Six weeks academic progress reports were distributed to students Friday in their second-period classes. The current 9-weeks grading cycle ends on March 9.
Upcoming Staff Development
Paris ISD students will get a three-day weekend when all campuses have staff development on Friday, Feb. 23.
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One That Got Away: Kyler Beshirs’ rebound hits the crossbar after Cole Miller (7) bounces a PK rebound off the goalkeeper’s stomach
Paris and North Lamar split a pair of series anomalies Friday in district soccer. The Panthers picked up their first win ever over a Jeremy Beshirs-coached Wildcat squad in a 1-0 upset at R. L. Maddox Stadium, while the Ladycats produced their largest margin of victory over the Pantherettes since 2011 with a decisive 3-0 win at Wildcat Stadium.
The Wildcats misfired on three prime scoring opportunities to allow the Panthers to hang around in a scoreless defensive struggle. The first miscue came midway through the first half when JP Rojas was awarded a penalty kick after a takedown in the 18-yard box, but his PK drifted wide left of the goalmouth.
In the final two minutes before halftime Alan Garcia took a short chip feed from Cole Miller and was unguarded 10 yards in front of the net, but his left-footed strike also drifted left of the goal.
A second PK was awarded to Paris midway through the second half and set up the match’s most dramatic sequence (see photo above). Kyler Beshirs’ PK was on target, but the Panther goalie lunged for a block with his left hand. Miller rushed in to take a juicy rebound shot from point-blank range that bounced off the goalie’s gut. That gave Beshirs a follow-up opportunity from 5 yards out, but his rebound strike hit the crossbar and bounced out of harm’s way to the left sidelines.
The match seemed headed to a shootout until the Panthers got the one opportunity they needed on a Paris foul in the 18-yard box. Matt Meredith calmly converted, beating the Wildcat goalie to his right side, and the Panthers made the 1-0 lead stand up though the final 12 minutes.
So how big a stunner was it? Consider that the Cats under Beshirs held a 13-0 record, outscoring his alma mater by a staggering 59-7 count since taking the reins of the Paris program.
It was the district opener for the 4-time district champion Wildcats. NL evened its district record to 1-1 after falling to Princeton, 3-0, on Tuesday.
The Cats, now 8-6-2 overall, host Nevada Community on Tuesday at Wildcat Stadium.
Ladycats Take Care of Business
Katy Hall streaks on a breakaway against the Pantherettes for the first goal (photo by Joe Watson)
In contrast to the boys’ struggles, the Ladycats converted their scoring chances to dominate the scoreboard at Wildcat Stadium. The Pantherettes had won 4 of the previous 6 matches against the Ladycats, but the veteran, senior-laden Paris squad appears primed to make a serious district run in 2018.
Paris broke the scoring ice midway through the first half when Estephany Balderas hit fellow senior Katy Hall in stride with a thru ball on a 1 on 2 breakaway. Hall’s left-footer from 20 yards out beat the goalie, who came out of the box for a challenge.
Balderas widened the lead to 2-0 in the second half with a header off a perfect corner kick setup by senior Deagan Dingman. Balderas then fed Hall on the right flank. Hall crossed into the middle and found freshman Erika Garcia, whose chip shot from 25 yards out sailed just under the crossbar to expand the lead to 3-0 with 19 minutes left.
Paris sophomore goalie Grace Woodby and the Ladycat defense registered their 11th shutout of the season, as Paris saw its overall record rise to 11-5-1. The Ladycats journey to Nevada Community on Monday for their second district match. NL is now 0-2 in district.
The Pantherettes have held the upper hand over the Ladycats this decade, but the 3-0 victory was the most one-sided result by Paris since a 4-0 win over NL at the 2011 Kings Classic tournament.
Wildcat bench celebrates Gavyn Hollje’s buzzer-beater that caps a strong 26-9 first quarter start for Paris
It was just two weeks ago that the Paris Wildcats struggled to score 22 points the entire game in a 31-22 miserable loss to North Lamar. Fast forward to Tuesday’s District 14-4A finale in the same Wildcat Gym, and the Cats surpassed that scoring mark in the opening quarter alone.
A sizzling 26-9 first quarter start, capped by a buzzer-beating halfcourt shot by Gavyn Hollje, catapulted Paris to a 67-43 win over Pittsburg that sealed the district’s No. 2 seeding for the playoffs. The Cats, now 18-13, open against Mabank, the No. 3 seed from District 13. That bi-district match will be played next Tuesday, Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m., at Greenville High School.
“That was probably the best quarter we’ve played all year,” Paris coach Billy Mack Steed said afterwards, “and it came against the hottest team in the district.”
Pittsburg had won 4 of its past 5 games, including an upset over district champion Pleasant Grove. The Pirates needed a win over Paris to extend their season, but the Cats never allowed them any hope as Jordan Mitchell scored 10 of his team-high 16 points in the opening frame to stake Paris to quick leads of 12-2 and 15-4.
Pitt briefly closed the margin to single digits, 15-7, before getting buried by an 11-2 run to close out the first quarter. Paris held a 39-24 halftime advantage and stretched the lead to a high-water mark of 27, 63-36, in the second half.
