GREENWOOD — In the final game of the regular season, New Palestine — coming into the week ranked No. 12 in the state — was searching for something they’d seemingly had all season — confidence.

After a 66-44 loss to Mt. Vernon on Tuesday, and a sectional quarterfinal game looming against the Marauders next week, the Dragons hoped to bounce back and end the season on a high note.

They did just that, and got some of that confidence back that they were looking for on offensive in a 70-52 win over Greenwood (8-14) at Greenwood High School Friday.

The win moved the Dragons record to 19-5, tying the third most wins in school history.

“It was an important game for us to win to get some confidence going into next Tuesday,” New Palestine head coach Trent Whitaker said. “We just wanted to get our kids some confidence back and they played with some emotion tonight which is something we’ve been looking for the past couple weeks. It was a good ball game.”

With the emotion of Senior Night fueling the host Woodmen, they came out ready to compete with the Dragons.

The lead changed eight times in the opening quarter.

Down 12-9 late in the period, a Julius Gizzi bucket cut Greenwood’s lead to one, and a Moses Haynes 3-pointer capped off the back-and-forth opening eight minutes to give the Dragons a 14-12 lead after one quarter of play.

The battle continued for the first four minutes of the second quarter.

A layup by Greenwood’s AJ Sheets tied it at 14-14 and a basket by Jake Mosemann put the Woodmen back ahead and forced a quick timeout from Whitaker.

Out of the break, a Gizzi assist to Haynes for a 3-pointer flipped the lead again, before back-to-back Greenwood buckets off of New Palestine turnovers put the Dragons down 20-17.

That would be the last lead the Woodmen held.

New Palestine ended the half on a 13-0 run and held Greenwood scoreless over the final four minutes of the quarter.

A Haynes assist to Alex Guhl cut the lead to one, and a Gizzi assist to Haynes put the Dragons ahead for good 21-20.

An Evan Darrah 3-point play extended the lead, and a Brady Armstrong 3-pointer put the exclamation point on the run.

“It’s one of those things where it’s an emotional night for them with it being Senior Night and they came out with a lot of energy. We didn’t quite match that until that run,” Whitaker said. “Mo started hitting some shots and got some confidence. Once he hits shots and starts finding people we’re able to run a bit and get open.”

In the third, the Dragons added to their lead with a 26-point outburst.

Haynes knocked down four of his game-high seven 3-pointers in the quarter, and six total Dragons found the basket in the period.

Led by Haynes’ eight assists and Gizzi’s five, the Dragons spread the ball around all night for easy baskets.

Eight different Dragons scored throughout the game led by Haynes’ 24 and Gizzi’s 17. Austin McMahan added eight, while Guhl —who got his first career varsity start — and Armstrong added five.

With junior forward Ben Slagley out with an injury, replacing his 9.5 points per game came all across the roster.

“Ben’s a kid that kind of relaxes us. He’s a calming influence. Tonight we had kids that sometimes don’t have that in that spot that are normally our fourth or fifth option,” Whitaker said. “Moving the basketball was great tonight, it’s definitely something we lacked on Tuesday. We talked about how we needed to share the ball from side to side, and they did that and everyone had a good time out there. That’s what basketball is all about.”

Along with the 17 points and five assists, Gizzi pulled down 14 rebounds for his fourth straight double-double.

New Palestine opens sectional play Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Mt. Vernon at Greenfield-Central.

New Palestine 70, Greenwood 52

New Palestine;14;16;26;14; — ;70

Greenwood;12;8;14;18; —;52

New Palestine (19-5): Julius Gizzi 5 7-7 17, Moses Haynes 8 1-2 24, Keegan Harrison 1 2-2 4, Brady Armstrong 2 0-0 5, Austin McMahan 4 0-0 8, Alex Guhl 2 1-2 5, Evan Darrah 1 1-1 3, Rigg Mahurin 2 0-0 4. Totals: 25 12-14 70.

Greenwood (8-14): Jake Mosemann 8 2-2 20, Isaac O’Neal 5 0-0 12, Ethan King 0 0-0 0, John Ollanketo 2 0-0 5, Parker Doolin 2 0-0 5, Ben Hommell 1 0-0 2, AJ Sheets 1 0-0 2, Sam Thompson 0 3-4 3, Joey Ortman 1 0-0 3. Totals: 20 5-6 52.

3-point goals: New Palestine 8 (Haynes 7, Armstrong); Greenwood 7 (Mosemann 2, O’Neal 2, Doolin, Ollanketo, Ortman).