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Paris Ladycats celebrate their area soccer championship.
Paris High soccer teams took a two-hour bus drive southeast Friday for a Class 4A Area Round doubleheader at Kaufman with the hope that Wildcat Stadium would host a similar doubleheader for Tuesday’s regional quarterfinal round.
The Ladycats punched their ticket and advanced with a 2-0 win over Ferris, but the Wildcats will be watching from the stands Tuesday after falling to the host Kaufman Lions, 2-1.
The Paris girls will host the Kaufman Lady Lions Tuesday in a 7 p.m. start. The Ladycats (10-12-2) previously upset Kaufman, 2-1, in a pre-district game two months ago at Wildcat Stadium.
The Lady Lions went on to take the District 10 title, while the Ladycats finished third in District 11. Kaufman advanced to the quarterfinal with a 4-3 overtime win over North Lamar Friday in their area round match.
The Ladycats jumped out to a 2-0 lead over Ferris thanks to a pair of goals by junior Tieren Gates just 14 minutes into Friday’s match. The first goal came in the fifth minute when Gates sent a loose ball in front of the Ferris goal into the nets. Goal No. 2 came 25:47 until halftime when Gates took a feed from sophomore Estephany Balderas and after a short run bounced a roller from 20 yards out under the goalie’s reach.
Despite some shaky Yellow Jacket defense and multiple opportunities, the Ladycats were never able to pad the lead. They were awarded a penalty kick with 12:14 left in the match after Gates was tackled in the box when Emily Williams found her streaking on a cross from the left wing. However, the resultant PK drifted wide left.
Paris goalkeeper, junior Lindi Hamner was forced to make one noteworthy save, swatting away a Ferris shot from 10 yards away that was making its way inside the hear post.
Ferris finished fourth in District 10 and dropped both its matches with Kaufman by scores of 5-1 and 3-1. Paris will need to step up its game by leaps and bounds to eliminate Kaufman from the playoffs and advance to next week’s Region 2 tournament in Tyler.
Meanwhile, after winning the District 11 boys championship, the Cats hoped to be serious regional challengers, too, but for the second straight year they were bounced out of the playoffs in the area round by Kaufman. The Lions won in 2015, 3-2.
Paris used its forward speed to control play early, but the normally reliable Wildcat defense made the first of two key gaffes that ultimately decided the match. The Cats had allowed just 5 goals in their past 10 matches.
However, the defense was caught flat-footed in the 15th minute when Kaufman midfielder Abraham Garcia was able to turn the left flank, send the ball across the goalmouth into the right flank, where it was retrieved and returned to the middle for the first score by Javier Castaneda with 25:22 left until halftime.
The score remained 1-0 the rest of the half, and the second half deteriorated into a physical contest with a half-dozen yellow cards and multiple stoppages. The Cats still generated multiple chances for the equalizer, including a header by senior Justin Mitchell that was barely tipped over the crossbar by sophomore goalie Oscar Morales with 24 minutes remaining.
Junior forwards Stanley Watkins, Christian Mitchell, and Colin Harris kept the pressure on the Lion defense with several dangerous scoring chances. It finally paid off for Paris with 11:04 left.
Harris won a takeaway at midfield and passed to sophomore Nick Mitchell who was streaking down the left wing. The Lions committed not one, but two, fouls on the play, first taking down Mitchell on an attempted side tackle inside the 18-yard box. Nick was able to slide the ball to brother Christian, who was mugged in a triple-team takedown.
The elder Mitchell brother, Justin, converted the penalty kick with a shot inside the left post that beat Morales and tied the score at 1-1.
The elation didn’t last long, however, as a second Wildcat defensive breakdown proved to be the game- and season-ender. Once again, dangerous Lion midfielder Garcia was allowed to turn the flank. His hard strike from 10 yards out was repelled by Paris junior goalie Cade Blackmon and cleared 30 yards out from the goal.
Diminutive Lion Caleb Linn controlled the ball and quickly spotted unmarked teammate Brandon Morales all alone 10 yards on the left side of the goal on a well-played cross. As Morales settled the ball, Blackmon and defender Roberto Luna closed the gap for a 3-man collision, but Morales was able to get enough momentum on the ball to send it goalward. A second Cat defender tried to clear with a sliding tackle but inadvertently knocked it in for the 2-1 deficit.
Using typical stalling tactics, the Lions were able to finish the frustrating night for the Cats and milk the remaining time off the clock although Watkins managed a couple of serious scoring tries in the final 10 minutes.
Kaufman advances to the quarterfinal round where the Lions will face district rival Crandall, a 3-1 winner over North Lamar in a Friday area round match.
Twins Jared and Jordan Embry followed up on their co-MVP district selections by being named All-Red River Valley boys basketball co-MVPs, as selected by The Paris News.
