Wood scores with 4.6 seconds left




 NEW PALESTINE — New Palestine's boys basketball team knew going into Thursday night's game that Franklin was going to be very tough to score against consistently.

    The Dragons went into the contest averaging 62 points, while the Grizzly Cubs were giving up just 44 per.  And NP's premonitions proved correct, as it started the second half with a five-minute dry spell that would turn the contest in Franklin's favor.

    NP would storm back from 10 down with three minutes to go and draw even, but it couldn't close the deal and Franklin came away a 47-45 winner.

    A 17-foot basket from the left side by Keenan Wood with 4.6 seconds to go was the difference for the Cubs.

    Six three-pointers by Ryan Curry and a belated tear by leading scorer Michael Morris weren't enough, as the Dragons (13-5) saw a four-game win streak draw to an end.

    "We did not shoot the ball very well," said NP coach Adam Barton, whose squad made 37.5 percent of its field-goal tries.  "We forced a lot of shots and we weren't very aggressive toward the basket."

    Barton said a big key was the Dragons drew just three shooting fouls and consequently six free-throw attempts; they made five.  Also, 10 of NP 's 15 baskets were three-pointers, off 28 long-range attempts.

   "We've got to do a better job of taking advantage of our size and getting guys to go to the basket," Barton said.  "We shot lights out (last Saturday) night against Mooresville and we didn't shoot very well (Thursday), so it all balances out."

   The Dragons saw a sterling defensive effort in the first half go for naught.  They held the Cubs to four points in the first quarter and took a 19-17 lead into halftime.

     Franklin went on an 11-0 run from the 9-second mark of the first half until NP's Solomon Haynes finally scored for his team with 2:38 left in the third quarter.

     The Cubs flustered the Dragons into bad passes  through much of the second half (nine turnovers), and Franklin enjoyed 10-point cushions three times, the last being 40-30 with 3:03 to go.

    NP outscored its guests 10-1 from that point until 1:16 was left, but Franklin got it back up to 45-43 with 30.5 seconds remaining.

     Morris canned a three, then came up with a loose ball underneath NP's basket and was fouled.  He hit both free throws with 25.4 seconds on the clock, to tie it.

     After Wood's basket, the Dragons had a final try, as  Haynes drove up the court and put up a runner in the lane, but it bounced away.

     "They battled back, stayed with it, kept trying," Barton said.  "They had a chance."

   Curry ended with 20 points and Morris 15, six under his average.  Morris scored 10 in the final quarter.

    Notes:  The four points NP allowed the Cubs in the first period equaled a season-best for a quarter (three other times)...The JV Dragons drubbed Franklin 49-28, as Kevin Riley scored 18 and Ben Farley 14 for NP...Justin Ikerd returned to action after missing six games with a foot injury.  He had one assist...Morris needs 18 points for 1,000 in his career...The Dragons next play this Friday, against Class 3 A-No. 1 Mt. Vernon in a Hoosier Heritage Conference title showdown. Both teams are undefeated in the HHC.

VARSITY

Franklin 47, New Palestine 45

   FR -- King 2-8 2-3 7, Thomas 6-8 2-3 14, Wood 4-6 2-2 12, Dickmann 3-4 3-5 9, Phair 1-3 1-1 3, Hittle 0-0 0-1 0, Platfoot 0-2 2-2 2.  Totals — 16-31 12-17 47.

   NP -- Morris 5-13 2-2 15, Jonas 1-1 3-4 5, Roach 0-1 0-0 0, Curry 7-15 0-0 20, So. Haynes 1-3 0-0 3, Cox 1-1 0-0 2, Sa, Haynes 0-2 0-0 0, Ikerd 0-2 0-0 0, Sa. Haynes 0-2 0-0 0, Larrabee 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 15-40 5-6 45.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

FR (12-4)    4   13   11   19 — 47

NP (13-5)   9    10    5   21 — 45

   Three-pt. field goals:  FR 3-8 (Wood 2-4, King 1-2, Phair 0-2),  NP 10-28 (Curry 6-14, Morris 3-8, So. Haynes 1-3, Ikerd 0-2, Sa. Haynes 0-1).

   Rebounds:  FR 15 (Thomas 4, King 2, Wood 2,    Dickmann 1, Hittle 1, Platfoot 1, Team 4), NP 25 (Jonas 6, Curry 4, Morris 3, Cox 3, Sa. Haynes 2, So. Haynes 2, Roach 1, Team 4).  Assists:  FR 8 (King 3, Thomas 3, Wood 1, Dickmann 1), NP 12 (So. Haynes 5, Jonas 2, Roach 2, Morris 1, Sa. Haynes 1, Ikerd 1).  Steals:  FR 8 (Dickmann 3, Platfoot 2, King 1, Thomas 1, Wood 1), NP 5 (Morris 1, Curry 1, So. Haynes 1, Ikerd 1, Sa. Haynes 1).  Blocked shots:  FR 2 (Thomas 1, Platfoot 1), NP 1 (Curry 1).  Total fouls:  FR 12, NP 16. Fouled out:  none.  Turnovers:  FR 12, NP 15.

JV

New Palestine 49, Franklin 28

NP:  Riley 18, Farley 14, Chandler 7, Blackwell 6, Kuhn 2, Lytle 2

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