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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):
An incredible start to the 2016 Paris High baseball season was halted Friday morning by a 12-1 loss to Princeton at the Krum Invitational.
Paris, now 7-1, began the tournament on Thursday with a pair of impressive wins over Crandall, 9-2, and host Krum, 8-0.
The 5th-ranked Paris Wildcats shot 57% from the field, racked up 28 assists, slammed down another 8 crowd-pleasing dunks, and featured 3 players who each scored at least 20 points Tuesday night in an dominant, 86-67 regional quarterfinal win over District 15-4A rival Liberty-Eylau in a game played at Tyler Junior College Wagstaff Gym.
While veteran Paris coach Billy Mack Steed certainly appreciates his team’s recent offensive showcase performances, if you want to see a big smile creep across his face, mention defense first. In particular, Steed was pleased with the defensive effort against the Leopards’ leading scorer Decorian Meadows.
“I thought it was the key to the game,” he said. “Their team feeds off him. When he’s playing well, it picks up their whole team.”
Meadows finished with a team-high 15 points to lead L-E, 18-13 and the district’s No. 4 seeded team, but most of his total came during garbage time with the outcome already sealed. His first points came on a pair of free throws with 1:07 remaining before halftime. By then, Paris was closing out the first half in command, 39-24.
The Wildcat who drew the primary task of keeping Meadows in check was 6-3 junior guard Jalon Pipkins.
“We saw on previous tape that Meadows didn’t like being covered by (Pipkins),” Steed said. “I think (Pipkins) got in his head and kept him from driving the lane like he likes to do.”
Pipkins was a force on the offensive end as well. He topped a trio of 20-point scorers for the Cats with a game-high 27 points, 12 in the fourth quarter which included a skillful drive in the paint through 3 defenders that drew gasps from the crowd and a pair of back-to-back breakaway slams. He connected on 12 of his his 20 shots from the field.
Sophomore 6-3 guard Josh Robinson was equally unstoppable with 26 points, 6 assists, 5 steals, and 2 blocks. Senior 6-6 post Jordan Embry had another solid night with 20 points, 3 blocks, and 8 rebounds.
The littiest “J,” senior guard Jalen Wallace only scored 5, but he was everywhere with 10 assists, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals. Senior twin Jared Embry scored 6 points to go with 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 blocks. Senior sixth man Clint Franklin scored the other 2 points.
The only downer for the evening were the 16 turnovers for Paris. When L-E tried to dial up the defensive heat in the second half with a three-quarters court press, they sped up the tempo which resulted in some easy baskets for Paris along with some sloppy play.
“We can’t have that,” said Steed, who now faces the task of preparing his team for a rematch against 4th-ranked Lincoln. “That’s way too many turnovers.”
Lincoln dealt Paris its last loss, 70-60, on Jan. 9 at P.C. Cobb Fieldhouse in Dallas. The Cats (33-2) have since reeled off 14 straight wins.
Paris hopes to enjoy a home crowd advantage as it tries to upset the Dallas power in a 6 p.m. Friday Region 2 semifinal at Texas A&M-Commerce Memorial Fieldhouse. The 8 p.m. semifinal will feature crosstown rival North Lamar against 9th-ranked Triple A Academy of Dallas.
The two Friday winners will meet at 12 noon on Saturday for the Region 2 championship and opportunity to advance to next week’s state tournament in San Antonio.
Despite the second-half turnovers, Paris pulled away to a 62-36 lead over the Leopards after three quarters and enjoyed an 86-56 bulge when Steed pulled his starters with 2:07 left in the game. L-E finished with an 11-0 spurt and knocked down ten 3’s in the game to help keep the final margin a bit more respectable.
Details on the Region 2 tournament will be posted as soon as they become available, but fans are urged to plan an early arrival to ensure seating.
The two Paris varsity soccer teams swept Bonham in District 11-4A shutouts Tuesday night at Wildcat Stadium. The Ladycats won by a 7-0 count, while the Wildcats posted a 4-0 win.
The win by the Paris boys (9-8-2) kept them atop district standings with an important match at home on Friday against Princeton. The Cats beat the Panthers in a shootout in their previous meeting and a win Friday would ensure a district championship.
The Ladycats, meanwhile, pull into a second-place tie with North Lamar before Friday’s visit to Princeton. The Lady Panthers can clinch the district title with a win over Paris.
