hoosier Heritage Conference foe Delta.

The win improved Mt. Vernon’s season record to 10-12 and cemented the team’s HHC record at 4-3, third-best in the conference behind runner-up New Palestine (5-2 HHC).

Royals fall to Titans

The Eastern Hancock girls basketball team ended the regular season with a tough 42-38 loss at Tri on Thursday night.

The visiting Royals (13-9) enter Class 2A Sectional 42 on Tuesday riding a two-game losing streak. Eastern Hancock has won three of its last five contests.

The Royals were deadlocked with the Titans 10-all after the first quarter, but a 14-point second quarter by Tri led to a 34-25 deficit entering the fourth for Eastern Hancock. 

The Royals outscored the Titans 13-8 in the final frame. Tri was led by Payton Moore with 16 points and 14 rebounds to fend off Eastern Hancock’s late rally.

Chloe O’Neal paced the Royals with 10 points. Bailey Allen added nine points, while Haley Best chipped in seven. Allen was 2-for-2 from beyond the arc. 

Jenna Smith logged a team-high six rebounds. O’Neal finished with five boards.