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Paris High seniors Matt Cochran (left) and Brendan Henry placed first and second, respectively, in this year’s Lamar Soil and Water Conservation District essay contest. This year’s theme was “Why Do We All Need Trees?” Read more.
Josh Robinson (above) shows he’s a scoring threat anytime he crosses midcourt by knocking down one of his seven 3’s in the game, while Jalon Pipkins (right) posterizes a Bulldog player on one of his patented dunks
The 14th-ranked Paris Wildcats got career scoring games from both Josh Robinson and Jalon Pipkins to eclipse the century mark for the first time since the 2015 season opener in a 107-69 area round playoff rout of Chapel Hill Friday in Wills Point.
Afterwards, Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed congratulated his team in the locker room and told them, “You’re peaking at the right time.”
Heaven help any future opponent if the Cats’ rendition of the Golden State Warriors’ Splash Brothers still has room for offensive improvement.
Robinson scored a personal best 51 points, including seven 3’s, while Pipkins also recorded a personal best 37 points (five 3’s).
Golden State guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have made a living terrorizing NBA teams with their shot-making ability from all over the court. While Robinson and Pipkins may have a more limited high school shelf life, Paris fans have grown spoiled watching their exploits this season driving the PHS bus game-by-game closer to a repeat appearance at the regional tournament in Commerce.
To punch that ticket, Paris (26-4) needs one more win in a regional quarterfinal match against District 13 champion Brownsboro (25-7). That matchup will be Tuesday, 7 p.m., at North Mesquite HS.
Neither Paris or Brownsboro have lost a district game over the past three seasons and each enters Tuesday’s contest on long win streaks (Brownsboro 14, Paris 13). The teams crossed paths early in this season at the semifinals of the Van DQ Invitational.
Paris won that game, 66-52, but the Bears had the Cats down by 6 in the second half before a strong finishing kick by Paris. Robinson scored 36 and Pipkins had 20 in that game. Brownsboro’s playoff path includes a 61-48 win over North Lamar in bi-district and 67-63 win over Carthage in area.
Unlike many Wildcat opponents who have tried to slow down the pace of the game, Chapel Hill attempted to stay uptempo using their athletic quickness and rebounding ability. They couldn’t. By the end of the first quarter Paris already had a 28-11 lead and was up by 55-29 at halftime.
The coup de grâce was a 39-point output by the Cats in the third quarter. They hit triple digits on the scoreboard with 6:25 remaining in the game as reserve Perry Franklin got the honors on a dunk off a Robinson alley-oop feed.
That made the score 100-52. The Bulldogs then hit a 3, and Steed pulled his starters as Chapel Hill outscored the Wildcat bench, 14-7, in the closing minutes.
Paris has been close to reaching the 100-point mark on 3 occasions this season, but each time the opponent chose to hold the ball and accept a 20-plus point whipping. The previous team high scoring mark came on Nov. 24, 2015, in a 109-32 win over Greenville.
Robinson has a 27.7 season scoring average and had a previous career high of 43 points in the 2016 season opener against Kaufman. Pipkins is averaging 21.5 and had a previous best of 36 points in a Senior Night win over Liberty-Eylau.
Other Wildcats who made the scorebook included Vershaud Richardson with 6 points, Franklin and Cameron Jones 4 each, and Sam Hawkes 3. The Bulldogs (19-14) were led by Ty Osborne with 15, Devin Taylor 13, and Caleb Hampton 12.
The Paris Wildcats varsity boys moved into first place at the halfway mark of District 11-4A soccer Friday with a 3-0 shutout over the Princeton Panthers at Jackie Hendricks Stadium. Meanwhile, the Ladycats played the Panther girls to a scoreless tie at Wildcat Stadium only to lose the penalty kick shootout, 4-2.
The Paris boys, trying to claim their fourth straight district championship, lead the pack after the first round-robin with 9 points. Nevada Community is second with 8 followed by Princeton 7, Bonham 3, and North Lamar 2.
Senior Christian Mitchell continued his torrid scoring pace with a pair of goals to give him 21 for the season. Mitchell’s first goal, off an assist from senior Stanley Watkins, gave the Cats a 1-0 halftime lead.
Senior Colin Harris (pictured left in photo by Joe Watson) scored off an assist from senior Zach Lamb just 1:23 into the second half. Mitchell got an insurance goal with 17:10 remaining on a feed from sophomore Isaac Vasquez.
The Wildcats move to 12-4-3 for the season, 3-1 in district play.
Paris won the boys JV match against Princeton, 3-1.
The Ladycats (8-7-3, 2-1-1) had a chance to tie Princeton for the district lead with a win in regulation Friday. Instead, Princeton is solidly on its way to a fifth straight girls district title with a 4-point lead at the midpoint. Princeton has 11 points to 7 for Paris, while Community and North Lamar are tied with 6 each.
Both Paris teams have a bye Tuesday before starting the second half of district on Friday vs. North Lamar. The boys play at North Lamar, while the girls play at Wildcat Stadium.
