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New Palestine chasing school's first boys' basketball title

The Dragons are one of just two teams in the state who are still undefeated.

NEW PALESTINE, Ind. — The New Palestine Dragons are breathing fire on the competition.

They are one of two remaining undefeated boys' basketball teams in the entire state!

Afters-chool practices are up-tempo, and it sets the tone for game nights.

"They are absolutely bought into what we're doing here. We kind of have a saying, 'It's gritty, not pretty' and we're winning basketball games in different ways. They don't care how they're doing it, they just want to win," said head coach Trent Whitaker.

"Gritty not pretty" is working. A group of seniors who have played together since elementary school want to finish what they started.

"We have been together for a long time. It's just seniors, we've got five or six of them and we've played together since the beginning of time. We've got some sophomores that have played together forever," said senior Ian Stephens. "Just growing up in a small town and being around the coaches forever and knowing them as you grow up, it's very nice to be able to play in a program where you've grown yourself and the coaches have grown with you over your time here."

There's no one star on this team. Each night, it's someone different making the plays.

Blaine Nunnally is one of those guys. He's a rare three-sport athlete and wants a basketball title to go with all of the school's football banners, which include three football state titles since 2014 and seven softball championships through the years.

The basketball team is chasing their first-ever state title.

The town is noticing their success.

"It's joy, but also, it keeps you on your feet, because the people who have been asking about football all of a sudden start asking about basketball and it's just a joy to be able to go around the community knowing that basketball is really hot these days around here," Nunnally said.

The season is only halfway done, but New Pal has that potential to finish a dream season.

"It would be huge for the community and these kids. Something we haven't done. We've won some sectionals, that's definitely a goal of ours, but we want to see what we can do down the road," Whitaker said. "And having regionals this year being one game, maybe it's the first time we get a regional championship."

Keep an eye on the Dragons, a small-town school working to make some big-time noise come tourney time.

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