By Aaron Kirchoff Rushville Republican
---- — The Lions hosted former conference foe New Palestine in Rushville home opener Saturday. It was a tight game for three quarters, but the Lions could not get over the hump and fell to the Dragons 72-62.
Both teams are now 1-1 on the young season.
Alex Yurack gave the Lions the early lead as he opened the scoring. A bucket by 7-footer Seth Cox knotted the game and the Dragons took the lead on the first of four Ryan Curry 3-pointers. A Kris Combs pass to Cameron Cox got the Lions back even at 7-7 and Rushville regained the lead on a 3-pointer by Bryce Dye. With the game tied at 11-11, Dye’s drive to the bucket put the Lions on top 13-11 after one quarter.
The teams traded the lead back-and-forth in the second quarter. A Ricky Thompson 3-pointer had the Lions up 16-13, but four straight from New Palestine’s Cox gave the Dragons the lead. Another bomb by Thompson later in the quarter started a barrage of triples. New Palestine’s Curry hit two straight from long range. Combs drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key before another Curry bomb gave the Dragons a 31-27 lead with 3:08 to play in the half.
The lead grew to eight for New Palestine as Brandon Jonas scored on consecutive possessions. Cox’s bucket closed the first half with the Lions trailing 38-32.
Rushville opened the second half with a 3-pointer from Nate Niehoff, but that was as close as the Lions could get in the quarter. New Palestine extended the lead to 10 before a free throw by Thompson, two free throws by Yurack and a Yurack steal and pass to Combs had the deficit down to six. A late offensive rebound and bucket by New Palestine’s Connor Roach pushed the lead to 53-45 after three quarters.
A Cox traditional three-point play early in the fourth quarter had the deficit down to seven, but the Dragons pushed the lead back to double figures and kept it there, winning 72-62.
Cox led the Lions with 18 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Yurack (12 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and one block), Combs (11 points) and Thompson (10 points) were also in double figures. Curry led the Dragons with 22 points. Jonas added 20.
In the opening game of the night, New Palestine jumped out to a 14-5 lead in the first quarter. The Lions fought back to cut the deficit to 25-21 at the half, but a 12-5 run in the third enabled the Dragons to hold off the Lions 49-37.
Keith Yager led the Lions with 11 points. Jaret Sons finished with nine. Logan Duffy led the Dragons with 10 points.
New Palestine 72, Rushville 62
Scoring: New Palestine – Jonas 9 0 2-4 20, Haynes 0 0 1-3 1, Curry 2 4 6-7 22, Riley 1 1 0-1 5, Long 2 0 0-1 4, Roach 3 1 2-3 11, Cox 3 0 3-3 9. Totals 20 6 14-21 72. Rushville – Dye 1 2 0-0 8, Combs 3 1 2-4 11, Thompson 0 2 4-5 10, Al. Yurack 4 0 4-4 12, Niehoff 0 1 0-0 3, Cox 7 0 4-6 18. Totals 15 6 14-19 62.
Scoring: New Palestine (49) – Vanderwal 3, Farley 8, Cook 7, Duffy 10, T. Woodall 2, Rightley 6, McKay 6, M. Woodall 7. Rushville (37) – Yager 11, Seals 7, Green 3, Sons 9, Hallgarth 3, Busald 4.
Contact: Aaron Kirchoff at 765-932-2222, ext. 114