Final district standings show PG on top with an 8-2 record, while Paris finished 7-3, North Lamar 6-4, Liberty-Eylau and Pitt tied at 4-6, and Atlanta 1-9. L-E swept both its games vs. Pitt and will advance as the district’s No. 4 seed.
The Cats received balanced scoring from the entire roster. In addition to Jordan Mitchell’s 16, which included four from 3-point range, sophomore post Trevon Dennis scored 11, junior point guard Cameron Jones had 10, and senior Perry Franklin scored 8 of his 9 points in a fourth-quarter flurry. Hollje finished with 7, Jameon Mitchell 6, Trea Johnson 5, and junior TJ Williams scored his first varsity points on a 3-pointer.
Keithlen Griffin and Jaylon Jimmerson were the only Pitt players to reach double figures with 13 and 12, respectively.
Four Paris seniors took their Senior Night curtain call before the game: Jordan Mitchell, Perry, Ashton Savage, and Jalen Easter.
Paris swept the sub-varsity games. The freshmen capped a sensational 20-1 season with a 97-42 blowout. Jeremiah Harrison scored 31, Bubba Gray 17, and KD Washington 13 for the fish, whose only loss was by a point to a Class 6A school at the Princeton Tournament the opening week of the season.
The Cat JV won, 60-55. Dyvarious Douglas scored 19, while Dearies Dudley and Do’Rian Williams scored 14 each.
The Paris Ladycats won their season-opening softball game Tuesday at Blue Ridge, 14-6. They compete in the Melissa tournament starting Thursday.
The Ladycats pounded out 13 hits in the game including 3 doubles and a pair of triples. Senior Kammie Franklin and junior Akerria Garvin collected three hits each, and Garvin drove in a pair of runs. Sophomores Saya Swain and Taylor White had two hits each.
Paris held an 8-5 lead when the Ladycats pushed across 5 runs in the sixth inning to put the game away. The Ladycats were a perfect 11 of 11 in stole base attempts.
Swain pitched 5.1 innings to get the win. She gave up 3 hits, 2 runs, walked 3, and struck out 17.
Seniors Gabe Allen and Reagan Benson won the mixed doubles bracket at the 2nd Annual Wildcat Classic tennis tournament held last week on the Paris High courts.
In other varsity results, junior Sahil Prakash finished second in boys singles, senior Ramiro Ramirez won the boys singles consolation bracket, and freshmen Allyssa Standifer and Ryan Tijerina won the consolation mixed dobules.
Sophomore Luke Gibbons and junior Rodrigo Ramirez were second in JV boys doubles.
The Paris tennis team participates in a tournament at Mount Pleasant this week.
The Paris Ladycats soccer team saw a 5-match win streak halted Tuesday at Pleasant Grove in a 2-0 loss that concludes pre-district play. The Ladycats open District 11-4A Friday by hosting North Lamar for a pair of matches at Wildcat Stadium.
The Ladycats, now 10-5-1, had an opportunity to tie the match in the first half but misfired on a penalty kick. The Lady Hawks scored an insurance goal late in the second half.
There’s something about this year’s Liberty-Eylau Leopards that brings out the best in the Paris Wildcats’ offense. The same Cat attack that could only convert 15% of their shots 10 days ago in an embarrassing 31-22 loss at home to North Lamar managed a 51% showing from the field (29 of 57 shooting) coupled with 81% free throw rate (17 of 21) to hold off the Leopards on their Senior Night Friday at the Rader Dome, 75-71.
In other district action Friday, Pleasant Grove edged North Lamar, 46-43, and Pittsburg beat Atlanta, 60-53. PG (7-2) wrapped up the district’s No. 1 seed with the win, while Paris (6-3) takes sole possession of second place. NL (5-4) falls to third, while L-E and Pitt are tied for fourth with 4-5 marks.
Paris hosts Pitt Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym to close out the regular season, while NL travels to L-E and PG is at Atlanta. The Cats will be the district’s No. 2 playoff seed unless they lose to Pitt and NL beats L-E. Under that scenario, Paris and NL would meet to determine the second and third playoff spots.
Sophomore post Trevon Dennis scores in the paint in earlier game vs. Pleasant Grove (photo by Joe Watson)
All five Paris starters scored in double figures Friday as the Cats managed their second highest offensive output of their 17-13 season. Their best team point showing came in a 78-57 rout of the Leopards on Jan. 23 in the Wildcat Gym when Paris shot a sizzling 60% from the field.
Sophomore 6-4 post Trevon Dennis took advantage of an undersized Leopard frontcourt to score 23 points and grab 8 rebounds to lead Paris. Sophomore Trea Johnson added 15, including a perfect 7 of 7 from the foul line. Senior Jordan Mitchell scored 11, while sophomore Jameon Mitchell and junior Cameron Jones had 10 each.
Decorian Phillips scored a game-high 27 points to top the Leopards, who drained seven 3-pointers (compared to none for Paris).
The Leopards (11-12) started cold from the field as Paris took a 14-6 first quarter lead and extended the margin to 20-6 with 6:04 left in the second quarter. L-E closed the gap to 26-23 at halftime and briefly took a pair of one-point leads in the third quarter.
