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Spartans pull away from Dragons in 2nd half

By The NEWS-EXAMINER

NEW PALESTINE — Playing on the road, facing a potential sectional opponent, and tied at halftime, the Connersville High School boys basketball team knew that they still had a lot of work to do in the second half of their game against New Palestine on Monday night.

In spite of a 20-point first quarter, the CHS boys found themselves leading by only two heading into the second stanza.

By the end of that frame, the two teams were knotted at 29-29.

But in the third quarter, Connersville outscored the Dragons 15-7, and the Spartans made that lead stand up in the fourth, coming away with a 65-56 win.

The Spartans led by as many as seven in the first quarter behind nine points from Garrett Silcott, but a 3-point barrage by the Dragons allowed them to carve the deficit to two by the end of the frame.

Gavin Hausz hit a trio of 3-pointers, followed by long shots from Maxen Hook and Dawson Eastes to keep the Spartans within range.

New Palestine (11-8) continued its hot shooting in the second quarter, reeling off 10 straight points to take a 28-20 lead.

But CHS would respond.

Paced by four points from Clay Garrison off the bench, Connersville put nine straight points on the board, allowing it to pull even by halftime.

That tie would continue early in the third (33-33), but CHS would eventually make its decisive run.

The Spartans outscored their Sectional 9 nemesis 11-3 to close the third quarter. Wes Smith scored twice inside during the run, and Jacob Brown added a tip-in at the buzzer to give CHS a 44-36 edge heading into the fourth.

In the final frame, Connersville would push its advantage to as many as 14, at 60-46, before New Pal would make one final push.

Hook collected three steals during the Dragons’ last rush, helping the team close the gap, but time ran out on the comeback.

Connersville was led by Silcott’s 17 points. Garrison added 11 and the duo of Smith and Noah Belt added eight and seven, respectively.

Keeping with the balanced scoring theme, three players finished with six points each — Braxton Revalee, Dalton Lee and Brown.

The Dragons were paced by Hausz, who finished with a game-high 22 points. He was followed by Matthew True with 12.

In the junior varsity game, Connersville was again forced to work late, as the team trailed 28-23, before rallying in the fourth to claim a 40-37 victory.

The Spartan reserves outscored New Pal 17-9 in the final frame to claim the victory.

CHS was led in the final frame by Ethan Smith (7 points) and Dylan Logan (6).

Jonah Graham paced the junior varsity boys in victory with 16 points, nine of them coming on a trio of 3-pointers.

Smith added 11 and Logan finished with eight.

Both Connersville teams improved to 17-4 with the pair of wins.

Connersville will face some key Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference tests this weekend, when it hosts Franklin County on Friday and travels to Lawrenceburg on Saturday.

 Spartans 65, Dragons 56

(at New Palestine High School)

Connersville 20 29 44 65

New Palestine 18 29 36 56 

Connersville (17-4) — Dalton Lee 1 3-5 6, Wes Smith 3 2-2 8, Garrett Silcott 6 4-4 17, Braxton Revalee 1 3-4 6, Noah Belt 3 0-0 7, Clay Garrison 4 2-2 11, Jacob Brown 3 0-2 6, Tyler Combs 0 0-0 0, Drew Sherck 2 0-0 4, Garrett Wickes 0 0-0 0, Jonah Graham 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 14-19 65.

New Palestine (11-8) — Romine 1 7-8 8, Hausz 7 5-6 22, Walker 1 0-2 2, True 4 2-2 12, Hook 1 0-0 3, Eastes 3 1-2 9, King 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 14-18 56.

3-Pointers — Connersville 5 (Silcott, Lee, Belt, Revalee, Garrison), New Palestine 8 (Hausz 3, True 2, Eastes 2, Hook). Turnovers — Connersville 8, New Palestine 11. Fouls — Connersville 18, New Palestine 13.

JUNIOR VARSITY

Spartans 40, Dragons 37

Connersville 7 15 23 40

New Palestine 8 18 28 37

Connersville (17-4) — Graham 5 3-4 16, Brock 0 0-0 0, Logan 1 6-6 8, Young 1 3-6 5, Sullenbarger 0 0-0 0, Huffman 0 0-0 0, Smith 3 4-6 11, Moore 0 0-0 0, Burch 0 0-0 0, Wickes 0 0-0 0, Totals 10 16-21 40.

New Palestine — Ramsey 3 2-4 8, R. Large 2 2-5 6, Roudabush 4 1-2 10, Howell 4 1-2 13, K. Large 0 0-0 0, Hockett 0 0-0 0, Brown 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 6-12 37.

3-pointers — Connersville 4 (Graham 3, Smith 1), New Palestine 5 (Howell 4, Roudebush 1).