Sophomore guard Josh Robinson was chosen Newcomer of the Year, while senior Jalen Wallace and junior Jalon Pipkins were picked to the first team. Senior Clint Franklin received honorable mention.
The Paris Wildcats loaded the bases in their final at-bat, but couldn't push across the tying or potential go-ahead run as the North Lamar Panthers won Round 1 of the baseball Crosstown Showdown with a 1-0 decision Monday night at Hub Hollis Field.
It was a game ripe with opportunties for the Cats, making their long-awaited home debut. They left 13 runners stranded on base and were just 2 of 16 batting (.125 average) with runners in scoring position.
The zenith of frustration for Paris was the seventh inning, kept alive by a trio of NL errors. Leadoff batter Corey Allen reached base when his routine grounder short-hopped under an infielder’s glove. Allen should have been out a second time on a attempted steal but was safe when the throw down to second was misplayed.
With one out, the third Panther error almost proved to be their downfall but resulted in redemption. First baseman Philip Nance lofted a short fly into rightfield that sliced into and out of the glove of Tyler Biard. As pinch runner X’Tavous Young attempted to score the tying run from second, Biard retrieved the ball and threw to second baseman Brayden Steed. The relay home to catcher Jake Wynn was in time to tag out Young on a head-first slide. (see photo left)
The drama was far from over, even with 2 outs. Pinch runner Zach De La Garza replaced Nance, who had managed to reach second base on the throw home. Sophomore Zach Norris then ripped a single to right, but De La Garza held up at third. When senior Tyler Sanders was walked on four straight balls to load the bases, Panther coach Scott Scudder pulled starter Matt Gibbons in favor of lefthanded reliever Jake Roberts.
Roberts got out to an 0-2 count on Wildcat starting pitcher Channing Parker, who fouled off a series of six straight pitches. After missing the plate with his first called ball, Roberts struck out Parker to end the game.
“We put this game behind us and move on to getting ready to face Pittsburg,” an obviously disappointed Paris head coach Bill Sikes said afterwards.
Paris, now 12-4 for the season, evens its District 15-4A record at 1-1 with the loss, tied with Pittsburg for third place. The Cats travel to Pittsburg Friday in hopes of a quick rebound.
NL, meanwhile, is now 3-8-2 after a tough pre-district stretch, but the Panthers are tied with district favorite Pleasant Grove with 2-0 marks. NL hosts PG Friday for sole possession of first place. Atlanta and Liberty-Eylau are both 0-2 in district play.
Paris out-hit NL, 6-3, but left a runner on base in every inning. Parker was the hard-luck loser despite outdueling winning pitcher Gibbons in strikeouts, 8-4. Both starters gave up 4 walks and hit a batter.
“I thought Channing pitched well for us,” Sikes said. He got into some jams, but worked his way out of them.”
With the exception of the fateful top of the fourth inning, that is. Parker recorded 3 of his base on balls in that inning, including a leadoff walk to centerfielder Trey Scudder, who then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Designated hitter Ashton Chaffin then found the hole between shortstop and third on a 1-2 pitch to drive in what would prove to be the game-winner. Parker would record 3 of his 8 strikeouts to get out of further damage, but the Panthers had a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcat defense played well enough to come away with the win. The Cats committed 2 errors (compared to NL’s 4) and logged three highlight reel plays in the outfield.
In the first inning, junior leftfielder Corey Allen dove to snag a drive off the bat of Chad Box. Allen had one of the Cat errors in the second inning when he juggled the pickup on a single by Gibbons. When first baseman Kevin Dickey tried to score on the play, Allen’s throw to the plate was relayed by shortstop Phillip Sikes to catcher Tyler Sanders for the tag at home.
Rightfielder Forrest White also made an outstanding catch to end the NL fifth when he chased down Scudder’s foul fly ball at the pine tree-lined fence.
When Parker walked the leadoff batter in the Panther sixth, Sikes switched positions between Parker and third baseman Norris, who picked up the final 6 outs with no walks or hits and 2 strikeouts. Norris has now pitched 3 perfect innings in relief during district play.
An 8-run fifth inning broke up a competitve Crosstown Showdown softball game Monday and paved the way to a 13-1 win by the North Lamar Pantherettes over the Paris Ladycats at Ladycat Field.
The Ladycats avoided the shutout with a run in their final at-bat, but the game ended via the run rule.
The win evened NL’s record in District 15-4A at 2-2, while Paris falls to 0-4 and closes out the first round Friday at Pittsburg.
Wildcat first baseman Philip Nance prepares to tag out an L-E base runner who was picked off first base and caught in a well-executed run-down as catcher Tyler Sanders guards the exit
Paitience and perseverance paid off for the Paris Wildcats in a 7-1 win over the Liberty-Eylau Leopards Friday night in the District 15-4A baseball opener at Texarkana Markham Field.
“What pleased me most about tonight,” Paris head coach Bill Sikes said, “is that we found a way to ground out a win. I’m not sure we would have done that last year.”