However, the Cats broke away from a 36-all tie to close the third quarter on an 18-7 run to open up a 54-43 lead heading into the final period. L-E managed to shave the Cats’ lead to a single point, 71-70, with 1:54 remaining before Paris protected the lead in the closing minutes.
Paris swept the sub-varsity games. The Cats JV won, 50-47, and the freshmen won, 71-28.
The Paris Ladycats posted their 10th shutout of the season to avenge one of their rare losses as they won their fifth straight match Thursday, 2-0, at Athens.
Sunny Scruggs goes up for a header in recent match vs. Celina (photo by Joe Watson)
Paris (10-4-1), fell by the same score to Athens in the championship final of the R.K. Hall & Kings Classic tournament in Paris four weeks ago. The Ladycats were missing three starters to injuries in that earlier matchup.
A pair of senior midfielders, Sunny Scruggs and Zanesha Dangerfield, with an assist from senior Katy Hall, provided the only offense the Ladycats would need as sophomore goalie Grace Woodby kept a tight lid on the Paris goal.
The Ladycats wrap up pre-district play Tuesday with a trip to Pleasant Grove. They open District 11-4A competition next Friday, Feb. 16, by hosting North Lamar at Wildcat Stadium.
Nothing comes easy for the Paris Wildcats these dog days of the District 14-4A basketball stretch drive.
Hosting the 1-7 Atlanta Rabbits Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym, the Cats needed a late infusion of football muscle off the bench in the form of 6-7 offensive tackle Ashton Savage and 6-2 linebacker Perry Franklin to create some much-needed separation on the way to a 63-50 win.
Ashton Savage (shown in photo by Joe Watson from an earlier game) provided a big spark off the bench
Paris thus avoided the upset bug that beset league-leading Pleasant Grove, a 67-63 loser to Liberty-Eylau, and second-place North Lamar, which fell to Pittsburg, 53-46. With two games left in the regular season, PG (6-2) has a one-game lead over Paris and NL (both at 5-3), while L-E sits at 4-4 and Pitt at 3-7.
Both Paris and North Lamar travel to Texarkana Friday to face L-E and PG, respectively. The Cats close out district on Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym vs. Pitt.
Paris had trouble pulling away from the young Rabbs, who included impressive string-bean freshman post Daimion Collins. The game had 8 lead changes and 3 ties in the first half, which ended with a 29-29 halftime stalemate.
“They could out-jump us at every position,” Steed said. “What I couldn’t believe was how well they hit their 3’s, and those were shots that we were contesting.”
With Atlanta hammering Paris on the boards and showing an unexpected outside shooting touch, Cats head coach Billy Mack Steed brought Savage and Franklin along with sophomore Gavyn Hollje off the bench with his team trailing, 34-32, midway through the third period.
Savage produced the last tie of the game, 34-34, on a spin move in the paint, Hollje connected from the corner for the Cats’ only 3-pointer of the night, and Paris never trailed the remainder of the evening.
Savage scored two more buckets down low, and Franklin cleaned up with a pair of offensive putbacks to extend the lead to 49-40 before the trio turned the game back over to the starters.
A fast-break bucket by Trevon Dennis off a Cameron Jones feed, two free throws by Jones, and a Trea Johnson breakaway 3-point play off a Jordan Mitchell assist had the game on ice with Paris holding a 56-42 advantage with 2:12 left.
Eight Wildcats scored, topped by Jordan Mitchell’s 11, Jameon Mitchell 10, Jones 9, Dennis 7, Savage, Franklin, and Johnson 6 apiece, and Hollje 3. Charlie Powell led Atlanta with 10.
Paris also won the JV game, 56-37. Do’Rian Williams topped the Cats with 11. There was no freshman game.
It didn’t take long to conduct Senior Night ceremonies Tuesday prior to the Paris Ladycats’ season finale in the Wildcat Gym. The short list included student athletic trainer Chandi Helberg and senior guard Serenity Sanders (shown below in photo by Joe Watson).
Which is why Paris coach Deanne Dial has a right to be optimistic about seasons to come after her young squad took control of the game after halftime en route to a 63-50 win over the playoff-bound Atlanta Lady Rabbs. The program has shown steady improvement during Dial’s tenure at the school, from a 4-28 start in 2016 to 9-22 mark in 2017, and 14-18 season record for 2018.
To be sure, the game had no significance on District 14-4A standings. Atlanta was already locked in to the No. 3 seed and finishes with a 5-5 record with the loss. Paris, meanwhile, came into the game eliminated from postseason play, but the win gives the Ladycats a 3-7 district finish.
Liberty-Eylau (9-1) edged Pleasant Grove (8-2) Tuesday to wrap up the district title, while North Lamar (4-6) beat Pittsburg (1-9) and advances to the playoffs as the No. 4 seed.
Sanders, a 4-year varsity starter at point guard, scored 19 points and dished out 3 assists in her PHS swan song. Junior Peaches Jackson scored a team-high 23, including 12 in the third period when the Ladycats broke from a 27-all tie to take a double-digit lead, 47-36, heading into the fourth quarter.
The Ladycats took advantage of full-court defensive pressure to create turnovers and transition baskets. They stretched the lead to as many as 17 points, 61-44, late in the game.