The Paris High track teams made their 2017 debut Saturday at the Graham Knowles Relays at Longview Pine Tree. Both the Wildcats and Ladycats finished 8th overall in team totals.
The next meet on the calendar will be Friday at the Sulphur Springs Relays.
Paris High representatives at SkillsUSA: (front, from left) Danica Easterling, Grace Hamm, Gloria McIntire, Ka’dazsha Price, Shyann Parker, Robert Parker, Patricia Varner, Alyssa Gilmore, Deborah Andrews; (row 2) Alexsandrah Clement, Kira McFadden, Marjorie Calderon, Edith Gutierrez, Alex Folmar, Ceaira Gill, Hannah Yackeschi, Megan Jameson, Vance Boehler; (row 3) Jodi Andoe, Cameron Harrison, Ethan Fleming, Mason Ragsdale, Amil Mitchell, Zakayla Runnels, Evan De La Garza, Contance Bivens, Maria Gonzalez, Michael Rhodes; (back row) Matthew Wintz, Ro Betts, Josh Rodgers, Matthew Cosio, Cody St. Clair, Quinn Andrews, Quinsean Rollerson, Ernesto Aguinaga, Josh Nieto, Kesus Hickson, Garrett Rowton
A reccord number of 33 students and their teachers from Career and Technical Education programs attended the SkillsUSA District 5 Conference in Waco recently and brought home 19 medals from various contests.
SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled work force. SkillsUSA helps each student excel. It was formerly known as VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America).
Winners at the district level are eligible to advance to state competition in Corpus Christi, April 6-9.
PHS medal winners:
|The team of (left) Bailey Bristow, Malaree Wise, and Alissa Penny won a blue ribbon in Chapter Scrapbook, while the team of (right) Alex Hernandez, Itzuri Ramirez, and Carol Sanchez won a red ribbon for Project Visualize|
Eight Paris High students from the Paris High chapter of Texas Association of Future Educators attended the Teach Tomorrow Summit at UT-Arlington Feb. 16-19.
The team of Alissa Penny, Malaree Wise, and Bailey Bristow won a blue ribbon in Chapter Scrapbook competition. The team of Alex Hernandez, Itzuri Ramirez, and Carol Sanchez won a red ribbon in Project Visualize: Educational Awareness.
TAFE is a student organization created to allow young men and women an opportunity to explore the teaching profession. The PHS chapter sponsor is Emily Steele.
Senior lefthander Corey Allen frustrated state-ranked Godley Wildcats long enough for his Paris teammates to stage a come-from-behind, 3-2 win Friday at the Tournament of Champions in Kennedale.
Paris had taken a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a bases-loaded walk to X’Tavious Young, and Allen made it stand up until the top of the sixth inning. Godley, rated No. 2 by the website txhighschoolbaseball.com, took a 2-1 lead in the sixth on a two-run single.
Allen escaped further damage even though Godley loaded the bases with no outs. The Paris bats countered in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead on RBI singles by Zach Norris and Jack Davidson. Phillip Sikes came on in relief in the seventh inning to close out the upset.
Allen held Godley to 5 hits over his 6 innings pitching with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts.
Senior Chandler Aynes pitched the Cats to a 4-1 lead against Alvarado in the late game Friday before running out of steam in a 5-run fifth inning that fueled a 6-4 win by the Indians.
“We thought about bringing in Phillip or Zach in relief, but we didn’t won’t to overwork our pitchers this early in the season,” Paris head coach Bill Sikes said.
Sikes and Norris had pitched in the tournament’s opening two games, both won by the Cats, who ran out of pitching options on Saturday in an 18-11 slugfest loss to Princeton in a game played at Castleberry.
Offensive stars for Paris in the loss to Alvarado were Sikes (3 hits) and Davidson (2 hits). Norris and Walker Preston each collected 2 hits against Princeton.
Paris, now 3-2 for the season, plays in the Krum Tournament beginning Thursday when the Cats face Alvarado at 11 a.m. and Krum at 1 p.m.
A pair of coaches awoke this morning with smiles on their faces.
One was Paris High head baseball coach Bill Sikes, whose young team packed with 5 sophomores and a freshman catcher swept its two season-opening games Thursday at the Tournament of Champions at Fort Worth Castleberry.
The other was 600 miles away at the University of New Mexico, who signed Wildcat senior Phillip Sikes (pictured left) to a full-ride scholarship last fall. On this one day, at least, Sikes proved his future worth by pitching the Cats to a 13-0 shutout over Bridgeport in the tournament opener then powering Paris to a 9-4 victory over host Castleberry with a pair of home runs and a triple.
For the day, Sikes was a combined 6 for 6 at the plate with 5 runs scored, 8 RBI, a double, triple, 2 homers, 2 walks plus a stolen base. His pitching line read 5 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts, 2 wild pitches.
Sikes (the coach and Phillip’s uncle) knew he was in rebuilding mode this season. There aren’t any great expectations for Paris, with only 3 returning starters from last year’s 21-9 area finalists. Still, the veteran Wildcats coach has a pair of reliable arms to send to the mound while he waits for the rest of the pieces to round into shape.