The Cats will host North Lamar, a 3-1 winner over Atlanta Friday, in a significant Crosstown Showdown Monday, 7:30 p.m., at Hub Hollis Field with the early lead in the district standings on the line. Perennial powerhouse Pleasant Grove also won its district opener Thursday night, 7-1, over Pittsburg.
Friday’s game was a matchup of two of the district’s top returning pitchers: Paris junior Phillip Sikes vs. L-E senior and MVP football quarterback Kemon Freeman. The duo kept it a scoreless game through the first three innings.
The Cats broke through in the fourth with a pair of runs. Leadoff hitter and senior Forrest White started the rally with a bloop single over the second baseman’s head. Some adept base-running resulted in a stolen base and advance to third on a groundout.
Senior first baseman Philip Nance then delivered an RBI single over the second base bag. A misplayed grounder off the bat of sophomore third baseman Zach Norris kept the inning alive, and a wild pitch advanced the runners a base. A slow-roller to the left side of the infield allowed senior catcher Tyler Sanders to notch a rare RBI infield single for an unearned run and 2-0 lead.
The score remained that way until the sixth when the Cats plated three more runs aided by a walk, two more infield hits, and a costly 3-base Leopard throwing error. Sikes got it started with a 1-out double to the rightfield fence.
A wild pitch and walk by Nance put Cat runners on the corners when a line drive shot by Norris was snared by the L-E third baseman. With 2 outs, Sanders bounced a grounder to the left of the pitching mound. Freeman dove to corral the ball, but his throw from his knees pulled the first baseman off the bag and Sanders had his second RBI infield hit of the game as Sikes trotted home.
In a bit of deja vu, senior shortstop Channing Parker followed an identical dribbler to the same location. This time, Freeman made a wild, and ill-advised, throw that caromed into rightfield foul territory and allowed Nance and courtesy runner X’Tavous Young to score two more unearned runs and expand the lead to 5-0.
By now, both Freeman and Sikes were tiring from high pitch counts, and the Leopards took advantage of it with their lone run in the bottom of the frame. A Leopard base-running error kept L-E from getting a badly-needed big inning.
Sikes walked the first two batters, but picked off the leadoff hitter in an extended, and well-executed, rundown. The Lousiana Tech commit then struck out the No. 3 batter and had an 0-2 count on L-E cleanup hitter Triston Brooks, who blooped a fly into left-centerfield that was lost in the lights and fell for an RBI double.
“We haven’t played any games under the lights,” the Paris coach said. “We lost those games due to the recent rainouts. That’s something we need to work on.”
Sikes (3-1) hit Freeman with a pitch, but finished his night with his 12th and final strikeout of the evening. He allowed 4 hits and 4 walks. Norris finished in relief with a perfect seventh inning that included 2 more strikeouts.
“Phil didn’t have command of his fastball,” the elder Sikes explained about his nephew’s command difficulties, “but he was able to get his curve over.”
Sikes was able to hold the speedy Leopard runners close to the bag and enabled Sanders to throw out a couple of base stealers in addition to the pickoff play.
Meanwhile, Freeman returned to the mound for the top of the seventh to notch his 8th and 9th strikeouts before the Cats added two more insurance runs with another 2-out rally. Junior Corey Allen doubled to the rightfield wall and scored on Sikes’ RBI single to the left-center gap (ironically, also on a 0-2 count).
Nance’s sinking liner to right was dropped by a diving outfielder, and Norris drove a ball into center for a solid RBI single to score courtesy runner Zack De La Garza with the final run.
Paris, now 12-3 for the season, is expected to send Parker (also 3-1) to the mound for the start against the Panthers on a rare Monday night due to statewide STAAR English testing which starts Tuesday.
The learning curve to winning softball games remains a steep one for the Paris Ladycats. Three days after forcing regional power Atlanta to go a full seven innings in a respectable 7-1 loss, the error bug bit again Friday at Texarkana Markham Park in a 15-2 defeat at the hands of the Liberty-Eylau Lady Leopards in a District 15-4A outing shortened to 5 innings by the run rule.
Coming off Tuesday’s impressive outing against the Lady Rabbits, Paris head coach Donya Mooney (pictured discussing strategy with assistant Ray Jack in photo by Joe Watson) was hoping to see her team finally break a district winless streak that now stands at 40 games. The Ladycats’ last district win was in 2012 on the same L-E field by a 5-4 count over the Lady Leopards.
Since that fateful day, Paris has gone through a parade of five head softball coaches with none lasting more than a year at the helm. Lopsided losses and early endings have been the tough norm. Friday’s game against a young L-E team, which starts five freshmen, seemed like a prime chance for a breakthrough.
It wasn’t to be, as the hosts jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning aided by a pair of walks and two errors. Three more Ladycat errors in the second expanded the lead to 8-2. L-E added two more runs in the third and finished off Paris with five runs in the fourth.