Freshman Quiniya Savage was the only other Ladycat in double figures with 13. Shereonia Smith of Atlanta took game-high honors with 26.
The Ladycats also won the JV game, 37-35, with Love Thompson scoring 12.
The Paris Wildcats overcame an 0-1 halftime deficit with a trio of quick offensive strikes in the second half to defeat Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill, 3-1, Monday at Wildcat Stadium.
The Red Devils had taken a 1-0 lead just 2:45 before halftime on a 25-yard strike when an attacker quickly spun and fired on goal.
“We came out flat in the first half,” Paris coach Jeremy Beshirs said, “but we really picked up the intensity after halftime.”
Just 6 minutes into the second half the Cats moved the attack from left to right where midfielder Kyler Beshirs made a short run before his lead cross into the middle found freshman Jesus Rangel whose shot from 11 yards out easily beat the Red Devil goalie.
Jose Araujo picked up the eventual game-winner with 25:51 to play when he flicked the ball towards the net from 10 yards out. The ball landed at the goalie’s feet and bounced over his head and he wasn’t able to retrieve the rebound before it crossed the goalline.
Araujo and Rangel teammed up for an insurance goal in the final minute. Araujo gained possession in the far left corner and sent a cross toward the goal where a feet-first slide by Rangel resulted in the freshman’s second goal of the night and third in the last two matches.
The schools played the JV match to a 1-1 draw.
Paris, now 8-5-2, has now completed the pre-district portion of its schedule and is idle until Friday, Feb. 16, when the Wildcats open district at North Lamar.
The Paris Wildcats tennis team took first place in four varsity and one JV event at the opening tournament of the 2018 season in Texarkana. Paris High will host a JV tournament Thursday and varsity tournament Friday on the PHS courts.
27 PHS choir students won medals at the recent UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest
by JAN BLIZE
PHS Choir Director
Friday, Feb. 2, proved to be a very successful day for 34 Paris High choir students. Seven earned an “excellent” rating for their solo performance at UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest at Trinity Baptist Church in Mt. Pleasant, and the remaining 27 students earned 6 bronze medals (entry level); 4 silver medals (intermediate level); and 17 gold medals (advanced level) for “superior” ratings on their vocal solos.
Junior Rhea Tabora earned an additional gold medal for her “superior” piano solo. Rhea, along with the other 16 students whose names appear in bold print, qualified to advance to UIL State S&E Contest in Pflugerville on Memorial Day weekend.
Medal winners pictured above include (front row, from left): Jessica Ibarra, Averi McFadden, Christiana Swindle, Skyler Bryan, Ashjwanae Mickens, Ben Ruthart, Jared Posey, Molly Law, Ariana Epperson, Yessica Ramirez, Nicholas Reed, Sarah Starkey, Brian Wright, T.J. Spence, Elizabeth Frazier; (back row): Quin Dangerfield, Jake Freelen, Nick Leija II, Rhea Tabora, Bella Garrard, Javian Dabbs, Abagail Lawson, Morgan Dudley-Pullins, Rowan Burns, Angela Ramirez, Kayanna Washington, and Daniela Ortega-Luna.
PHS choir students were prepped and accompanied by accompanist Dottie Billman, PJH Choir Director/PHS Assistant Melody Logan, and PHS Choir Director Jan Blize.
Ms. Blize always tries to teach her students that our performances should entertain, educate, and/or inspire our audiences. It’s way too easy for students to lose that vision and get wrapped up in the rating when they are preparing a solo to be performed in front of one judge.
While medals earned at Friday’s contest are definitely a symbol of success, the “icing on the cake” was when we joined together for an impromptu 4-part a cappella rendition of “Happy Birthday” that we performed for a complete stranger at our lunch at Two Senoritas following our contest.
The recipient of our gift of song, known to us only as “Hollie,” was so moved by our performance that she gave us the remainder of her birthday cake. That’s what I like to call, “sweet success.”
The Paris girls powerlifting team won an invitational meet Saturday in Mount Pleasant while the Paris boys placed fourth in their division.
The Ladycats produced a pair of weight class winners with senior Anna Perez in the 123s and freshman Mi’Nea Williams in the 181s. Sophomore Keiotti Bray, who currently ranks fourth in the state in his weight class, won the 132s for the Wildcats.
Freshman Jesus Rangel heads in Cats’ final goal in 3-1 win over Pleasant Grove
Like many soccer coaches this time of the winter season, Paris boys coach Jeremy Beshirs is having to deal with a myriad of injuries and ailments. With a thin bench and missing five starters Friday, his Wildcats endured near-freezing temps at Wildcat Stadium to post a 3-1 win over Pleasant Grove.
“I’m proud of the way you guys hustled tonight,” he told his team afterwards. “If you out-hustle the other team, we’re going to win most of our games.”
After a scoreless first half, the Cats quickly found the net on a goal by Isaac Vasquez in the opening minute of the second half. PG tied the score just two minutes later off a deep throw-in that a Hawk forward was able to slip into a crowd of six Cat defenders and bounce into the goal with a header.
Junior Jose Araujo picked up the game-winner midway through the final period when junior midfielder Kyler Beshirs sent a thru ball to a streaking Araujo who beat the goalie on the short side with a strike from 20 yards out off a severe angle.
