New Pal lets game slip away in fourth quarter, overtime

WESTFIELD — New Palestine was a bit too much into the holiday spirit Friday night, as its giveaways late in the game cost it a win in a tough road environment.

Westfield outlasted NP in overtime, 65-61. It was the Shamrocks fifth straight victory over the Dragons, who have lost both of their games this season in overtime.

NP coach Adam Barton saw his team commit 15 turnovers on the night, five in the last 5:36 of the game and three on consecutive possessions to begin the extra period.

“We got the ball in some tough spots,” said Barton, whose team lost to Center Grove 95-89 in overtime on Nov. 11. “I probably should have used a couple of our timeouts to bail our kids out of those spots, but I didn’t use them and that’s my fault.”

With the score nodded at 55 and 36.4 seconds left in regulation, the Dragons inbounded. They got away with a near-turnover, and eventually committed an over-and-back violation.

Luckily for the visitors, the Shamrocks (3-2) gave the ball right back to them after pass that would’ve given the hosts the lead went out of bounds with 5.8 seconds remaining.

“We gave them an extra opportunity…and they gave us an extra opportunity,” Barton offered. “There was a time when I didn’t think anybody wanted to win that game.”

After a timeout, Solomon Haynes received the ball and raced upcourt. He pulled up at the top of the 3-point line and got a clean look, but the ball went in and out of the bucket.

Down 64-61 with less than 30 seconds in overtime, New Palestine (4-2) put up two 3-point attempts, but they went awry. Westfield’s Matt Kinney sealed the game by making one of two from the foul line, his only point of the game.

Though they finished 21-of-39 (53.8 percent) from the field and 9-of-19 (47.4 percent) from beyond the arc, the Dragons missed countless shots around the rim.

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