The Ladycats committed a total of seven errors in the game so it’s back to the practice field in the long trek for a happy post-game celebration.
After three games, Pleasant Grove and Atlanta are tied atop district softball standings at 3-0. Pittsburg, North Lamar, and L-E are tied for third at 1-2, while Paris is still in search of that elusive district win at 0-3.
The Ladycats’ next opportunity comes in a rare Monday game at home against crosstown rival North Lamar. JV action starts at 4:30 followed by varsity at 6 p.m. The schools are playing on a Monday due to statewide STAAR English testing that starts Tuesday.
Freshman Peaches Jackson, earlier named District 15-4A Newcomer of the Year, received the same honor on this year’s All-Red River Valley girls basketball team as selected by The Paris News.
Junior post Dextiny Patrick was selected to the first team, while sophomore guard Serenity Sanders was named to the second team.
Diarva Brown focuses on the finish line as he takes the baton handoff from TD Williams to anchor the Wildcats’ sprint relay to a win at the Deon Minor Wildcat Relays
Paris won the JV boys division of the annual Deon Minor Wildcat Relays Thursday at Wildcat Stadium, while Mount Pleasant claimed the varsity boys championship and Gilmer dominated the girls division.
The Wildcat JV track and field team won six individual events and a relay to finish with 174.5 points. Sulphur Springs placed second with 144. Paris winners included Daniel Collins (100M Dash), Tyrel McAlester (200M Dash), Gavin Dabbs (800M Run), Juan Rojas (1600M Run), Michael Godwin (discus), Jordan Furtch (triple jump) and the 4x200M Relay team of Travius Bronner, Collins, Tre King, and McAlester.
Senior Diarva Brown was the sprint champion in the varsity boys division, winning the 100 and 200 meters, and anchoring the winning 4x100M relay team along with Javonta Ladell, Montavious McCarty, and TD Williams. Ty Gray took the 300M hurdles and Quen Bills won triple jump.
In the most competitive team race, Mount Pleasant finish first in varsity boys with 117 points, while Emory Rains was second at 102, and Paris tied Sulphur Springs for third with 82 points each.
Gilmer swamped the field in the girls division with 214 points. Sulphur Springs was a distant second at 103, while Paris finished sixth at 54.
See complete results.
The annual Deon Minor Wildcat Relays, sponsored this year by Everett Toyota, will draw a strong field of 10 schools to Wildcat Stadium Thursday. Field events begin at 3:30, with running finals at 5.
The track and field meet will draw entries from host Paris, North Lamar, Sulphur Springs, Greenville, Mount Pleasant, Commerce, Emory Rains, Gilmer, Denison, and Idabel. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for students. Concessions, including a snow cone trailer, will be available.
Everett Toyota will have a tent set up and vehicles on hand for inspection. Visitors can sign up for a prize drawing.
The event is named in honor of the former PHS track star who set records at the collegiate and world elite levels as a premier quarter-miler. Minor is expected to attend the event.
Paris Ladycats head softball coach Donya Mooney made a trip to the pitching circle in the top of the third inning of Tuesday night’s District 15-4A softball game with the Atlanta Lady Rabbits, who were leading at the time by a 5-0 count, having benefitted from 5 Paris fielding errors.
Whatever she said to the team as they huddled around the first-year Paris coach apparently worked. While the Lady Rabbs finished with a 7-1 win, the Ladycats played flawless defense the rest of the way. In what has been a rarity in recent years, the Ladycats forced a district opponent to go the distance to pick up a victory at Ladycat Field.
Offensively, the impromptu team meeting also sparked the lone Paris run of the evening in the bottom of the third. This time it was a polished Atlanta team which contributed errors that lead to the marker.
In that inning, leadoff batter Codi Clark started the rally with an infield single and Cheyenne Yackeschi drove the ball to the opposite field. Mooney replaced them with pinch runners Jayla Sims and Brylei Moore. It was Moore’s extended leads off first base which drew the attention of the Atlanta defense and resulted in an errant throw into rightfield followed by a poor return throw that allowed Sims to score from second base.
Lady Rabbs pitcher Katie Kelly recovered to strike out the Ladycats’ Nos. 1-2-3 hitters to end the threat. She allowed just 4 hits, including singles by E. Harris and Taylor Helm.
Paris pitcher Harmony Hamil gave up 7 hits. Atlanta scored 2 runs in the first, 3 in the third, and 2 more in the fifth.
Paris won the JV game, 8-6.
The Ladycats, now 0-2 in district, travel to Texarkana on Friday to play Liberty-Eylau before returning to Ladycat Field to host North Lamar on Monday.
The Paris Wildcats (11-3) conquered some high winds to complete their pre-district baseball schedule Tuesday with a 9-1 win at Gilmer. In the process, they got some final tuneup work for their pitching staff in advance of Friday’s District 15-4A opener at Liberty-Eylau.