Freshman Jesus Rangel added an insurance goal in the final five minutes when he headed a bouncing free kick from 53 yards out by senior Montana Payne over the goalie’s saving reach (see above photo).
Paris moves to 7-5-2 with the win and returns to Wildcat Stadium Monday to host Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill.
Earlier Friday, the Wildcat JV won its match over PG, 2-0.
The Paris High basketball teams returned home from Friday’s District 14-4A games facing a pair of stark realities. The Ladycats’ 61-37 loss to defending district champion Pleasant Grove officially eliminates the Paris girls from the playoffs for the third straight season. The Wildcats’ 56-48 loss to PG means a fourth straight district boys title is probably not in the cards for 2018.
Instead, the Paris boys, now in third place at 4-3 behind PG (6-1) and North Lamar (5-2) are locked in a battle for a playoff spot with key confrontations against Liberty-Eylau (3-4), Pittsburg (2-5), and Atlanta (1-6) still ahead.
Atlanta visits the Wildcat Gym on Friday. JV action starts at 4:30 p.m. with varsity girls at 6 and varsity boys at 7:30.
The Ladycats held an early 9-2 lead over the Lady Hawks, who exploded on a 19-2 run that started in the first quarter and ended midway through the second period. PG was up, 32-21, at the half, and started the third quarter on a 15-0 run to put the game away.
Paris (13-18 overall) had two players in double figures: Peaches Jackson with 13 and Carol Croom 11. PG (19-7) was led by Sha’Nequa Henry with 18, Madeline Haak 15, and Ashanti Levingston 13.
PG and Liberty-Eylau are tied atop district girls standings at 8-1 and meet Tuesday to settle the top two spots. Atlanta (5-4) has clinched third place, and NL (3-6) will finish fourth, while Paris (2-7) is fifth and Pittsburg (1-8) sixth.
The miserable shooting night that the Paris boys had Tuesday in a 31-22 loss to NL carried over into the first period Friday at PG. The Cats trailed, 15-6, after a first quarter that saw Trae Johnson (shown right in picture by Joe Watson) score the only Paris field goal.
The Hawks (19-5 overall) took a 32-17 lead into halftime, but Paris (15-13) went on a 15-0 run in the third quarter to take a brief, 38-36 lead before a Layton Jackson 3-pointer ended the frame and sent the Hawks back ahead, 39-38.
Consecutive 3’s by Luke Harmon and Kameron Woods started the fourth and extinguished the Paris rally.
Johnson had a double-double for Paris with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Jordan Mitchell scored 10, Perry Franklin 8, and Trevon Dennis 7. Woods took game-high honors with 23 and Jackson scored 12 for PG.
Wierd cosmic rays couldn’t stop freshman Zach Jackson with this slam dunk on an alley-oop feed from Bubba Gray (3)
An astrophysicist hoping to study the lunar effects of a super blue blood moon on high school sports needs to get his/her hands on a copy of Tuesday’s Paris-North Lamar varsity boys basketball game. ASAP, before an extremely frustrated veteran coach manages to destroy all videotaped evidence of the game’s existence.
The rare celestial convergence that peaked early Wednesday morning with a lunar eclipse was a once-in-a-century sighting. The 31-22 win by North Lamar over the Paris Wildcats in the Wildcat Gym was an equally rare sighting of offensive malfunction by the host team.
“Never,” Paris coach Billy Mack Steed answered when asked the last time one of his teams scored so few points. “I’ve had teams go an entire quarter without scoring, and we’ve played teams who held the ball against us to keep the scoring down, but I’ve never seen that.”
So how bad was it?
The District 14-4A game was scoreless until 5:20 remained in the opening period when a 3-pointer gave North Lamar a lead it never surrendered. By the end of the first quarter the Panthers were up, 9-0. The Cats finally dented the scoreboard on a free throw with 5:41 left before halftime. Trea Johnson’s 3-pointer was the only field goal scored by Paris in an 18-6 half.
The Panthers extended the lead to 28-12 by the end of the third quarter. The Cats cut the deficit to the final 31-22 with 2 minutes remaining in the contest, but there would be no last-minute dramatic comeback. Both teams went scoreless the rest of the way.
For the night, Paris could make just 8 of their 55 field goal attempts (15%), including 22 missed layups or tip-ins.
“Junior high teams don’t miss that many layups,” said Steed, who watched his team crash the boards for 21 offensive rebounds only to leave another possession on empty.
Just one week ago, Paris shot a sizzling 60% from the field to rout Liberty-Eylau on the same home court. That marksmanship was nowhere in sight Tuesday as ball after ball after ball refused to enter the cylinder.
Cosmic interference was the only logical explanation.
The Panthers get the credit for supplying enough offense to get the win that ties them with Paris for second in district standings with 4-2 records, but NL didn’t have a particularly torrid shooting night. Jay Walters was the game’s only double-digit scorer with 14 while Alec Asay had 9. The Panthers were just 5 of 14 at the foul line (36%).
It was the first win by NL since 2014 over Paris, whose leading scorer was Johnson with just 5 points.
