NEW PALESTINE — In one momentum-swinging 40-second span of the New Palestine boys basketball opener against Jennings County Wednesday, Dragons forward Michael Morris scored nine points.
In less than a minute, he registered more points than any other New Palestine player accounted for in the game.
It was part of a career-high 37-point effort by Morris to lift his inexperienced team to a 58-55 victory.
“The first game, you’ll have jitters, especially with only two starters returning,” Morris said of the Dragons, who also graduated key bench players from last year’s 17-7 sectional championship squad. “We kind of had to get in sync.
“Good thing we played good defense because our offense wasn’t that great in the first half. Our defense kept us in it and the second half we kind of came out and found our groove.”
More accurately, it was Morris in the groove. The senior notched 26 points in the second half to rally New Palestine from a deficit that was as large as eight points.