Senior Channing Parker (3-1) got the win after starting and logging the first three innings. “He got behind their leadoff hitter who ripped a shot off of him,” Paris coach Bill Sikes said, “but after that he was solid.”
Sophomore Zach Norris and senior Philip Nance finished up with a pair of innings each in relief.
The key hit of the game came off the bat of senior Forrest White who had a wind-aided extra base blast. Sikes also mentioned junior Corey Allen for having “a good day at the plate,” and he said that senior Quinn Dillard and Parker had a couple of hits each.
The Paris Wildcats closed out Spring Break with a 2-1 loss Saturday night in Athens. The Cats had the potential tying run in scoring position in the seventh inning, but the Hornets, coached by former longtime Paris assistant Dallas Robertson, made some defensive plays to end the game.
Junior pitcher Phillip Sikes (3-1) took his first loss of the season despite holding Athens to 2 runs (1 earned) and striking out 12 Hornets. “He had a real good fastball,” Paris coach Bill Sikes said, “but he couldn’t locate his curve.”
Paris (10-3) took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when senior Forrest White doubled, was bunted to third, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Sikes.
Athens (9-4) tied the game in the bottom half of the frame on an unearned run, and the Hornets took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth.
With 1 out, Sikes reached base in the top of the seventh and stole second. Sophomore Zach Norris then walked. It looked like the Cats might tie or regain the lead when senior Philip Nance “smoked the ball” but centerfielder Jeremy Bateman ran it down for the second out. A ground ball forceout then ended the game.
“Their centerfielder was unreal,” Sikes said.
The Cats finish the pre-district portion of their schedule Tuesday with a 6 p.m. start at Gilmer (6-3). Paris opens District 15-4A on Friday at Liberty-Eylau.
A 2-run homer by Forrest White powered the Cats to a 4-2 win in extra innings and a split of their doubleheader with 24th-ranked Sanger (photo by Joe Watson)
It took 16 innings Wednesday, but the Paris Wildcats finally dealt the Sanger Indians their first loss of the 2016 baseball season in a well-pitched doubleheader matchup of two top 25-ranked Class 4A squads.
The Cats won the second game, 4-2, powered by a 2-run, 9th-inning, 2-out homer by senior rightfielder Forrest White after the host Indians won the opener, 3-2, on a 6th-inning go-ahead run. The pre-district doubleheader was a matchup of No. 24 Sanger (13-1) and Paris (10-2), tied for the 25th spot according to txhighschoolbaseball.com.
The Paris pitching staff held the hard-hitting Indians (batting .357 coming into the games) to 9 hits for the day. The Cats racked up 16 hits for the twinbill.
Senior Channing Parker (2-1) went the 9-inning distance on the mound for Paris. Both runs scored were unearned. Parker gave up 3 hits and 2 walks with 6 strikeouts. Sophomore Zach Norris (3-1) pitched all 6 innings in the opener. He gave up 2 earned runs on 6 hits, 2 walks, 3 hit batters, with 2 strikeouts.
In addition to his game-winning home run, White also doubled twice in the second game. Senior Philip Nance and juniors Phillip Sikes and Corey Allen each had two hits in the nitecap. Senior Payton Barrios had the only Cat RBI in the opener.
Weather permitting, Paris will continue Spring Break by hosting Bonham at 6 p.m. Friday at PJC Hub Hollis Field. The Cats are also scheduled to play at Athens on Saturday.
The Paris Ladycats opened the District 15-4A softball season Friday with a 15-4 loss at Pleasant Grove.
The game was halted after 4½ innings due to the run rule, but not before Paris inflicted some damage at the plate. Sophomore Nautica Harris blasted a solo home run over the leftfield fence in the second inning, the Ladycats plated a second run in the third, and senior E. Harris capped off Paris scoring in the fourth with a 2-RBI triple down the rightfield line.
A 7-run rally by the Lady Hawks in the bottom of the fourth set up the early end. It was the 13th straight win by PG.
Paris hosts the Atlanta Lady Rabbits Tuesday at PJHS Ladycat Field.
Despite a week of heavy deluge which washed out the spring sports calendar, the sun continues to shine on the Paris High Wildcat baseball team. The Cats had to take a 3-hour bus trip west on Friday to complete a non-district game on Kennedale’s all-turf field, but they enjoyed a happy ride home after a 3-2 comeback win.
Paris, which moved into the No. 25 spot this week on the Class 4A rankings by txhighschoolbaseball.com, is now 9-1 for the young season. By contrast, the 2015 Cats didn’t win their first game until March 17 and finished with a losing season at 9-17.
Paris head coach Bill Sikes felt his pitching and defense would set the tone for 2016, and that’s been the case so far. The Cats have posted 5 shutouts and held opponents to 2 or fewer runs on 3 other occasions.