The weird moon extended its effect at other district sites as well. League-leading Pleasant Grove (5-1) received its first loss at the hands of 2-4 Pittsburg, 64-61, while Atlanta (1-5) broke a 35-game district losing streak with a 54-53 upset over L-E (2-4).
Paris must quickly try to exorcise the shooting demons before traveling to PG Friday with a chance to keep its hopes alive for a 4-time district title repeat.
Paris swept both sub-varsity games. The freshmen improved to 17-1 with a 57-25 rout that included a dunk by Zack Jackson off an alley-oop feed from Bubba Gray (see picture above). Gray and Jermayn Williams scored 12 each, while Jackson and Troy Jones had 11 apiece.
The Cats JV won, 58-41. TJ Williams led the way with 17 and Buddy Dillard added 11.
Senior Estephany Balderas scored her first goal since the opening week of the season and the Paris Ladycats’ defense posted a ninth shutout to defeat Texas High, 1-0, Tuesday night in soccer at Wildcat Stadium.
The Ladycats have managed to roll up a 9-4-1 overall record despite missing the veteran midfielder with a hamstring injury sustained at the Kennedale Tournament. Balderas is working back into form to give coach Matt Dickinson more offensive options.
The Paris girls travel to Pleasant Grove Friday for their next pre-district action.
The boys soccer team battled Marshall to a scoreless draw Tuesday on the road. The Wildcats (6-5-2) host PG Friday at Wildcat Stadium.
Peaches Jackson is triple-teammed as she tries to get off a game-tying shot
North Lamar completed a fourth season of district mastery over the Paris Ladycats in girls basketball Monday with a 46-40 win in the Wildcat Gym that virtually locks up the fourth and final playoff District 14-4A berth for the Pantherettes.
With two games left in the regular season NL (3-5) holds a 1-game lead over Paris (2-6). While the Ladycats aren’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, the loss dramatically narrows their window to the postseason. Paris has not won a district basketball game against NL since 2014.
The game was close throughout, with the Pantherettes holding a 29-27 edge heading into the fourth quarter. NL opened up a 39-28 lead by outscoring Paris, 10-1, to start the period. The Pantherettes hit their high-water mark of 12 points, 42-30, following a Bryce Petkus 3-point play.
The Ladycats had success with their full-court pressure early in the game, but the Pantherettes seemed to solve the press until the final four minutes when Paris exploded with a 10-0 spurt off a series of NL backcourt turnovers.
With the lead down to 42-40, the Ladycats had all the momentum when NL post Summer Andrews fouled out and sent Peaches Jackson to the foul line. Jackson missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but another NL turnover gave Paris a final opportunity to tie the game coming out of a timeout with 42.8 seconds left.
The Ladycats fed the ball to Jackson down low (see photo above), but she was triple-teammed and her shot rimmed out. Carol Croom grabbed the backside rebound but missed the putback.
A pair of free throws by Petkus with 11.5 left extended the lead to 44-40. After Paris missed a hurried 3-pointer, the Pantherettes added two more free throws to complete the victory.
McKayla Figueroa, who sparked the second-half charge for the Pantherettes, scored 14, while Petkus had 11, Emma Stewart 9, and Andrews 8. While NL held Jackson to 8 points, a pair of Ladycat freshmen picked up the scoring slack. Quiniya Savage had 12 and Bailee Brown 8.
NL won the JV game, 28-16. Tiy McGee led Paris with 8, while Ashlyn Reavis had 10 for NL.
Paris travels to district defending champion Pleasant Grove Friday before closing out district play next Tuesday, Feb. 6, vs. Atlanta in the Wildcat Gym.
They certainty weren’t artistic things of beauty, but the Paris Ladycats and Wildcats basketball teams left Pittsburg Friday with a pair of victories that kept their hopes intact for achieving season goals.
The Ladycats routed the Lady Pirates, 70-49, to hold onto their goal of returning to postseason action after a two-year absence from the playoffs. The Paris girls, 13-16 overall, host North Lamar Monday in the Wildcat Gym. The schools’ girls teams are tied for District 14-4A’s fourth and final playoff berth with 2-5 records.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, remain a game back of district boys leader Pleasant Grove following their gritty, 53-46 win over the Pirates. The Paris boys, 15-11 overall and 4-1 in district, are seeking their fourth straight district title. A win Tuesday at home vs. NL would set up a district championship rematch next Friday, Feb. 2, at PG.
The Lady Pirates could never solve the Ladycats’ full-court pressure, which lifted Paris to a 27-10 lead after the first quarter. However, that opening period saw 19 total fouls called to set an ugly, uneven pace that was maintained to the final whistle. Ultimately, 5 players fouled out.
Paris held a 45-25 halftime lead before throttling back the defense in the second half. The Ladycats were able to keep a steady 20-point edge most of the way.
With three games remaining in the girls district schedule, Pleasant Grove and Liberty-Eylau remain tied at the top with 6-1 records, while Atlanta is solidly in third at 4-3. North Lamar and Paris are tied for fourth at 2-5 but the Pantherettes hold the series advantage after defeating the Ladycats two weeks ago. Pitt sits at 1-6.
