Rushville Lady Lions fall to New Palestine, Gizzi scores 28

New Palestine- The Rushville Lady Lions battled the New Palestine Lady Dragons on Tuesday evening. The game featured 12 lead changes and was tied 11 times, New Palestine pulled away midway through the final quarter giving the Lady Lions another tough fourth quarter loss. Briley Munchel had the tough task of guarding one of the top perimeter players in the area in Isabella Gizzi. Gizzi averaged 20.5 ppg last season and is at 23.0 ppg this year, recently breaking the New Pal all-time scoring record.

A quick start for New Pal put them up 6-0 after sinking two three-point baskets to open play. Rushville then got on the board when Kylee Herbert drilled a three pointer and started an 9-0 run for the Lady Lions. Munchel drew a foul, went to the charity stripe and knocked down both shots, giving Rushville a 14-11 lead after the first frame. The second quarter went back and forth until Belle Gossett tied the game at 17-17 with a jump shot, then scoring on the next possession and Munchel added a basket to put Rushville up by four with 1:30 to go in the half. Gizzi hit a retaliation shot giving her seven points in the half and Tylar Whitaker hit another New Pal basket from just inside the arc right before the half ended, sending the squads into halftime tied at 21.

Gizzi got a hot hand in the third quarter scoring 11 of the Lady Dragons 18 points in the period. Rushville hung with New Pal until the final minute when the Lady Dragons scored six unanswered points to close the period with a 39-31 lead.  The fourth quarter started out in Rushville’s favor. Coach Melissa Marlow got her team fired up and they started on a 10-0 run to take the lead less than two minutes in the period. The teams battled back-and-forth over the next few possessions and were tied up 46-46. New Pal then went on a 7-0 run. That run was ended by Munchel and Gossett. They each added another basket to their tally and the Lady Lions had moved back to within four points of the host team. With two minutes to go in the contest, New Pal stalled and forced the Lady Lions to foul, sending several different players to the line. The Lady Dragons nailed seven of eight attempts and pulled ahead by seven points. Olivia Smith got the final basket for Rushville, but the clock ran out and New Palestine won the contest 63-56.

This is the third loss in a row for Rushville with the previous two coming in the same fashion, the opponent pulls away near the end with free throws. The Lady Lions are now 3-3 on the season and have a week to prepare for their next opponent. The Union County Patriots who are also 3-3 on the season after winning by 10 over Oldenburg last night.

Munchel led Rushville with six assists and was tops in scoring with 20 points, breaking her previous career high of 19 which she set last weekend in the Mt. Vernon game. Gossett added 12 points collected two steals and nine boards before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Also scoring for the Lady Lions in the contest, Gracie Buzzard with 9 points, Smith scored 7 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Herbert added 6, and Erika Kuhn was two for two from the line scoring 2 points. New Pal was led by Gizzi who finished with 28 points on the night.  

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