His ace, junior nephew Phillip Sikes, actually had his first shaky outing Friday, yet the team still found a way to win. Phillip Sikes, who had logged an incredible 28 strikeouts in 10 previous innings, was knocked off the mound with 2 outs in the fifth inning when Kennedale rallied to take a 2-1 win. The hosts managed 6 hits off Sikes, who also gave up a pair of walks and a hit batter with just 3 strikeouts.
So the Paris coach turned to sophomore Zach Norris (shown right in photo by Joe Watson) to finish out the fifth inning. Then, after a 2-run rally by the Cats in the top of the sixth regained the lead, 3-2, Norris closed out the win with two more shutout innings.
Norris, now 3-0 for the season, gave up no hits, 1 walk, and struck out 3 batters. He’s now thrown 15⅓ innings on the mound and given up just 1 run, 5 hits, 3 walks, with 17 strikeouts.
“He’s a bulldog,” coach Sikes says. “He really gets after it on the mound.”
Offensively, Norris, who occupies the No. 5 slot in the batting order, contributed a double among the 5 Paris hits. Seniors Cody Conway, Philip Nance, Channing Parker, and junior Corey Allen had the other singles.
Paris hitters drew 5 walks, and Kennedale chipped in a pair of errors. The Paris defense committed no errors.
Paris and Kennedale (5-6) were scheduled to play Friday as part of the Bonham Tournament. It was cancelled, however, so the two teams opted for the single game on Kennedale’s field.
The teams lost a potential 6 games when the Bonham Tournament was rained out. It was an opportunity for the coaching staff to establish a pitching rotation for upcoming district games. As a result, Paris will be hustling to pick up extra games during Spring Break next week.
Weather permitting, Sikes hopes to go to Sanger on Wednesday, host Bonham at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 18, then travel to Athens on Saturday, March 19. District 15-4A action starts on March 25 at Liberty-Eylau.
This year’s District 15-4A boys basketball accolades were dominated, as expected, by the 5th-ranked Paris Wildcats.
Sharing co-MVP honors were senior twins Jordan and Jared Embry. Junior Jalon Pipkins was named co-Offensive MVP along with North Lamar senior Levi Porter. Senior Jalen Wallace was selected co-Defensive MVP along with Pleasant Grove senior Cross Bright and Liberty-Eylau senior Decorian Meadows.
Sophomore Josh Robinson shared co-Newcomer of the Year honors with Pleasant Grove senior Tre Reynolds. Billy Mack Steed was named Coach of the Year.
The Cats had a perfect 10-0 run through the district and finished 33-3 for the season which ended with a loss to state champion Dallas Lincoln in a regional semifinal.
The Paris Ladycats won the JV girls team title at Thursday’s Greenville Cotton Ford Relays. The field events were cancelled due to recent heavy rains.
Kaufman won the varsity girls division, while Paris finished third. Senior Tarsha’la Fisher won the 100-meter dash, and the Ladycats also captured the sprint relay.
Princeton won varsity boys, with Paris taking fourth overall. Senior Diarva Brown was a double winner in the 100- and 200-meter sprints.
The Cats finished second in JV boys.
Paris returns to action following Spring Break by hosting the annual Deon Minor Wildcat Relays on Thursday, March 24, at Wildcat Stadium.
District 11-4A soccer action concluded Tuesday. The 8 district boys and girls teams now wait out first-round byes to begin the playoffs in Area Round matches April 1-2.
The boys champion Paris Wildcats finished district with a 7-1 rout of North Lamar at R. L. Maddox Stadium, while the Ladycats lost, 1-0, to the Pantherettes at Wildcat Stadium.
The Paris boys (11-8-2) advance to the playoffs as the No. 1 seed followed by Princeton, Bonham, and North Lamar. Princeton won the girls district title followed by NL, Paris (9-11-2), and Bonham.
The Wildcats held a 3-0 halftime lead over the Panthers. The Cats extended their unbeaten streak to 7 matches in the process and allowed just 2 regulation goals during district play.
Freshman Kyler Beshirs got it started with a beautiful bending corner kick goal. Other goals were scored by juniors Christian Mitchell, Stanley Watkins, Zach Lamb, Collin Harris, senior Justin Mitchell, and sophomore Cole Miller. It was Justin Mitchell’s team-leading 10th goal of the season.
Grant Erickson scored in the final minute for NL to prevent the shutout.
The girls game was a midfield battle until the final 5 minutes before halftime. The Pantherettes missed a prime scoring opportunity on a rebound shot 4 minutes until intermission. Then, with 2:12 left, Karlee Alexander connected on a 25-yard shot that slipped under the crossbar just out of the reach of goalie Lindi Hamner.
The Ladycats stepped up the offensive pressure in the second half with several scoring chances, but they couldn’t connect on the potential equalizer.