His nephew is one of those arms. Junior Zach Norris is the other, and he pitched 6 innings of the win over Castleberry. Norris surrendered 1 run on 1 hit, 1 walk, with 14 strikeouts. He also went 5 for 8 at the plate for the two games with 3 RBI.
Senior Corey Allen, the other returning starter, had a pair of doubles, while senior X’Tavous Young collected 2 hits.
Freshman catcher Zachery Nation was 3 for 5 with 2 RBI and a double. Other newcomers with 2 hits each were senior Chandler Aynes and sophomores Walker Preston and Daniel Blackmon.
The road ahead gets bumpier for Sikes and his team. The Cats face 8th-ranked Godley and Alvarado Friday at Kennedale before finishing the tournament on Saturday against Princeton back at Castleberry. It will be a severe test of the Cats’ pitching depth.
UIL Choir Solo Medalists: (front row. from left, bronze medalists Sharie Armstrong, Quin Dangerfield, Labuln Norris, Jared Posey, Kayanna Washington; (row 2, silver medalists) Rowan Burns, Ariana Cerna, Cynthia Dehoyos, Arianna Epperson, Bella Garrard, Destiny Millard, Hailey Woolsey; (row 3, gold medalists) Yessenia Aguinaga, Tierra Ellis, Elizabeth Frazier, Makayla Granberry, Akeirria Garvin, Katelynn Humphrey, Molly Law; (row 4, gold medalists) Angel Lopez, Averi McFadden, Yvete Morales, Yessica Ramirez, Deja Sikes, Rhea Tabora; (row 5, gold medalists) Javian Dabbs, Jake Freelen, Malcolm McCarty, Rino Moore, Nicholas Reed; (not pictured, Tieren Gates)
Paris High has qualified 19 choir students for the State Solo & Ensemble Contest in Pflugerville on Memorial Day weekend. The group received gold medals for a superior rating on their advanced level solo performed at the recent Choir UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest at Trinity Baptist Church in Mt. Pleasant.
All 44 PHS students who attended the regional contest in Mt. Pleasant on Feb. 17 received either an "excellent" or a "superior" rating. In addition to the 19 gold medals, 7 students won silver medals (superior on intermediate solo), and 5 freshmen won bronze medals (superior on beginning level solo).
According to PHS choir director Jan Blize, the 19 state solo qualifiers is the largest contingent from the school in recent history and may be a school record. Blize was assisted by accompanist Dottie Billman and assistant director Melody Logan as well as senior All-State Choir member Deja Sikes.
With four teams eligible from each district to make the Class 4A boys basketball playoffs, you can get some obvious mismatches in early bracket play. Such was the case Tuesday night, as the 14th-ranked Paris Wildcats put away the Van Vandals early in a 63-42 bi-district win played at Greenville High.
“They weren’t running anything like what we we had seen (on video),” Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed said afterwards. “They were playing to keep the score down.”
To that end, the Vandals, the No. 4 seed from District 13, were successful. Van faced a big gap in court quickness, especially in guard play. They labored to just advance the ball over midcourt against the Cats’ man-to-man defense. Once they set up their offense, they were deliberate in their perimeter passing and not anxious to advance the ball into the paint.
Meanwhile, Paris jumped out to an 18-5 lead after one quarter and took a 35-13 lead into the locker room at halftime.
“We played well in the first half, particularly on defense,” Steed said. “Things got sloppy when we got that 30-point lead.”
Jalon Pipkins (left) slams down a one-handed dunk off an alley-oop feed from Josh Robinson
His Cats, now 25-4 for the season, seemed to lose focus in the fourth quarter, and who could blame them? Jalon Pipkins ended the third period with a 60-foot heave to beat the buzzer, and Josh Robinson opened the final 8 minutes with an authoritative breakaway dunk that pushed the Paris advantage to 56-26.
With little left to prove, the Cats struggled to score down the stretch while the Vandals knocked down four 3’s to outscore Paris, 16-7, to end the game.
Paris now moves on to an area round match against Chapel Hill (19-13), the runnerup from District 15. That game will be Friday, 7 p.m., at Wills Point.
The Bulldogs, on paper, figure to give the Cats a much stiffer challenge. They beat Henderson on Tuesday, 52-50, with a solid 19 of 24 showing at the foul line the big difference in that bi-district game.
The Tyler area school appears to have a size advantage over Paris. Of course, like most teams in the region, the Bulldogs will be busy trying to find a way to keep the Cats’ dynamic duo of Pipkins and Robinson in check.
Pipkins and Robinson each scored 25 in the win over Van. For the season Robinson is averaging 27 and Pipkins 21 points per game.
Ladycats soccer seniors (from left) Janya Cook, Anahdian Mitchell, Keisha Mitchell, Lindi Hamner, Dextiny Patrick, Tieren Gates, Ashley Wilson with coach Matt Dickinson. Photo by Joe Watson.