The Wildcats came into Friday’s game off a 60% shooting performance from the field in a win Tuesday over L-E, but they struggled connecting on their shots in the dimly-lit, outdated Pirate Gym. A new gymnasium is currently under construction and may be ready by next season.
A corner 3 by sophomore Gavyn Hollje closed out the first quarter to put Paris up, 12-7, but the second quarter saw 4 lead changes. Paris led, 22-20, at halftime, but the Pirates scored the first bucket of the third quarter to create a 22-all tie.
A steal and 3-point play by sophomore Trea Johnson gave the Cats the lead for good, 25-22. Paris worked the offense to score on three cuts to the basket by sophomore Jameon Mitchell to end the third quarter on a 9-3 run and provide some separation at 37-30.
Another sophomore, 6-4 post Trevon Dennis, hit a corner 3 and another steal and fast break layup by Johnson started the fourth quarter and stretched the lead to double digits, 42-30. Senior Jordan Mitchell, the team’s leading scorer for the season, came alive down the stretch to score 11 of his team-high 16 points.
Other Paris scoring saw Jameon Mitchell finish with 11, Johnson 9, Cameon Jones 7, Dennis 5, Hollje 3, and Ashton Savage 2. Ty Hickman led Pitt with 15 and Jaylon Jimmerson added 14.
At the midpoint of the boys district chase, PG is still unbeaten at 5-0, Paris 4-1, NL 3-2, L-E 2-3, Pitt 1-4, and Atlanta 0-5.
Paris won both JV games as well as the boys freshmen game at Pittsburg.
Paris Ladycats defenders (from left) Brylei Moore, Riley Bills, Deagan Dingman, Sunny Scruggs, Sarah Bloodworth, and goalie Grace Woodby head to work on the team’s 8th shutout of the season (photo by Joe Watson)
Senior Katy Hall picked up her 7th goal over the past 5 matches and the Paris Ladycats posted their 8th shutout of the season Friday in a 2-0 win over Celina at Wildcat Stadium.
Senior Laney Madding scored the insurance goal Friday, and senior Deagan Dingman was credited with an assist for Paris (8-4-1) which returns to Wildcat Stadium Tuesday to host Texas High in a pair of non-district matches starting at 5 p.m.
Jordan Mitchell flies to the basket for 2 of his career-high 33 points
Paris Wildcats head coach Billy Mack Steed had a premonition that Tuesday’s District 14-4A game might serve as a platform for a breakout performance by his team’s offense. He was right.
The Cats made a sensational 60% of their shots from the field to surpass their previous best offensive showing by 10 points in a 78-57 win over the Liberty-Eylau Leopards in the Wildcat Gym. They were fueled by a career-best 33 points from senior Jordan Mitchell.
“We executed our offense extremely well,” Steed said, “and they (Leopards) weren’t able to cover the backside.”
The Leopards were able to stay in step with the Cats though the midpoint of the second quarter, mainly by the long-range shooting of guards Decorian Phillips (21 points) and Isaiah Cross (15). For the game, L-E knocked down 11 from beyond the 3-point arc.
However, a personal 8-0 run by Mitchell on a drive, 3-pointer, and conventional 3-point play erased a 20-22 deficit and gave the Cats a 28-22 lead they would never relinquish. By that juncture, Mitchell already had amassed 20 of Paris’ 28 points.
Paris held a 36-30 halftime lead, but L-E would get as close as 4 points, 46-42, before the Cats ended the third quarter on a 10-1 tear to make it a 56-43 game heading into the final period. Paris maintained double-digit distance the rest of the way, and sophomore Trevon Dennis provided the exclamation point with a breakaway dunk with a minute left on the scoreboard (see photo left). Dennis finished with 16 points and fellow sophomore Trea Johnson added 14.
The schools split sub-varsity games. The L-E JV won, 55-54, on a free throw with time expired. The Paris freshmen ran their record to 15-1 with a 69-30 rout. KD Washington scored 16, Troy Jones 15, and Tarrance Gardner 11.
The win gives Paris a 14-11 season record and solidifies their second-place district hold at 3-1. L-E falls to 2-2 in district. In other district scores Tuesday, Pleasant Grove (4-0) was able to subdue a pesky North Lamar (2-2), 54-49, while Pittsburg (1-3) defeated Atlanta (0-4), 80-53.
The Cats now face a pivotal 3-game stretch starting with a trip Friday to play a dangerous Pitt team. They host NL Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym then travel to Texarkana on Feb. 2 to face PG with a probable district championship on the line.
The Paris Ladycats knew they were in for a rough evening Tuesday when 3 of their 4 top scorers picked up their third personal fouls and had to retreat to the bench with 3 minutes remaining in the opening period.
By the end of the game, two more teammates had joined them on the bench, the victim of 30 fouls called on the Ladycats, and the Wildcat Gym fans watched as the Liberty-Eylau Lady Leopards played out a 5 on 3 advantage in the closing minutes of a 63-47 District 14-4A girls basketball game.
The loss drops Paris to 1-5 and tied for last with Pittsburg. Previously unbeaten Pleasant Grove (5-1) was upset by North Lamar (2-4) Tuesday, 48-45, while Atlanta (4-2) routed Pitt, 88-52.
