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The Paris Ladycats soccer team closed out the pre-district portion of the 2016 schedule with another win over a top 10 ranked regional opponent. The Ladycats (7-7-2) posted a 2-0 shutout Tuesday night over the Pleasant Grove Lady Hawks at Hawk Field.
Paris finished its pre-district schedule with wins over Region 2 powers Crandall (No. 2), Kaufman (No. 7), and PG (No. 3). The Ladycats open District 11-4A Friday at Bonham in a doubleheader with the Wildcat boys. The girls match starts at 5:30.
Senior Monica Silva scored one of the Ladycats goals Tuesday and assisted on the other goal by sophomore Estephany Balderas.
The Paris Wildcats closed out a perfect 10-0 run through District 15-4A with a 71-26 rout of the Atlanta Rabbits Tuesday night in Atlanta.
Paris held leads of 22-2, 41-12, and 61-17 after each quarter break.
The win pushed the season record for the 5th-ranked Cats to 30-2. Paris opens the Class 4A playoffs on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m., vs. the Spring Hill Panthers, the No. 4 seed from District 16. The bi-district game will be played at Emory Rains.
The Cats ran out to a 17-0 start against the Rabbits (1-9), whose only district win was by forfeit from North Lamar for using an ineligible player in their district opener. Every Paris player scored, led by Jordan Embry’s 21 points.
Jared Embry, Jalon Pipkins, and Josh Robinson each scored 12. Ty Clemmons scored 4, while Tavon Lawrence, Clint Franklin, and Sam Hawkes managed 3 apiece, and Jalen Wallace had 2.
The winner of the Paris-Spring Hill playoff advances to area to face the winner of Crandall-Canton. If the Cats advance to the regional quarterfinals they would face the survivor of the bracket containing Gladewater, Liberty-Eylau, Mabank, and Van. The quarterfinal winner earns a berth in the Region 2 tournament at Commerce March 4-5.
The Paris High golf teams competed in a tournament Tuesday at Mount Pleasant. North Lamar won the boys event by a combined 10 strokes over Paris and Pittsburg, while Sulphur Springs was the girls team winner.
The teams travel to Texarkana Northridge on Monday for a District 15-4A Preview tournament.
Jalon Pipkins draws the attention of the Pleasant Grove defense but has a behind-the-back dish to Clint Franklin (No. 22) for an easy lay-in basket
Before Friday night’s 60-41 win over the Pleasant Grove Hawks that locked up another District 15-4A title, the 5th-ranked Paris Wildcats honored five members from the Class of 2016 on Senior Night in the Wildcat Gym.
First-year varsity players Clint Franklin and Ty Clemons joined the core of the group, Jalen Wallace and twins Jared and Jordan Embry. That trio has been a key part of the most memorable era in Paris High basketball history and a big reason the Cats are currently 29-2 this year, 64-3 the past two seasons and 87-12 for the past three seasons.
Friday’s home finale should have served as a lovefest on the eve of the Class 4A playoffs, but there were a surprisingly high number of unclaimed seats, especially among the student body. Apparently, several chose to take their love elsewhere on this Valentines Day weekend.
It probably didn’t help that the game didn’t have the high-stakes impact it might have had. The Hawks, ranked 24th in the state when the Cats knocked them off, 66-43, in Texarkana two weeks ago, lost their second district game Tuesday at North Lamar. Even had the Hawks upset the Cats on Friday, Paris could have officially wrapped up the district title on Tuesday when they close out the regular season at Atlanta, whose only district win was by forfeit.
Paris took control of the game early, knocking down four 3’s in the first quarter en route to a 19-11 start. The Cats took a 34-18 halftime lead but they lacked their normal defensive intensity as they began settling for unsuccessful long-range bombs which led to an alarming number of Hawk fast-break opportunities.
The Hawks (21-8) took advantage of the Cats’ lack of energy to close within 10 points, 38-28, in the third quarter, but Paris had a 9-1 response culminating with a Tavon Lawrence 3 that ended the intrigue, 47-29.
it was a strange victory, one which the Cats might have won by 40 points if they hadn’t misfired on numerous fast-break outlets and showed a better outside shooting touch. It could easily have been a much closer game, too, if the normally sharp-shooting Hawks had connected on several open looks from 3-point range.
All of which had Paris coach Billy Mack Steed concerned as the playoffs loom. One bad night could end a dream era.
