Junior class leading girls hoops

The New Palestine girls basketball team is off to a hot start in their 2017 campaign. New head coach Sarah Gizzi has her squad sitting at 2-0 thanks, in large part, to her junior class. Through the first two games her top four leading scorers are in the 2019 class.

The Dragons concluded their season last year with a heartbreaking 38-37 loss to Franklin Central in the sectional semi-finals. After that loss, New Palestine was motivated to redeem themselves.

“We all know the feeling of letting a close game slip through our fingertips and we agreed we aren’t going down that road again,” Emma Grable said.

The Dragons second all-time leading scorer, Raegan McMurray, graduated leaving a  void that needed to be filled. So far, the juniors have stepped up. Forward Leah Seib has been terrific through the first two games, averaging 14 points and seven rebounds per game. Center Katie Herron has also been solid, scoring almost nine per game and grabbing six rebounds. The backcourt is led by point guard Haley Harrison, who is averaging 11 points and almost four assists per game.

“We were very lucky to be together freshman and sophomore year. Watching the upperclassmen and learning how to be leaders, knowing  that that would be us someday,” Herron said.

While the junior class is plentiful (seven of the nine varsity players are in the 2019 class), the lone senior on the roster is also contributing in a major way. Emma Grable is averaging a modest eight points per game, but has been lethal behind the arc shooting 57-percent from three-point range.

“I just don’t want to let my team down. It’s my last year of playing basketball and I want to give every ounce of effort that I have left,” Grable said.

The varsity roster is predominantly juniors, but Grable sees greatness in the younger players as well.

“Not just our juniors, but our underclassmen have really taken some initiative too,” Grable said.

The lone underclassmen on the roster is sophomore Michaela Jones. She is averaging two points and one assist per game in a limited role.

The Dragons continue their season on the road against Southport, this Sat. at 6 pm.

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