NEW PALESTINE — The last time New Palestine’s girls basketball team lost five straight games, it was followed by a five-game winning streak, where the team had its five highest scoring games of the season.

They’re all for history repeating itself.

That may be easier said than done after another tough scoring night in a 55-31 loss at home against Indianapolis Cathedral Thursday.

The loss was the third straight in the last seven days, following two tough outcomes at the hands of Hancock County and Hoosier Heritage Conference rivals Greenfield-Central (52-38) on Friday and Mt. Vernon (54-28) on Tuesday.

“Cathedral is very tough and played a great game, but we’re not playing well. I’m really disappointed,” New Palestine head coach Sarah Gizzi said. “We’re going to take the day off (today) practice Saturday and maybe we can turn it around. That’s what I’m hoping for.”

Cathedral (6-4) scored the game’s first six points and led the entire night, and by double figures from the middle of the second quarter on.

New Palestine junior Vivian Miller scored the Dragons first points with 2:30 left in the first quarter, cutting the Irish advantage to 6-2. Isabella Gizzi scored late in the quarter to again knock the deficit down to four, 8-4, but the Dragons were unable to get another field goal until Gizzi scored on an eventual three-point play with just one minute remaining until halftime.

The Dragons were more competitive in the second half, but they couldn’t recover from an opening half of scoring just 10 points.

“I need more mental toughness from my girls,” the Dragons coach said. “When you’re not hitting shots you have to continue to do other things. I’m not saying it’s everybody, but, as a group, we need more mental toughness 100 percent.”

Lone senior Gizzi led the Dragons with 15 points. She had one 3-pointer and was 6 of 7 at the free-throw line. Junior Allie Blum had eight points, all in the second half, including two 3-point field goals. Freshman Sadey Hughbanks and Miller each had four points and were the only other Dragons to hit the scoring column.

Taylor Lewis, a 6-foot-1 junior, who is four inches taller than the tallest Dragon, led the Irish with 28 points. She had 16 in the second half. Layla Gold, a 6-foot senior, had 14 points. Cathedral had three 6-footers in the starting lineup and another as the first, and only player, off the bench.

Blum’s first trey came with 5:41 left in the third. It knocked the deficit to 15, 30-15, and showed signs of possibly giving the home team some momentum, but Gold answered with a 3 on the next possession to bump the Irish advantage back to 18.

New Palestine dropped to 7-6.

“We’ve played good competition,” coach Gizzi added on the team’s struggles over the last week. “That definitely changes things. It’s contagious. One things are going well it’s contagious. When things aren’t going great it’s also contagious.”

As the Dragons look to get back on track, the schedule does not get any easier.

They welcome Lawrence Central (6-3) on Tuesday, Dec. 20 and Southport (6-5) on Thursday, Dec. 22, before playing two games in the Plainfield Classic Dec. 29.

Cathedral 55, New Palestine 31


New Palestine;4;6;12;9;—;31

Cathedral (6-4): Catherine Cline 1 0-2 2, Jaeda Wilson 1 3-4 6, Taylor Lewis 13 2-2 28, Layla Gold 6 1-2 14, Abby Beasley 1 1-2 3, Nya Huff 1 0-0 2. Totals: 23 7-10 55.

New Palestine (7-6): Vivian Miller 2 0-4 4, Allie Blum 3 0-0 8, Sadey Hughbanks 1 2-4 4, Tylar Whitaker 0 0-0 0, Isabella Gizzi 4 6-7 15, Kylee Beranek 0 0-0 0, Ella Holman 0 0-0 0, Gabrielle Brown 0 0-0 0. Totals: 10 8-15 31.

3-point goals: Cathedral 2 (Wilson, Gold); New Palestine 3 (Blum 2, Gizzi).