The playoffs will began on Tuesday, Feb. 23, with a bi-district matchup against Spring Hill, the 4th-place finisher from District 16. That game will be hosted by Emory Rains with a 7:30 p.m. tipoff. The Hawks, meanwhile, need a win at home Tuesday against Liberty-Eylau (3-6) to avoid a tie for second place with North Lamar (5-4), which beat L-E, 68-55, Friday.
Jared Embry led the Cats in scoring Friday with 15 points, while Jalon Pipkins had 14, Josh Robinson 10, Jordan Embry 7, Wallace 7, Franklin 4, and Lawrence 3. Connor Ouellette was the only Hawk in double figures with 12.
Paris won both sub-varsity games Friday. The freshmen score was 51-48, as T.J. Williams and Ty Garvin had 13 each and Vershaud Richardson added 10. The JV final was 63-53 as Jaylen Smith scored 11 and Jalen Easter 10.
Paris High choir students brought home 19 medals from the recent regional UIL Choir Solo & Ensemble Contest at Texas A&M-Commerce. Nine of those students received gold medals which qualify them for the State Solo & Ensemble Contest during the Memorial Day weekend in the Austin area.
Students are awarded medals for receiving a superior rating on a beginning level (bronze), intermediate (silver) or advanced (gold) selection of music.
The PHS choir director is Jan Blize, assisted by Richard Gray and accompanist Dottie Billman
Paris High results:
Paris High junior Matt Cochran is 2-for-2 in tournament titles so far for the 2016 tennis season. He secured the boys singles championship at a tournament in Mount Pleasant Friday to go with his title won the previous week at Texarkana College.
The girls doubles team of sophomore Reagan Benson and junior Soyla Torres finished third at the varsity meet in Mount Pleasant. Meanwhile, at the JV tournament on Thursday, Ramiro Ramirez was the boys consolation singles winner, and Arleigh White finished second in girls singles.
The 5th-ranked Paris Wildcats exploded for a 15-0 lead at Pittsburg Tuesday night before the Pirates finally found their side of the scoreboard with their first points midway through the first quarter. Unfazed, the Cats responded with a 3-point play and 18-2 lead when a lone Pirate fan urged on his team with a shout of “Hey, we’re still in this game.”
He was wrong. Completely wrong. It was over. By the end of the first period the Cats were on cruise control at 32-3.
Paris would stretch the margin to 39-3 before Pitt showed some sign of offensive life with a trio of 3’s on a 12-0 run to get within 39-15, but by halftime, the Cats were in total command at 48-17 en route to a 78-35 District 15-4A rout.
The win virtually locked up another district title for Paris, now 28-2 overall and a perfect 8-0 in district. North Lamar (4-4) knocked off Pleasant Grove (6-2), 63-51, to give Paris some breathing room in the trophy chase. PG visits the Wildcat Gym for Senior Night Friday, but even if the Hawks could upset the Paris playoff train, the Cats would have to lose their regular season finale at Atlanta (1-7) to generate a tie at the top.
That’s not happening, as Pitt (2-6) fans would attest after watching Tuesday’s display in the dimly-lit, close-quarters Panther Gym. Paris put on its typical display of high school basketball prowess with stifling defense, deadly outside shooting, dunks, and a couple of well-timed alley-oop passes.
Jordan Embry (pictured above) was unmatched in the paint and led all five Paris starters in double figures with 21. Josh Robinson scored 14, Jared Embry 11, Jalon Pipkins 11, and Jalen Wallace 10.
Paris coach Billy Mack Steed’s normally short bench was a man shorter Tuesday due to the illness of Tavon Lawrence, but the reserves saw plenty of action. Clint Franklin managed 8 points and Sam Hawkes scored 4.
The Embry twins, Wallace, Franklin, and Ty Clemmons will be honored in pre-game ceremonies Friday as they make their final scheduled home appearance. With the Embrys and Wallace in the starting lineup, Paris has enjoyed its greatest era in basketball school history with an overall mark of 63-3 the past two seasons. Counting their sophomore years when they were key contributors on varsity, they’ve helped Paris compile a 86-12 (.877 winning percentage) the past three seasons.
They’re not through, however.
Following the final two district games, Steed plans to schedule a warmup game next weekend (Feb. 19-20) before opening the playoffs on Tuesday, Feb. 23, against the District 16 No. 4 seed (probably Spring Hill). Three playoff wins would return the Cats to Texas A&M-Commerce March 4 for the Region 2 tournament.
It’s a fun time of year to be a Wildcat basketball fan. The Cats are still in the game.