The Wildcats started slowly against Bonham. Junior Zach Lamb’s goal gave Paris a 1-0 lead at halftime.
The Cats picked up an own goal in the second half when sophomore Nick Mitchell beat two defenders for a shot on goal that was misplayed into the Bonham net on the rebound. Junior Colin Harris scored a highlight reel goal to make it a 3-0 score. On a dead sprint, Harris controlled a pass that was behind him, then split a pair of defenders to beat the Bonham goalie.
The final goal came from senior Justin Mitchell on a 35-yard shot over the goalie’s head. It was his 8th goal of the season.
Paris coach Jeremy Beshirs cited freshman son Kyler Beshirs, junior Stanley Watkins, sophomore Felx Vasquez, senior Rodolfo Medina, and sophomore Cole Miller for their offensive play off the bench. He also credited backup goaltender, junior Kyson Hogue, with a great save to preserve the shutout.
The Ladycats (9-9-2) had no problem with the Lady Warriors on Senior Night. Junior Tieren Gates scored a pair of goals, while other scorers were sophomores Katy Hall, Zanesha Dangerfield, and Estephany Balderas, junior Anahdian Mitchell, and senior Monica Silva. Assists were logged by Hall (2), Balderas, Silva, and sophomore Deagan Dingman.
Balderas returned to the lineup after missing the previous two matches (both 0-3 losses) with an injury.
Sets the Pace
for Cats’ Rout
Jalen Wallace gets a steal on one end of the court and converts a runner in the paint on the other end despite being undercut on the play. The 5th-ranked Cats grounded the playoff flight of the Canton Eagles, 87-47, Saturday night in Sulphur Springs to move on to the regional quarterfinals where they face District 15-4A rival Liberty-Eylau. That game will be Tuesday, 7 p.m., at Tyler JC Wagstaff Gym.
The elderly couple from the Canton area seemed puzzled by the SRO crowd at Sulphur Springs HS Saturday as they searched for rare available seats prior to the Area Round boys basketball playoff game.
“Who’s the visitor?” the gentleman asked, pointing to the home side bleachers packed with fans of the 5th-ranked Paris Wildcats. After the Cats hit their first 4 shots from the field and a pair from the foul line to jump out to a quick 12-3 lead, he turned to his wife and said, “Honey, those Canton boys are in for a long night!”
He was right. From the opening tip, even the casual spectator could tell there was a world of difference between the teams. With the 87-47 victory the Cats (32-2) moved a step closer to a season’s ultimate prize, while the Canton Eagles and their fans were left to reminisce about what most schools would consider to be a successful year.
“They’re well coached and fundamentally sound,” Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed said in describing the Cats’ latest victim. Steed entered Saturday’s matchup concerned about Canton’s 3-point shooting. Those qualities proved to be legitimate concerns that the Paris starting five made insignificant.
Even when Canton started the game with a spread offense and burned a minute off the clock before losing the ball on a turnover, it was a hopeless cause for the No. 2 team from District 14. After a first quarter punctuated by a Josh Robinson to Jalon Pipkins alley-oop dunk, Paris held a comfortable 21-7 edge. Jordan Embry, the Cats’ 6-6 senior post, fired in a buzzer-beater 3 to close out the first half with the Cats in cruise control, 41-19.
By the time the elderly Canton couple put away their chairbacks and headed for an early exit in the third quarter, the only question left was the final margin of victory and how long before Steed would empty his bench.
That moment came with 4 minutes remaining and the Cats doubling up the Eagles, 78-39. A minute later the Canton coach hoisted the while flag and pulled his senior starters off the court, too. Their careers were over.
It was J Squad basketball at its finest: Relentless defense, transition offense, unselfish distribution, with a spattering of spectacular plays. Paris shot 63% from the field, including half of its 3-point tries. The Cats dished out 21 assists, gathered 11 steals, and collected 4 blocks.
All five starters hit double figures in scoring, topped by Jordan Embry’s 20. Pipkins had one of his best overall games of the year with 17 points on 7 of 11 shooting, 3 steals, and 6 assists. Robinson scored 15, Jalen Wallace 12, and Jared Embry 11.
The reserves had their moments, too. Clint Franklin added 6, while Tavon Lawrence and Ty Clemmons scored 3 apiece.
Jackson Malone topped Canton with 13 points.
