NEW PALESTINE — The roster for the 2023-24 New Palestine Dragons girls basketball team looks like an all-star lineup of some of the best athletes in the school.

Soccer, volleyball, softball, track and field and tennis players are all coming together to play on the hardwood for first-year head coach Craig Moore.

“I would say one of our best traits is we have multi-sport athletes that are really good athletes,” Moore, the Dragons junior varsity coach last season and former coach of the school’s junior high program. “They work hard all year long and understand commitment. They understand in order to be successful you have to put in the time, you have to work hard, and show up every day.

“They are able to take criticism and they don’t take it personally. They understand we’re just trying to get better. It’s huge. Our coaches in all the sports are supportive of each other and we encourage kids to be part of those (other) programs.”

Top returnees Vivian Miller (9.5 points, 2.6 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals) and Allie Blum (8.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.6 spg) have just recently finished soccer season. Blum is a Division I recruit in softball with plans to sign soon at the University of Kentucky.

Another returning starter, 5-10 sophomore Sadey Hughbanks (4.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg), is also a softball player.

Part of a strong sophomore class, Natalie Sevier, who played in seven games last season, was a key component on the school’s volleyball team. Kylee Beranek (soccer) averaged 2.6 points and 2.1 rebounds as one of the first players off the bench on last season’s 13-12 sectional runner-up team.

Senior Ella Holman (softball, University of Dayton recruit) and sophomores Kenna Tweedy (softball), Ally White (tennis), Kendra Moore (track and field), Gabbie Brown (soccer), and McKenzie Hacker (soccer, track and field) are all kept extremely busy with year-round extracurricular activities.

Moore takes over for Sarah Gizzi, who in six seasons won 98 games (a 65.8 winning percentage), two sectional titles and appeared in five sectional championship games.

Along with his experience in New Pal’s girls program, Moore is a former boys basketball assistant at Morristown, under Scott McClelland, and at Rushville under Kerry Brown. This is his first head coaching job.

Many of the current roster were on last year’s varsity team, too, but one that isn’t is graduated star Isabella Gizzi, the daughter of the former head coach. Now at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Isabella Gizzi averaged 23.7 points per game last year and is the program’s all-time leading scorer.

“We’re doing a lot of new things offensively and defensively,” coach Moore said. “You lose a major player like Bella Gizzi that throws a wrinkle in how you operate a little bit. We’re putting in a lot of new stuff so the focus has got to be really good and the girls have done a great job of that the first two weeks.

“(Veterans Miller and Blum) are going to have to pick up their scoring. We’ll look to get more scoring out of them. We have Kylie Beranek, the only junior, we’ll look to her to score some points as well,” Moore added.

Moore’s first New Palestine team opened the season Thursday, dropping a 35-28 decision to Connersville. The Dragons are back in action Saturday at Batesville.

The next home game is Nov. 15 against Franklin Central. The Hoosier Heritage Conference opener is Nov. 28 at New Castle.

“I’m not putting a number on wins and losses, the expectation is we continue to get better every week,” the coach said. “I think we will do that with the shear fact our girls want to work and they want to get better. They listen very well, they take direction very well, they know what our focus is and what we’re trying to do on the basketball court. As long as we continue doing that we’ll get better and better. Come February, when sectional time rolls around, hopefully that’s when we’ll be peaking.”

Along with a new head coach, the Dragons have an entirely new coaching staff. Erin Amones is the varsity assistant coach. Leah Seib, who played for both coach Gizzi and former coach Brian Kehrt before competing collegiately at Marian University, is the junior varsity coach.

2023-24 New Palestine girls basketball schedule


Nov. 2;vs. Connersville;L/28-35, 0-1

Nov. 4;at Batesville;6:30 p.m.

Nov. 8;at Greenwood;7:30 p.m.

Nov. 15;vs. Franklin Central;7:30 p.m.

Nov. 16;at Warren Central;7:30 p.m.

Nov. 21;at Rushville;7:30 p.m.

Nov. 25;at Whiteland;7:30 p.m.

Nov. 28;at New Castle;7:30 p.m.

Dec. 2;vs. Delta;1 p.m.

Dec. 5;vs. Shelbyville;7:30 p.m.

Dec. 8;vs. Greenfield-Central;6 p.m.

Dec. 12;vs. Mt. Vernon;7:30 p.m.

Dec. 14;at Cathedral;7:30 p.m.

Dec. 19;at Lawrence Central;7:30 p.m.

Dec. 21;at Southport;7:30 p.m.

Jan. 4;at Bloomington North;7:30 p.m.

Jan. 9;vs. Triton Central;7:30 p.m.

Jan. 12;vs. Pendleton Heights;6 p.m.

Jan. 18;vs. Waldron;7:30 p.m.

Jan. 23;vs. Greensburg;7:30 p.m.

Jan. 25;at Yorktown;7:30 p.m.

2023-24 New Palestine Girls Basketball Roster


3;Kenna Tweedy;10

5;Ally White;10

11;Kendra Moore;10

12;Ella Holman;12

13;Allie Blum;12

15;Gabbie Brown;10

20;McKenzie Hacker;10

23;Kylee Beranek;11

24;Natalie Sevier;10

32;Sadey Hughbanks;10

34;Vivian Miller;12

Head coach: Craig Moore

Varsity Assistant: Erin Amones

JV Coach: Leah Seib

Manager: Addie Lindell

Trainer: Lexa Campbell