It’s been a crazy two-week start to the District 11-4A soccer season, but both Paris varsity squads hope to vault into first place with wins Friday vs. Princeton as the first half of the district round-robin comes to an end.
Both the Ladycats and Wildcats pummeled Bonham in a doubleheader Tuesday at Wildcat Stadium. The Paris girls won, 5-0, while the boys took a 7-1 decision.
The win pulled the Ladycats into a second-place tie with Nevada Community with 6 points each (3 points awarded for win in regulation, 2 for shootout win, 1 for shootout loss). Princeton leads with 9 points, but a Paris win Friday at Wildcat Stadium would move the Ladycats into a tie at the top. North Lamar is in fourth place with 3 points, while Bonham sits at 0 points and is still looking for its first district goal.
On the boys’ side, Community is the current district leader with 8 points but has a bye Friday. Princeton is second with 7 and hosts third-place Paris (6 points). Bonham has 3 points and NL 0. A win by the Cats at Princeton would send Paris into the district lead at the halfway mark.
Senior Christian Mitchell (pictured left by Joe Watson) had a monster night Tuesday with 4 goals. He now has 19 goals for the season. Other goals were scored by senior Zach Lamb, junior Aaron Araujo, and sophomore Alan Garcia. Senior Seth Hudgins was credited with an assist on Mitchell’s first goal.
The Cats bolted out to a 6-0 lead before Bonham dented the scoreboard right before halftime.
The Ladycats celebrated Senior Night before their match with Bonham, and a pair of seniors, Tieren Gates and Janya Cook, notched goals. Other goals were by juniors Katy Hall, Estephany Balderas, and Zanesha Dangerfield. Assists went to Gates, Hall, freshman Gabby Acevedo, and junior Emily Williams.
Matt Cochran focuses on the ball for a backhand shot in the title match against teammate Sahil Prakash
Senior Matt Cochran is streaking again. After riding a seven-tournament win streak, including a district championship, to a third-place fiinsh at last year’s Region 2-4A Tennis Championships, Cochran is 3-for-3 in pre-regional tournaments for 2017.
His latest win came Friday at the inaugural Wildcat Tennis Classic, the first full-fledged tournament held at the new Paris High campus since court capacity was doubled from 4 to 8. Cochran beat sophomore teammate Sahil Prakash in the boys singles final, 6-1, 6-1.
Since the Wildcat Classic included all District 14-4A rivals along with Prairiland, Cochran is the odds-on favorite to repeat as district boys champion and earn a fourth return trip to regionals. His next tournament stop will be March 2 at Atlanta.
The girls double team of Ashley Fleming and Megan Barton (pictured right) also came away with a first-place trophy after beating North Lamar’s Kylee Scudder and Haley Porter in the title match, 8-3. The boys doubles team of Gabe Allen and Alec Fleming advanced to the finals, where they lost to a pair from Pleasant Grove, 8-1.
Other Paris varsity consolation results included:
The JV portion of the Wildcat Classic was held Thursday. Mason Sikes beat Isaiah Snowton in an all-Paris final in consolation boys singles, 10-8.
Tieren Gates raises her arms to celebrate the Ladycats’ first goal set up by Zanesha Dangerfield (14) as teammate Katy Hall (arms raised, back to camera) also celebrates
The Paris Ladycats rebounded from a loss to crosstown rival North Lamar by shutting out Nevada Community, 2-0, Friday night in a District 11-4A match at Wildcat Stadium. Meanwhile the three-time defending champion Wildcats dropped their first district match since March 6, 2015, by an identical 2-0 count at Community.
The Paris boys had their six-game win streak snapped and are now 10-4-3 for the season and 1-1 in district play. The Cats’ previous district loss was two seasons ago, 2-0, to Princeton. The Braves jumped out to a 2-0 lead at halftime en route to evening their district record to 1-1-1.
The Ladycats, now 7-7-2 overall and 1-1 in district, used their fast-strike capability to turn back the more methodical Lady Braves (1-2 in district). Community featured precision passing in midfield to mount several scoring chances, but the Paris backline of Sarah Bloodworth, Ashley Wilson, and Brylei Moore turned aside the Lady Braves and goalkeeper Lindi Hamner made a pair of clutch saves to preserve the shutout.
Paris turned to the outside speed of Zanesha Dangerfield to generate some scoring opportunities in the first half. The junior midfielder out-flanked the Community defense on a run down the right wing to send a cross into the goalie box. When the Lady Braves’ keeper couldn’t control the bouncing ball, senior striker Tieren Gates was on hand for the close-range score that gave Paris a 1-0 lead with 9:46 left until halftime.
The Ladycats threatened to add to their lead with several strikes by Katy Hall and Estephany Balderas, but the Community goalie recorded four second-half stops. The Lady Braves almost got the equalizer with four minutes remaining on an attack down the left flank, but Hamner made a sliding kick-save on a cross.
The Lady Braves appeared guilty of several handballs that weren’t called until 1:48 remained in the match. Free kick specialist Deagan Dingman took the penalty kick and beat the Lady Braves goalie on a shot inside the left post to ensure the 2-0 win.
