The shooting woes of the Beech Grove Hornets continued Friday afternoon as they made just 12-of-42 shots (28.6 per cent) in a 63-50 loss to New Palestine in a semifinal game of the New Year’s Holiday Tournament at Decatur Central’s auxiliary gym.
The Dragons (5-1), who shot much better than the Hornets, converted 19-of-43 shots (44.2 per cent) from the field as well as 23-of-27 shots (85.2 per cent) from the foul line. New Palestine placed three players in double-figure scoring. Leading the way was junior Dawson Eastes with 19 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. Senior Matthew True poured in 16 points, including 9-for-9 from the foul line, and dished out five assists. Junior Maximus Gizzi, who came into the contest averaging better than 20 points per game, was held to 13 points, 11 of which came in the second half, when New Palestine outscored the Hornets 41-26.
John Parker led the Hornets (4-3) with 15 points. Gavin Hess added 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists while Jajuan Allison notched 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Beech Grove’s largest lead was eight points on two different occasions (17-9 and 23-15) before the Dragons rallied to pull to within two (24-22) at the half. New Palestine did not take its first lead until the third quarter when Matthew True’s three-pointer gave the Dragons a 34-32 advantage. Leading by just 39-34 at the end of three periods, New Palestine put the game away by outscoring the Hornets 24-16 in the fourth quarter, canning 16-of-18 free throws during that period.
The Hornets, who were foiled in their bid to win the Holiday Tourney for the fourth straight year, faced the Tri-West Bruins in the consolation game of the tourney later in the day. The Bruins fell 70-60 to the host Decatur Central Hawks in the other semifinal game, which took place in Decatur Central’s 5, 200-seat main gym.