Paris now has one final hurdle to clear before a return trip to Texas A&M-Commerce and the Region 2 semifinals. The Cats face District 15 Liberty-Eylau, a team they have already beaten by 28 and 18 points. However, they needed an 18-4 closing run to finish off the Leopards in the second meeting in Texarkana.
The quarterfinal rematch will be Tuesday, 7 p.m., at Tyler JC Wagstaff Gym.
The two previous wins over L-E don’t stop Steed from worrying about the upcoming matchup.
“They have the best collection of athletes in the district,” he said. But ask Steed if he’d trade teams, and you’ll get a quick “no.”
The elderly couple from Canton would agree.
Just one weekend into the 2016 schedule, and this year’s Paris Wildcats varsity baseball team is already halfway towards reaching last season’s win total. The Cats used some dominant pitching to go 5-0 at the Tournament of Champions in Fort Worth.
The 2015 Cats (9-15) didn’t notch their first win until March 17 as bad weather and tough competition set their progress behind schedule. In contrast, Mother Nature has been more accommodating, and the Cats have used the extra practice time to their advantage.
“I really like this group of kids,” head coach Bill Sikes said. “They’ve done everything we’ve asked of them.”
After opening with blowout wins over Fort Worth Northside (15-0) and Castleberry (11-0) on Thursday, Paris used clutch pitching and hitting to grind out two more wins on Friday and a final victory on Saturday.
The Cats beat Fort Worth South Hills, 5-4, and co-host Decatur, 6-1, on Thursday. Junior lefthander Corey Allen got the win vs. South Hills after pitching 5 innings and allowing 6 hits with 6 strikeouts. Senior Cody Conway pitched the final inning to get the save. Sophomore Zach Norris threw a complete-game, 2-hitter to shut down Decatur. He had 7 strikeouts and just 2 walks.
Senior Channing Parker (pictured right) got the complete game shutout against co-host Kennedale, 1-0, on Saturday. He allowed 3 hits, no walks, with 9 strikeouts.
On the offensive side of the plate, junior Phillip Sikes collected 4 hits in the three games. Allen, Norris, and senior Payton Barrios had 3 each, while Parker and senior Forrest White had 2 each.
Paris is back in action next weekend at the Krum Tournament. The Cats are scheduled to open on Thursday with back-to-back games vs. Crandall and host Krum starting at 5 p.m.
Shutouts were the order of the night as the soccer version of the Crosstown Showdown clashed in four matches that closed out the first half of the District 11-4A schedule Friday.
The girls played at R. L. Maddox Stadium as the host North Lamar Pantherettes won the JV match, 4-0, followed by a 3-0 win in varsity play. Across town at Wildcat Stadium, the Paris Wildcats posted wins of 10-0 in JV and 4-0 in varsity.
Senior Justin Mitchell had the 3-goal hat trick to highlight the Cats’ varsity win. He now has a team-leading 7 goals on the season. Sophomore brother Nick Mitchell scored the other Paris goal. It was his third goal of the season and first since Jan. 22.
The Cats evened their season record to 8-8-2 and maintained their slight edge over Princeton for first place in district standings after the first round-robin. Paris leads the boys chase with 11 points followed by Princeton at 10, Bonham 3, and NL 2.
The girls’ match was a battle for second behind Princeton, which has a perfect 12 points heading into the second and final round. The Pantherettes trail with 8 points, followed by Paris 4, and Bonham 0.
Friday’s outing marked the second straight match the Ladycats played without key sophomore midfielder Estephany Balderas. After three straight wins over Region 2 ranked opponents heading into district, the Paris girls had a tough week with the district’s utility player of the year sidelined.
The Ladycats (8-9-2) suffered a pair of 3-0 district setbacks to Princeton on Tuesday and NL Friday. Without Balderas’ playmaking ability, the offense has been dormant while the defense has proven leaky while under increased duress.
A defensive breakdown allowed a 2-on-1 attack by Madison Morrison and Peyton Fleming. Morrison’s goal with 24:10 left before halftime gave the Pantherettes a 1-0 lead.
Although NL controlled possession for the first 30 minutes, Paris showed some signs of offensive life the final 10 minutes before halftime but the Ladycats’ attempts to dribble past a stacked Pantherette defensive wall proved fruitless.
A free kick by Karlee Alexander from 40 yards away bounced into the Paris net when Paris goalie Lindi Hamner was shielded by Morrison’s attempted header. With 25 minutes remaining, NL had an insurmountable 2-0 advantage, and the Pantherettes got an insurance goal with 6:49 remaining on a 15-yarder by Natalie Allen.