Both Paris varsity squads will host Bonham on Tuesday at Wildcat Stadium. The girls play at 5:30 followed by the boys at 7:15.
Jorden Kimble lifts 350 pounds in the deadlift to finish first in her weight class
The Paris Ladycats finished fifth overall in the Paris Invitational powerlifting meet held Thursday in the Wildcat Gym. The event drew 75 girls entries and was won by Little Elm.
It was the last scheduled meet before the Region 3, Division 2 Championships on March 4 at Fairfield.
Senior Jorden Kimble continues to lead all Division 2 (Class 4A) lifters in the region, and posted a career-best 950-pound total series to easily win her weight class. Juniors Anna Perez and Jayla Sims finished second in their weight classes.
Paris girls results (squat-bench press-deadlift—total):
Keiotti Bray lifts 375 pounds in the squat on the way to winning his weight class at the Paris Invitational
Freshman Keiotti Bray was the lone weight class winner for the Paris Wildcats who finished fourth overall as hosts of the Paris Powerlifting Invitational Thursday in the Wildcat Gym. Bray finished with an impressive 905-pound total lift to easily take the 123-pound weight class.
North Lamar won the team title in the meet that drew 108 boys entries. The next scheduled action will be the Region 3 Division 2 (Class 4A) Championships on March 9 in Malakoff.
Paris boys results (squat-bench press-deadlift—total):
Billy Mack Steed huddles with his team during a timeout as long-time assistants Roy Tom Stone and Michael Johnson comtemplate strategy (photo by Joe Watson)
Paris head boys basketball coach Billy Mack Steed registered his 500th career win Tuesday as the 14th-ranked Wildcats wrapped up a third straight perfect 10-0 district run with a 63-53 win at Pittsburg.
“That was an ugly win,” Steed called the milestone victory, “but I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day.”
Steed has seen his share of both varieties during his 22-year coaching career that started at Detroit then continued with stints at Quitman and North Lamar. His overall record is 500 wins, 176 losses for a 75% winning mark, and his teams have racked up 13 district titles and have advanced to the regional tournament 7 times.
The past 10 years have been spent at Paris High, where his record now stands at 269-58 (82%) with 7 district titles. His district record at PHS is now 90-10, and his Cats will carry a 31-game unbeaten district streak into next season.
Longtime assistants Roy Tom Stone and Michael Johnson have been on Steed’s staff for 9 and 10 years, respectively, and share in much of the credit for Steed reaching the 500-win marker. “Roy Tom has a big role in the offense, while Michael specializes in defense,” Steed said. “They do a great job running the drills which gives me a chance to stand back and watch.”
Steed has also worked with some outstanding basketball talent during his years at PHS and has a string of ten 20-win seasons to show for it. The success of this year’s team, whom he calls “over-achievers,” has been a pleasant surprise. He also has fond memories of he 2013 team that featured seniors KD Moore and Jay Milton.
“We (the coaching staff) were just hoping we could finish fourth in district that season and make the playoffs, but we ended up winning district with a 9-1 record.”
While Tuesday’s history-maker was an ugly win, it could have been worse. Star senior Jalon Pipkins sprained an ankle early in the game and had to be helped to the locker room. Four nights after scoring a career-high 36 points in a blowout win over Liberty-Eylau, Pipkins scored a season-low 6 in the district finale.
The initial prognosis on Pipkins’ injury was encouraging, but Steed has decided to cancel a potential playoff warmup game Friday to give his squad some much-needed rest. The 14-ranked Wildcats, now 24-4, open the Class 4A playoffs next week against Van, the No. 4 seed from District 13. That game is set for Tuesday, Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m., at Greenville HS.
As Pipkins sat out the second half of the Cats’ win over Pittsburg, the rest of the team closed ranks to pull out the victory over the district’s No. 3 playoff seed. Junior Josh Robinson poured in 31 and was a perfect 7 of 7 at the free throw line.
Foul shooting was a problem for Paris early in the game (6 of 16) before the Cats finished by making 11 of their final 12 free throws to ice the win. Sophomore guard Cameron Jones scored 12 points in extended action. Sophomore Vershaud Richardson scored 6, while seniors Tavon Lawrence and Sam Hawkes had 5 and 3, respectively.
The Pirates had a trio of players in double figures: Jaylon Jimmerson 13 points, Dejour Dowell 12, and Deldric Shields 11.
Both the Wildcats and Ladycats soccer teams started on the right foot with 1-0 leads in their crosstown soccer shootouts Tuesday night before Paris and North Lamar settled for a split of their District 11-4A varsity matches.
The Wildcats, 3-time defending district champions, scored 5 times in the second half of a 6-1 win over the Panthers at Wildcat Stadium. The Pantherettes rallied from behind to take a 2-1 decision over the Ladycats at R. L. Maddox Stadium.
The cold, rainy evening and blustery north wind played a big role in the matches. The Wildcats, playing uphill against the frigid breeze in the first half, could not connect on four scoring opportunities until finally denting the scoreboard 10:22 before halftime.