Paris High junior Matt Cochran continued his run of pre-district tournament titles by adding a win at Pleasant Grove on March 4 to his current list of four boys singles championships. The girls doubles team of sophomore Reagan Benson and junior Ashlyn Fleming also won at PG.
Other results showed freshman Sahil Prakash as boys consolation winner, senior Romy Newberry first in girls consolation, juniors Megan Barton and Dalton Kee second in mixed doubles, and sophomore Zain Syed and senior Thomas Zimmerman second in boys doubles consolation.
The District 15-4A seeding tournament is scheduled for Friday, March 25, at Texarkana College.
Jalon Pipkins had some spectacular plays among his game-high 24 points in Friday’s 73-66 loss to Dallas Lincoln at the Region 2 tournament in Commerce including a poster dunk (left) and pull-up 3 against a Tiger double-team (right)
The 5th-ranked Paris Wildcats may have fielded the best starting lineup among state Class 4A teams this season, but they won’t get the chance to prove it.
The 4th-ranked Dallas Lincoln Tigers managed to do something no other Texas team could achieve during the 2015-16 boys basketball season: They forced the Cats to use their already short bench for significant minutes in crunch time Friday night.
The Tigers rallied from a 39-28 halftime deficit to overpower the Cats with wave after wave of fresh bodies in the second half to finally wear down a foul-depleted Paris squad, 73-66. Lincoln then defeated Triple A Academy, 63-54, in Saturday’s regional championship game to advance to next week’s state tournament in San Antonio.
For the second straight season, a promising Paris playoff trail was halted with a regional semifinal loss to a team from the tough Dallas District 11-4A. Last season it was a 5-point loss to Dallas Madison which dealt the Cats their lone blemish on a 35-1 record. This year’s Paris team finishes with a 33-3 mark with their only setbacks by Lincoln twice and to a tough Hot Springs, AR, team.
The J Squad starting five comprised of players whose first names all start with the same letter, almost pulled off a statement win despite hitting on 4 of 5 cylinders most of the game. Sophomore Josh Robinson picked up his third personal foul with 3:06 left in the first half, his fourth foul midway through the third quarter, and he fouled out with 6:29 remaining in the game. He departed with no points scored.
Still, Paris might have survived if it hadn’t been for the one player the Cats couldn’t afford to lose. All season long, Cats coach Billy Mack Steed had stressed, “If we lose Jordan (6-6 senior post Jordan Embry) to fouls, we’re in trouble.”
Before a packed Paris partisan crowd at Texas A&M-Commerce Memorial Fieldhouse, the unimaginable happened. The warning signs were there in the first half when Embry picked up two fouls. When the Tigers turned up the heat with a 21-14 third quarter, their full-court pressure had the Cats playing at a tempo they couldn’t sustain.
Embry picked up foul No. 3 at the 6:02 mark of the third quarter and the lead trimmed to 41-35. No. 4 came with 33.5 left in the period and Paris clinging to a 50-47 margin. The end came with 3:33 to go when Embry fouled out attempting to defend Kortrijk Miles’ drive to the basket. Lincoln took over the lead, 60-59, on Miles’ 3-point play and never trailed after that devastating loss of the Cats’ lane protector.
Steed, a faithful believer in man-to-man defense, even resorted to a rare zone to try to stem the momentum. He used timeouts to give his remaining starters key rest. He couldn’t, however, turn to his only other bench height, 6-4 junior Sam Hawkes, to perhaps challenge the Tigers inside. Hawkes was ill and didn’t make the trip.
Forced into a must-foul situation, Paris sent the the Tigers to the charity stripe in the final minutes, and they converted enough opportunities to seal the win. Paris never quit, but fatique took its toll in the second half in the form of missed open shots and turnovers under Lincoln’s defensive intensity.
Paris junior guard Jalon Pipkins had some spectacular plays among his game-high 24 points. His block and breakaway dunk beat the first quarter buzzer and gave Paris a 15-14 edge. A posterized dunk on a drive through the lane (see picture) extended the lead to 24-16. A pull-up 3-pointer against a Tiger double team looked like it would end third quarter scoring (see picture), but Lincoln guard Lamarsay Austin quickly raced upcourt to beat the horn and trim the Paris lead to 53-49 heading into the final period.
Another block by Pipkins and outlet pass led to a putback by Jared Embry to help delay the inevitable as the last quarter began, and a Pipkins steal in the backcourt and layup cut the Tigers’ lead to 69-66 with 58 seconds left. Lincoln patiently worked the ball for a layup by 6-6 Demarcus Randle to fade the Cats’ hopes.
Jared Embry, who had been fighting off flu-like symptoms all week, also rose to the challenge and ended with 23 points. He stroked a memorable 3 to push the early Paris lead to 22-14, and a terrifc spin move and shot high off the glass resulted in a 3-point play that gave the Cats their largest lead of the night, 39-26.