The schools started the second half of district play Tuesday. Paris has a varsity doubleheader vs. Bonham scheduled for Wildcat Stadium with the girls match at 5:30 followed by the boys at 7:15. The Ladycats will hold Senior Night ceremonies at 5:15.
The Paris Wildcats opened the 2016 baseball season Thursday with a pair of dominant wins in the Tournament of Champions in Fort Worth.
Junior Phillip Sikes was untouchable in a 5-inning no-hit win over Northside, 15-0. The junior righthander struck out 14 batters. Senior first baseman Philip Nance and senior catcher Tyler Sanders collected 3 RBI each, while senior outfielder Forest Whtie and senior second baseman Payton Barrios each drove in a pair of runs.
The Cats then beat co-host Castleberry, 11-0. Nance threw 5 innings of 2-hit ball in that game, and senior Cody Conway threw an inning in relief. Nance had 7 strikeouts and Conway 1. Nance and sophomore third baseman Zach Norris each produced 3 RBI in that game, while Allen had 2.
The Cats face South Hills Friday at 3 followed by Decatur at 5:30. The tournament wraps up on Saturday.
A select squad of powerlifters produced enough points to give Paris a third-place finish Thursday at the Meridian Last Chance Regional Qualifier. The girls regional meet will be March 5 in Canton, while the boys regionals are March 12 in Rusk.
Paris results (squat-bench press-deadlift – total):
Tenacious defense, such as the corner trap applied by Jared (left) and Jordan Embry, paves the way for 8 dunks including the one below by Jordan
The 5th-ranked Paris Wildcats recorded 18 steals and 7 blocks on the defensive end and cashed those opportunities into 8 dunks, 21 offensive rebounds, and 22 assists on the other end to thoroughly overwhelm the Spring Hill Panthers, 77-38, Tuesday night at Emory Rains in a Class 4A bi-district basketball playoff.
The Cats advance to the area round against the Canton Eagles, a mild upset winner over Crandall in their first-round match Tuesday. The Paris-Canton game will be played Saturday, 7 p.m., at Sulphur Springs HS.
It was apparent from the opening tip that the Panthers, who finished 4th in District 16-4A, could not match the District 15 champions in quickness and athletic ability. The Cats raced out to a 15-0 start and led by a 22-7 count after the first quarter. Paris had 5 dunks in the first period alone.
The Paris momentum was slowed, somewhat, in the second quarter as the Cats tried to play to the crowd with a series of spectacular passes and dunks that resulted in miscues instead of settling for more ordinary results. Still, it was over by halftime with Paris carrying a 38-13 lead into the locker room.
The small Spring Hill faithful, stunned by the mismatch in the first half, greeted their team’s late return to the court for the second half with their loudest outburst. The Panthers seemed re-energized briefly, and a defensive switch to a trapping style caught the Cats off-guard for the first couple of possessions.
It was a minor hurdle which the Cats tossed aside. By the end of the third quarter, the score was 62-23, and Paris coach Billy Mack Steed pulled his starters from the game with 6:25 remaining and the Cats holding a 65-23 lead. Spring Hill outscored the second team, 15-12, but the large Paris contingent of fans saved their most enthusiastic cheers for the play of the reserves, particiularly junior post Sam Hawkes who knocked down a pair of 3’s and scored 8 points off the bench.
The Embry twins dominated the smaller Spring Hill lineup. Jared had a game high 21 points to go with 11 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 blocks, and 4 assists. Jordan scored 20.
Jaylon Pipkins was the only other Wildcat in double figures with 11, while Josh Robinson had a good all-around game with 9 points, 7 assists, and 4 steals.
Paris is now 31-2 on the season and currently riding a 12-game winning streak.
In other playoff games of note, District 15-4A teams swept their bi-district matches against District 16. Pleasant Grove beat Chapel Hill, 68-60, in the closest game. North Lamar routed Gilmer, 74-50, while Liberty-Eylau whipped Gladewater, 66-47.
The Paris-Canton winner will face the winner of L-E vs. Van in a regional quarterfinal next week.
In weather not fit for man or duck, the two Paris varsity soccer teams split their District 11-4A showdown matches with Princeton Tuesday night. The Ladycats, AKA “QuackPack,” fell to the bitter elements and a tough Lady Panther team, 3-0, while the Wildcats prevailed with a 3-2 shootout win after regulation ended tied, 1-1.