Senior midfielder Seth Hudgens sent a free kick into the box from 28 yards out. Senior forward Collin Harris’ header bounced off the far post, and he followed up the rebound to poke the ball into the Panther net for a 1-0 lead.
Senior midfielder Zach Lamb settles a ball near the sidelines in a photo by Joe Watson.
The scoring pace quickened in the second half with the wind at the Wildcats’ back. Hudgens was the catalyst for two goals within a 66-second span. He settled a short clearout from an NL defender for senior Zach Lamb to turn and fire on goal with a 22-yard chip shot just 4 minutes into the second period. Harris then ran down a thru ball from Hudgins and sent a cross into the goalmouth for a finisher by senior Christian Mitchell. It was Mitchell’s team-leading 15th goal of the season.
The Cats expanded the lead to 4-0 on a penalty kick by senior Jose Resendiz following a Panther handball with 30:23 remaining. Zack Figueroa got the Panthers’ lone goal on a corner kick setup with 16:33 left, but Paris answered just 27 seconds later on a goal from 13 yards by sophomore Alan Garcia.
Junior Javian Dabbs got the final goal with 1:41 left after a short run down the left flank.
The win raised Paris’ season record to 10-3-3. The Cats, 1-0 in district, play at Nevada Community Friday. The Cats won the JV match in an 11-0 romp over the Panthers.
Playing on the rain-soaked natural grass field at Maddox Stadium, the Ladycats missed a number of excellent first-half chances but still managed a 1-0 lead on a penalty kick by junior Deagan Dingman, assisted by senior Tieren Gates.
The Ladycats couldn’t hold the lead as Jaycie Proctor scored the tying goal and Payton Fleming got the game-winner for the Pantherettes, now 1-1 in district. The Ladycats, 0-1 in district and 6-7-2 overall, host Community Friday at Wildcat Stadium.
NL won the girls JV match, 4-0.
The Wildcat boys finished third and Ladycats were fifth at a golf tournament held Monday at Mount Pleasant Golf & Country Club. Individual medalists were Shelbi Hill of Pittsburg with a round of 85 for the girls and Blaine Hill of North Lamar for the boys with an 81.
The Paris High golf teams will compete in a tournament on Tuesday hosted by Texas High.
The Paris Ladycats won the Mount Pleasant Invitational powerlifting meet Saturday, while the Wildcats finished fifth on the boys’ side. Paris High will be the site of the next powerlifting meet Thursday in the Wildcat Gym.
The Ladycats took first place overall among a field of 50 girls entries behind weight-class wins from juniors Anna Perez and Jayla Sims, freshman Raelynn Johnson, and senior Jorden Kimble. Freshman Keiotti Bray was the lone event winner for the boys meet, which drew 109 lifters.
Girls results (squat-bench press-deadlift—total)
Jalon Pipkins slams down 2 of his career-high 36 points on Senior Night in his photo by Joe Watson
The 14th-ranked Paris Wildcats soared to their 30th straight district basketball win on Senior Night Friday in the Wildcat Gym, 93-56 over the Liberty-Eylau Leopards.
Thirty minutes after the final buzzer, after hugs and handshakes with players, family, friends, and well-wishers, Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed left the court for his office, finally pausing long enough to check the scorebook and stat sheet. Like a proud papa, he couldn’t contain a wide grin as he read the game totals for his three seniors.
Tavon Lawrence scored 9 points on a trio of 3-pointers despite playing with painful turf toe. Sam Hawkes, fighting off seasonal illness, had his best overall stat line of the year: 7 points, 2 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 steals.
Then there was Jalon Pipkins, who exploded all over the court for a career-high 36 points to go with 4 assists, 3 blocks, 5 steals, and 2 rebounds.
“I was really worried about this game,” Steed said.
He had a right to be concerned. The athletic Leopards had given the Cats their closest district challenge back on Jan. 24 in a 76-66 Paris win. L-E has some outstanding outside shooters as their 7-5 edge over Paris from the 3-point arc Friday proved. Plus, the flu bug was biting the Cats, not only targeting the 6-6 Hawkes, but also keeping 6-4 starting post Vershaud Richardson on the bench in street clothes.
Those fears were quickly dispelled as Paris jumped to a 7-0 lead before the first L-E timeout just 1:49 into the game. After a step-back 3 by Pipkins pushed the lead to 23-8, the Leopards called their second TO with 1:29 left in the opening quarter. By that point, Pipkins was well on his way to a momentous evening with 12 points.
“That was the best start we’ve had all year,” Steed said, “but I was still worried that they would came back on us. They never did. Pip wouldn’t allow it.”
Paris, 24-4 overall and 9-0 in District 14-4A, held a 27-8 edge after one quarter. The Cats led, 43-24, at halftime with Pipkins leading the way with 19. Josh Robinson, the Cats’ 6-5 junior guard and leading scorer for the season, had 12 points at halftime and finished with a workmanlike 26 points.