The Ladycats now face a pair of “must-win” games if they are to extend the regular season to grab a playoff berth. They travel to Pittsburg Friday and return to the Wildcat Gym on Monday to host North Lamar.
Paris held a 14-11 lead over L-E after one quarter, but the Leopards took advantage of the Ladycats’ foul issues to seize a 32-23 advantage at halftime. Leading Ladycat scorer Peaches Jackson picked up her third and fourth fouls and had to sit out the middle two periods.
By the time she re-entered the game in the fourth quarter, L-E was in cruise control at 56-37. Jackson then fouled out with a season-low 6 points. Freshman Quiniya Savage topped Paris scoring with 13, Serenity Sanders scored 12, and Carol Croom 10. Taylor Crabtree led L-E with 15.
The Lady Leopards won the JV game, 42-17. Tijamess McGee scored 7 for Paris.
The Paris Ladycats raised their season record to 7-4-2 following an 8-0 blowout win Tuesday at Pittsburg.
The Lady Pirates’ program is in its first season of existence. Paris defeated Pitt by that same 8-0 score two weeks ago at the R.K. Hall & Kings Classic tournament at Wildcat Stadium.
Freshman Sara Davidson led the scoring parade with a 3-goal hat trick. Senior Katy Hall and freshman Erika Garcia each scored twice, and senior Laney Madding had the other tally.
The Ladycats host Celina Friday at 5:30 p.m. in a varsity-only match.
The Paris Wildcats jumped out to a 37-18 halftime lead and cruised to a 59-41 final score, while the Paris Ladycats fell behind, 28-16, but surged within 2 points before falling, 55-52, Friday in their District 14-4A games at Atlanta.
Both basketball teams return to the Wildcat Gym Tuesday to continue district play by hosting Liberty-Eylau. Both JV teams tip off at 4:30 followed by girls varsity at 6 in the main gym and boys freshmen in the auxiliary gym. Boys varsity should start about 7:30 in the main gym.
At the midpoint of the girls district schedule, the Ladycats, 12-15 overall, find themselves tied for the fourth and final playoff spot with North Lamar and Pittsburg with identical 1-4 records. Pleasant Grove (5-0), L-E (4-1), and Atlanta (3-2) control the top three spots.
PG also leads the boys standings at 3-0. There’s a 3-way tie between Paris, North Lamar, and L-E for second at 2-1, while Pittsburg and Atlanta remain winless at 0-3.
Sophomores Trea Johnson and Trevon Dennis led the Wildcats in scoring vs. Atlanta with 14 and 13, respectively. Paris is 13-11 for the season.
Junior guard Carol Croom led the Ladycats in scoring with 19 points. Junior Peaches Jackson fouled out with 14 points, 11 rebounds, 6 steals, and 2 blocks.
The Ladycats and Wildcats faced some tough competition in their third and final tournaments of the young soccer season last weekend.
The Paris girls rallied from an 0-2 deficit in the second half to finish play at the Highway 5 Invitational with a 3-2 win over the Dallas HSAA Blue Angels. Earlier in the tournament co-hosted by Melissa and Anna, the Ladycats tied Bridgeport, 0-0, and beat Sunnyvale, 3-0, before losing to Argyle, 1-0.
Paris senior Sunny Scruggs started the late comeback against HSAA with her first goal as a Ladycat before senior Katy Hall got the tying and winning tallies. It was the second 2-goal match of the tournament for Hall, who also scored twice in the win over Sunnyvale.
“What a comeback for the girls,” Ladycats head coach Matt Dickinson said. “I love the no-excuse attitude from this team.”
Freshman Erika Garcia picked up the other tally vs. Sunnyvale, and senior Laney Madding had an assist. The Ladycat defense, with sophomore Grace Woodby in goal, notched its sixth and seventh shutouts during the tournament.
Paris, now 6-4-2, is scheduled to continue pre-district play Tuesday at Pittsburg before returning to Wildcat Stadium Friday to host Celina.
The Wildcat boys, meanwhile, fall to 6-5-1. Their next action is scheduled for Jan. 30 at Marshall.
The Cats had a rough first day. They lost, 4-0, to Midlothian Heritage and by a 3-0 court to host Terrell.
They returned Friday to defeat Mineola, 4-2. Junior Jose Arraujo scored twice, while senior Cole Miller and junior JP Rojas scored the other goals. Junior Kyler Beshirs had an assist.
Miller had the lone goal for Paris in a 2-1 loss Saturday to Oak Cliff Life, a regional semifinalists last season. The game was headed for a 1-1 draw when Life scored the winner with 22 seconds left.
Each month Paris High staff recognizes a student who goes above and beyond the norm of student expectations to help make the school a better place for learning. The December-January winner is Montana Lovell. See monthly winners on our Students of the Month page.
Paris High juniors (from left) Jeremy Seals, Evelyn Brown, Ansley Downs, and Alyssa Tacuyan have been selected to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) camp. Read more.
Recently, senior Graham Bain earned fourth place while competing in the the Mount Pleasant UIL Current Events competition. Graham's coach is social studies teacher Tracy Roden.
Playoff Basketball. The Paris Wildcats open the Class 4A boys basketball playoffs with a bi-district match vs. the Mabank Panthers Tuesday, Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m., at Greenville High School.