The Ladycats couldn’t get it going at home against the region’s No. 1-ranked team and last year’s state finalists. The Paris girls, now 8-8-2 for the season and 1-1 in district, try to rebound Friday when they’re scheduled to play at North Lamar.
The Cats, meanwhile, grabbed a key road victory over their main district rivals despite the weather conditions.
“It was raining sideways and miserably cold,” Wildcat coach Jeremy Beshirs said.
It looked like Princeton would prevail after taking a 1-0 lead with 15 minutes remaining in the match. “We let a player turn the corner, and he split two defenders to get off the shot,” Beshirs said.
However, in the final minute of play Paris turned up the offensive heat despite facing a strong headwind. After keeping the ball alive near the Princeton goal, senior Justin Mitchell was able to get off a shot that deflected off the Panther goalie, and junior brother Christian Mitchell headed it into the goal for the equalizer with 54 seconds remaining.
That set up the overtime shootout. Paris scores were registered on PK kicks by both Mitchell brothers and junior Colin Harris. Junior goalie Cade Blackmon made 3 key stops for the win.
The Cats move to 7-8-2 for the season and 1-0-1 in distrct. Under the district’s point system (0 for a loss, 2 for shootout loss, 3 for shootout win, 4 for win in regulation), Paris now leads the district with 7 points to Princeton’s 6 points. The schools will meet again on Friday, March 4, at Wildcat Stadium.
“They’re a good team,” Beshirs said, “but I thought we outplayed them and I’m glad we came back with the shootout win, especially under those conditions.”
The Paris boys host North Lamar Friday night for a pair of matches starting with JV at 5:30.
In other district play, the NL girls beat Bonham in regulation and the Bonham boys beat NL in a shootout.
The Paris High Theater Department presents its UIL District 15-4A One Act Play entry, Dark Road, in a special community performance on Monday, Feb. 29, 7:30 p.m., at the Paris Junior High Weger Auditorium.
Admission is $5, and patrons are urged to arrive early for a good seat.
The cast and crew will perform for UIL judging later that week on Friday, March 4, 4 p.m., at Texarkana College. Those wishing to attend the district performance should plan to arrive no later than 3:30.
PHS theater sponsors are Amy Burrows and Jayna Shull. According to Burrows, who also serves as PHS UIL coordinator, this is the first time for the new show by playwright Laura Lundgren Smith to be brought to the stage. It is the story of the youngest female Nazi guard, age 20, who was convicted and hung for war atrocities after World War II.
The theme explores how even those who believe they are just in their actions can be caught up by the power they possess to abuse and kill others. As one of the characters states in her attempt to understand the nature of evil, "Evil becomes ordinary. It becomes routine. If you don't look it in the face every day, evil slips up beside you, puts its arm around you."
Burrows said the play “has been a great opportunity for the cast members to study the Holocaust and how good people in desperate situations motivated by fear, poverty, and a need for national pride felt compelled, even justified, in committing such horrible acts.
“It's a real lesson for us all for, unfortunately, history has a way of repeating itself.”
The Paris High Theater Department is honored to be one of the first schools to bring this approved manuscript to life onstage. The cast consist of :
Junior Matt Cochran won his third straight boys singles championship as the 2016 tennis season continued last Friday with a tournament in Atlanta. The girls doubles team of sophomore Reagan Benson and junior Soyla Torres also returned with a championship medal.
The varsity tennis team returns to action on Friday, March 4, at a tournament at Pleasant Grove. The JV team, meanwhile, has a couple of tournaments coming up: March 1 in Sulphur Springs and March 3 at PG.
Paris Ladycat freshman Peaches Jackson has been named Newcomer of the Year for the All-District girls basketball team as selected by 15-4A coaches.
Junior Dextiny Patrick was selected to the 10-person First Team, while sophomore Serenity Sanders made the Second Team. Earning honorable mention were juniors Drea Jenkins and Cap Johnson.
Zay Gray conquers a 500-pound deadlift to finish off his winning series of lifts in the 148-pound weight class to the delight of PHS students and coaches
For the second time this season, the Paris powerlifting team swept both boys and girls divisions of an invitational meet. On Thursday in the Wildcat Gym, the Ladycat lifters won the team title among a field of 63 entries, while the Wildcats finished first in the boys field which drew 155.
The Paris team also won both divisions of the North Lamar meet on Jan. 30.