However, Austin also put a damper on that high point with a tremendous feed to Caleb Young for a bucket that beat the halftime buzzer.
The Tigers had six players score at least 8 points, topped by Miles’ 14. In contrast, outside of those 20-plus-point outbursts by Pipkins and Jared Embry, the Cats showed only 7 apiece from Jordan Embry and Jalen Wallace, 3 from Tavon Lawrence, and 2 by Clint Franklin.
As a result, the greatest period in Paris basketball history ends three wins short of a coveted state title. The Embry twins, along with Wallace, have been starters for the last two seasons and have a brilliant, cumulative 68-3 record to show for their efforts.
They, along with fellow seniors Franklin and Ty Clemmons, will be missed.
The Paris Wildcats boys soccer team clinched its third straight district championship Friday with a 4-0 win over the Princeton Panthers at Wildcat Stadium. Meanwhile, the Princeton Lady Panthers also clinched a District 11-4A title Friday by a 2-0 count over the visiting Paris Ladycats.
Both Paris teams close out district play on Tuesday vs. neighboring North Lamar. The girls play at Wildcat Stadium, while the boys are at R. L. Maddox. The Ladycats need a regulation win over the Pantherettes to tie NL for second place in district.
Paris Wildcats head coach Jeremy Beshirs credited his defense in front of junior goalkeeper Cade Blackmon. He cited juniors Seth Hudgins and Keith Hall, sophomore Montana Payne, and senior Roberto Luna for their roles in the shutout. The Cats have allowed just one goal through five district matches.
Offensively, junior Stanley Watkins scored his 4th and 5th goals of the season, senior Justin Mitchell notched his team-leading 9th goal, and junior Zach Lamb had his 4th. Mitchell got it started with a PK goal off a Princeton hand ball. Watkins scored his first goal on a rebound midway through the first half, and Lamb gave Paris a 3-0 halftime lead with a score on a ball kept alive by Watkins and freshman Kyler Beshirs. Watkins scored again in the second half on a through ball from sophomore Nick Mitchell.
The Ladycats played a tighter match than their previous meeting (a 3-0 loss to Princeton), but the Lady Panthers, the 2015 state runnersup, have still not allowed a goal in district. They lead district standings with a perfect 20 points. North Lamar has 12 and Paris is currently third with 8. A win in regulation is worth 4 points.
JV matches start at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday with varsity to follow at 7:15. All four District 11 schools receive first-round byes and will open the playoffs the week of April 1 in area play.
One day after losing for the first time this season, the Paris Wildcats varsity baseball team rebounded with a 9-0 victory Saturday over Fort Worth Castleberry to take third place at the Krum Tournament. The Cats closed out pool play in the tournament with a 12-1 loss to Princeton on Friday.
Sophomore Zach Norris (2-0) picked up the pitching win vs. Castleberry with 6 innings of 3-hit ball. Norris struck out 7 in the game. Senior Cody Conway finished up on the mound for the final inning with 1 strikeout.
Offensively, the Cats (8-1) scored in each inning except the first. Junior Phillip Sikes paced the offense with a 4-for-4 game and 3 RBI. Senior Forrest White was a double short of hitting for the cycle and had 2 RBI. Senior Tyler Sanders collected a pair of hits.
Paris is scheduled to play in the Bonham Tournament starting Thursday, weather permitting.
Quin Bills won varsity boys triple jump and Montavius McCarty was first in JV boys 100-meter dash as the Paris track and field team competed in its second meet of the season in Friday’s Gilmer Buckeye Relays. The team is scheduled to participate in the Greenville Cotton Ford Relays on Thursday.
JV Boys Results
Varsity Girls Results
Varsity Boys Results
Paris Ladycats collected four medals and finished 12th overall at Saturday’s Region 3, Division 2 (Class 4A schools) Girls Powerlifting Championships in Fairfield. The meet was won by Emory Rains.
Paris results (squat-bench press-deadlift)
Zay Gray competes in bench press at Paris Powerlifting Invitational
Senior Zay Gray won his weight class and Paris placed 6th overall at the Region 3, Division 2 (Class 4A schools) Powerlifting Championships held Thursday in Lindale. In the process Gray qualified for the state meet to be held April 2 in Abilene where he should be a serious threat to place in the top 5.
Gray held a 5-pound advantage over runnerup Leo Rosales of Rusk in the 148-pound weight class after two of the three lifts (squat, bench press, deadlift). He beat Rosales by 20 pounds in the deadlift to finish with a total lift of 1,240 pounds to Rosales’ 1,215.
The Wildcats also placed 3-4 in the 165s by juniors JaKerian Brown and TD Williams. Paris also picked up 5th places from senior Quez Allen (220s), senior Dakota Helm (275s), and junior Byron Muse (superheavyweights).
The girls regional meet will be Saturday in Fairfield.
Paris Results (squat-bench press-deadlift – total):
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.