But this was the senior’s spotlight, and Robinson made sure of it with 9 rebounds and 10 assists, including setups for a couple of Pipkins showtime dunks.
“He’s the best dunker I’ve ever had,” Steed said of the 6-3 Pipkins, “and I’ve had a bunch of good dunkers.
Steed was also pleased at the contributions of all his active players. Every available Wildcat scored, including 6-7 sophomore JV call-up Ashton Savage, who drew the crowd’s biggest reactions for a pair of buckets in limited action.
The Leopards were led in scoring by Jordyn Pineda-Davis with 20 and Isaiah Cross with 15.
Paris and L-E split sub-varsity games. The Wildcat freshmen won, 47-44. Trevon Dennis scored 13 and blocked a potential tying 3-pointer at the end of the game. The Paris JV lost, 65-63.
Paris closes out the regular season Tuesday with a trip to Pittsburg, the district’s No. 3 playoff seed. The playoffs will begin the week of Feb. 20 against the No. 4 seed from District 13 (either Van or Canton).
Deagan Dingman (No. 11) watches as her corner shot bends into the Athens goal to give Paris a 3-1 lead
The Athens Lady Hornets scored two late goals to escape Wildcat Stadium Tuesday with a 3-3 tie against the Paris Ladycats in a pre-district rematch of last season’s regional semifinal. The last time the schools met, Athens eliminated Paris from the Class 4A soccer playoffs with a 3-1 decision.
The Ladycats seemed in control of Tuesday’s rematch after taking a 3-1 lead with 25:53 remaining in the match after Deagan Dingman’s corner shot bender escaped the reach of the Athens goalie (see picture above). The score could have been 4-1 if it weren’t for an official’s call that negated Emily Williams’ header off a Dingman corner kick just 5 minutes into the second half. Both teams seemed to accept Williams’ goal as legitimate as they left the goal area when the Ladycats’ celebration was cut short by the back official who jogged in from midfield to rule goalie interference on the play.
Still, the Ladycats (6-6-2) could have ended the pre-district portion of their schedule with a win except for a couple of defensive breakdowns in the final 15 minutes. A turnover afer a deep throw-in led to a rebound goal in traffic that the Paris defense failed to clear. That goal pulled Athens within 3-2 with 15:18 left, and the Lady Hornets notched the tying goal with 5:37 left on the clock on a close-range kick off a crossing pass from a right flank attack.
Paris never trailed in the match and took a quick 1-0 lead just 4 minutes into the game on another Dingman corner setup that glanced off the shoulder of Laney Madding into the net. After the Lady Hornets tied the score, 1-1, just 3 minutes later on a cross from 10 yards out, the Ladycats regained a 2-1 lead when Williams tapped in a Tieren Gates rebound shot into a vacated goalmouth.
The Ladycats had three more scoring opportunies before halftime on close-range shots by Katy Hall, Estephany Balderas and Keisha Mitchell but had to settle for the 2-1 halftime advantage.
Paris begins district play next Tuesday with the short trip across town to face the North Lamar Pantherettes.
There’s something about the Paris Wildcats that brings out the best in the Atlanta Rabbits, but their best, on Senior Night in the Rabbit Gym, wasn’t nearly enough to pull off an upset over the 14th-ranked Cats Tuesday night. Instead, Paris clinched its third straight district title with a 77-40 rout.
The Cats, now 22-4 for the season, remain perfect in District 14-4A at 8-0. Pleasant Grove is in second at 6-2, but Paris has already swept the season series with the Hawks. Pittsburg is in third place at 4-4, Liberty-Eylau and North Lamar are tied for fourth at 3-5, and Atlanta is still winless at 0-8.
Despite their district record, the Rabbs stunned the Cats by tying them at halftime of the game on Jan. 20 in Paris. The Wildcats rolled to an 81-51 win in that first meeting with a big second half. Tuesday night in Atlanta, the Cats experienced another slow start, leading by just 14-10 at the first break and 32-24 at halftime.
Paris swamped the hosts, 23-5, in the third quarter and outscored Atlanta, 22-11, in the fourth to give head coach Billy Mack Steed his 7th district title during his 10 years at the school. His Wildcat teams also won in 2008, 2009, 2010 (co-champions with Anna), 2013, 2015, and 2016.
As usual, Josh Robinson and Jalon Pipkins led the way with 20 and 16 points, respectively. Vershaud Richardson scored 11, Tavon Lawrence 8, Sam Hawkes 7, Camron Jones 6, Jalen Easter 4, and Demetric Glover 2.
The Paris boys host L-E Friday in the Wildcat Gym on Senior Night, honoring Pipkins, Lawrence, and Hawkes before the varsity game.
The Paris Ladycats, meanwhile, closed out their season Tuesday with a 64-55 loss at Atlanta. Senior Dextiny Patrick scored 16 in her career finale for the Ladycats (9-22, 2-8).
The 2016-17 Paris Wildcats have seen their share of hybrid defenses designed to place extra pressure on their two All-State candidates: junior Josh Robinson, averaging 30 points per game in district, and senior Jalon Pipkins, averaging 24.