The Paris boys tied Denison in team points but won the meet based on a tiebreaker. The Cats posted wins by junior Bryan Muse (superheavyweight) and seniors Zay Gray (148-pound weight class) and Dakota Helm (275s). Gray was the meet’s top lifter in the small weight classes (up to 165 pounds), while senior Quez Allen had the third best performance on the larger platforms (181-above).
The 6-lifter strong Ladycats team posted wins by sophomore Jayla Sims, junior Deja Sikes, and senior Madi Wear. Sikes turned in the third best lift totals among female entries 165-above.
The meet served as the final scheduled qualifier before regionals. The girls regional championship will be March 5 in Canton, while the boys regionals is March 12 at Rusk.
Paris Boys Results (squat-bench press-deadlift -- total)
Paris Girls Results (squat-bench press-deadlift -- total)
The Paris Wildcats exploded for a season-high five goals and defended their own net with just three shots recorded to open the District 11-4A soccer season with a 5-0 win at Bonham Friday.
The Cats face an early district showdown Tuesday when they travel to Princeton, a 4-0 winner over North Lamar in the other district match Friday.
Paris took a 2-0 halftime lead over the Purple Warriors. Junior Christian Mitchell scored the first goal off a pass from junior Seth Hudgins. Junior Colin Harris dribbled around two Bonham defenders to score the second goal.
Senior Justin Mitchell recorded his team-leading 4th goal of the season on a 35-yard strike to start the second half with an assist by sophomore Felix Vasquez. Junior Stanley Watkins picked up his first goal since Jan. 9 when he saved a ball headed for the end line, fired into the middle, then struck a return header into the net. Sophomore Cole Miller finished off the scoring with 45 seconds left in the match on his first goal of the season with Hudgins again providing the assist.
Paris coach Jeremy Beshirs credited Hudgins, junior Dakota Payne, sophomore Montana Payne, and senior Roberto Luna for providing shutdown defense.
Katy Hall’s 3-goal hat trick paced a 4-1 win by the Paris Ladycats soccer team Friday in the District 11-4A opener at Bonham. It was the fourth straight win by the surging Ladycats (8-7-2), who appear to be hitting stride in time for a strong district run.
The other Ladycat goal was scored by junior Tieren Gates, who also assisted on one of the sophomore Hall’s goals. Other assists were logged by sophomores Estephany Balderas and Emily Williams along with senior Monica Silva.
The Paris girls face a crucial test on Tuesday when they host defending district champion and 2015 state finalist Princeton at Wildcat Stadium. The JV match begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by varsity at 7:15.
The Detroit Lady Eagles found a way to silence the hot bat of Paris Ladycat senior Ezaria Harris and take an 8-1 win Friday at Ladycat Field on the Paris Junior High campus.
Harris, who had notched three home runs in the first two Paris games of the 2015 season (a 12-10 loss at Cooper and 11-1 loss at Prairiland), reached base on all five of her plate appearances Friday (2 hit by pitches, 2 walks, 1 error). Still, she wasn’t allowed to deliver a badly-needed clutch hit.
Paris left runners on second and third in the first and third innings and left the bases loaded in the sixth. The Ladycats finally broke up the shutout in the final inning on a 2-out single down the third base line by junior Taylor Helm to drive in senior BeBe Johnson. Johnson led the Paris attack with a double and single.
Meanwhile, Paris errors and some timely Detroit hitting helped the visitors build an 8-0 lead after six innings. Losing pitcher, sophomore Harmony Hamil, started the Ladycat 7th-inning rally with a double to center. It looked like the Lady Eagles would escape with the shutout when they threw out a pinch runner attempting to score on a shallow fly to right.
However, Helm delivered with two outs on a hard grounder that bounced over the third baseman’s glove and allowed Johnson to score.
The Ladycats will try again to notch their first win of the year on Tuesday when they visit nearby Chisum.
Pictured: Harmony Hamil scoots back to second base to beat the tag after leading off the 7th inning with a double. PHOTO by Joe Watson
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 March winner is Tyshaun Beamon. 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.
District Baseball. The Paris Wildcats host the Pittsburg Pirates in District 14-4A baseball Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., at PJC Hub Hollis Field to close out the regular season. It will be Senior Night.
Color Guard Signups. Students interested in joining the award-winning Paris High Color Guard should sign up with Mrs. Stripland in the band office. The annual clinic starts on Monday, April 23, in the band room.