So when Pleasant Grove tried to guard the dynamic duo with a straight man-to-man defense Friday night in the Wildcat Gym, the results were inevitable. Robinson and Pipkins exploded for 37 and 33 points, respectively, to make a mockery of this battle for first place in District 14-4A with a 97-66 Paris win.
“They were hitting from everywhere,” Paris head coach Billy Mac Steed said, “and when they drove the paint they were making the tough shots or finding an open teammate.”
Jalon Pipkins is airborne for a breakaway slam that closes out the first quarter with a 25-8 Paris lead over Pleasant Grove (photo by Joe Watson)
The Cats broke away from an early 4-4 tie and never looked back. A Robinson 3, followed by a steal on the inbounds and second 3 gave Paris a 23-8 advantage. A Pipkins breakaway slam ended the scoring in the first quarter with the Cats on top, 25-8.
To make matters worse for the Hawks, their top defender, guard Cory Jones drew his third personal foul trying to defense Pipkins. Jones would return in the second half briefly only to pick up a fourth foul then a frustration technical to earn a permanent seat on the bench.
With Robinson scoring 26 of his game-high 37 in the first half, Paris went to the locker room with a 55-31 advantage. Pipkins took the lead in the second half with 21 of his 33 points as the Cats maintained a consistent 30-point edge.
At one point, Robinson took a shot just 3 steps across the midcourt line. With Robinson knocking down five 3’s, the Paris coaching staff had a hard time finding fault with his shot selection.
“As hot as he was, you wanted to tell him, ‘Josh, just a little bit closer’,” assistant coach Roy Tom Stone said, holding up his hand with his thumb and index finger spread about 4 inches apart.
Tavon Lawrence was the only other Wildcat in double figures at 11, but every Paris player scored. Stephen Austin and Connor Ouelette shared high-point honors for PG with 18 each.
With the win, the 15th-ranked Cats move to 21-4 for the season and 7-0 in district. They have a 2-game lead over the second-place Hawks (5-2) with just 3 games remaining. Paris can clinch its third straight district title Tuesday with a win at winless Atlanta (0-7).
The Cats have now won 28 straight district games. Their last district loss was on Feb. 7, 2014, to North Lamar.
There’s a 3-way tie for third place between North Lamar, Liberty-Eylau, and Pittsburg with 3-4 marks. Paris returns to the Wildcat Gym on Friday, Feb. 10, to host L-E before finishing district on Feb. 14 at Pitt.
Paris swept the sub-varsity games with PG. The Cats JV won, 69-62, as TJ Williams scored 17 and Jaylon Henderson 15. The Paris freshmen won, 59-58, with Dorian Williams scoring 15 and Jameon Mitchell 13.
Dextiny Patrick (shown right in a picture taken by Joe Watson in a game at North Lamar) closed out the home court portion of her Paris High basketball career with a team-high 19 points as the Paris Ladycats fell to the District 14-4A girls champion Pleasant Grove Hawks, 80-58, Friday night in the Wildcat Gym.
It was Senior Night as Paris honored eight Ladycats making their final home appearances. The list included Tia Tolbert, Drea Jenkins, Alexius Runnels, Taj Reeves, Cap Johnson, Deshia Runnels, Elayah Runnels in addition to Patrick, who started for the Ladycats as a freshman.
The Lady Hawks clinched the district title with the win. They are 8-1, while Paris falls to 2-7 in district and 9-21 overall. The Ladycats close out their season Tuesday at Atlanta.
PG led, 19-9, after one quarter and was up by 42-25 at halftime. The Lady Hawks took a 65-37 lead into the fourth quarter before emptying their bench.
Paris won the JV clash, 44-35. Tijamess McGee scored 18 and Essence Gray 11 for the Ladycats.
Paris varsity soccer teams split their pre-district matches with Pleasant Grove Friday night. The Wildcat boys shut out the Hawks, 2-0, in Texarkana, while the Ladycats dropped a 4-2 decision at Wildcat Stadium.
Ladycat goals were scored by juniors Katy Hall and Estephany Balderas. Hall also assisted on Balderas’ tally. The Paris girls, now 6-6-1, host Athens Tuesday at Wildcat Stadium to close out the pre-district portion of their schedule.
Seniors Christian Mitchell and Zach Lamb scored for the Paris boys and they assisted on each other’s goal. The Cats (9-3-3) are idle until Feb. 14 when their open district play against North Lamar.
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 February winner is Payne Couts. 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.
Deon Minor Relays. Wildcat Stadium will be the site of the annual Deon Minor Relays Thursday, March 22, as the Wildcats and Ladycats track teams welcome other regional schools to this big pre-district warmup meet. Field events will start about 3 p.m. with running finals around 5:30.
District Soccer. The Paris Ladycats and Wildcats varsity soccer teams host Bonham for a District 11-4A doubleheader Tuesday at Wildcat Stadium. The girls game starts at 5:30 p.m. followed by the boys at 7:15.