The Paris Ladycats took Pittsburg to overtime Tuesday on the Lady Pirates’ Senior Night, but a season-long habit of poor ball-handling and excessive fouls derailed their chances of ending the 2015-16 season on a winning note. Pittsburg (2-8 in District 15-4A) beat Paris (0-10), 66-63, which means the Ladycats will carryover a 17-game losing streak into next season.
Paris started well and held at 12-8 lead at the first break and 26-21 advantage at halftime. Junior post Dextiny Patrick led the way with 9 points, but she picked up two quick fouls to start the third quarter and had to sit out the rest of the frame.
Pittsburg went on an 8-0 run to take the lead at 29-26, and the Lady Pirates took a 41-38 advantage into the fourth quarter when freshman Peaches Jackson and junior Cap Johnson sparked a Ladycat rally with 6 points each.
A 3-point play by Jackson tied the score at 53-all with 44.6 seconds left in regulation, and the Ladycats had a chance to take the lead with 14.8 to go but missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Pittsburg worked for the final shot but missed, forcing the overtime.
Jackson scored 6 of her game-high 21 points in OT and had the Ladycats in front, 57-54, when Lady Pirate junior Astaria Smith took over the game. Smith scored 8 points in OT to give Pitt a 64-61 lead.
Zamondeshia Runnels sank a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to a single point, 63-64, but Pitt senior Taylor Leonard sealed the Ladycats’ fate with two foul shots with 17.1 left for the final margin. Paris missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer that would have forced a second OT.
In addition to Jackson’s 21, Johnson and Patrick each scored 11 for the Ladycats. Freshman Irone Franklin added 8 off the bench.
All should return for coach Deanne Dial’s second season in 2016-17. With two freshmen and two sophomores with varsity experience along with a host of juniors returning, Paris should be able to quickly put behind the string from a 4-28 season mark.
Jalen Wallace flies out to defend another 3-point attempt by Versache Buchanan, who knocked down seven 3’s among his game-high 28 points, but Wallace’s late defense on the Panther sharp-shooter proved decisive in the 71-59 Paris overtime win.
Just before the start of Saturday’s 71-59 overtime win over crosstown rival North Lamar in the Wildcat Gym, a Paris High student waving a homemade sign tried to get the home crowd to join him in a chant of “J-Squad.”
He was referencing, of course, the starting five of the 8th-ranked Cats whose first names all begin with the letter “J.” The chant never caught on, perhaps partially because the expectations are routinely high for the 27-2 Cats.
Despite the overtime, the J-Squad ultimately protected their perfect 7-0 District 15-4A record when they exploded for a 17-5 advantage over the Panthers during the extra 4-minute frame.
So why did Paris coach Billy Mack Steed save his biggest post-game bear hug for the littlest “J”, the often-forgotten “J”, 5-10 senior guard Jalen Wallace, who scored just 4 points and had the only free throw miss among the Cats’ 14 of 15 foul shooting totals?
Because it was Wallace’s defense that finally brought Versache Buchanan’s other-worldly 3-point barrage crashing down to earth in the closing moments of regulation and overtime to facilitate the win.
After Buchanan’s sixth 3-pointer of the game gave the senior sharp-shooter 24 points and, more importantly, gave the Panthers a 43-42 lead to start the fourth quarter, Steed had seen enough. Wallace had held the Panthers’ other dangerous senior guard, Levi Porter, in check during the first three quarters, but was switched to the defensive challenge of guarding Buchanan the rest of the way.
With Buchanan lugging around Wallace’s shadowy defense, he managed just one more 3 and could only add 4 more points to his game-high 28 total. He was shut out in overtime and his rushed misses helped spark the Wildcats’ explosive running game.
Defense and a slow shooting start by both teams contributed to an 11-8 first-quarter lead by NL. The teams know each other well, and Panther coach Homer Garner always has his squad prepared to play the Cats, even in years, like 2016, when Paris has a sizable advantage in basketball talent.
Paris started the second quarter on an 8-0 run to surge ahead, 16-11, and the Cats took a 22-16 halftime lead.
A 3-pointer by Jared Embry and conventional 3-point play by Pipkins extended the edge to 28-16.
Cue Buchanan. Paris turnovers, some determined Panther rebounding, and 4 Buchanan 3’s eroded the Wildcat lead. Porter also joined the NL bombing run when his corner 3 ended the third quarter with the Cats nursing a 42-40 margin.
Another Buchanan 3 pushed NL ahead, 43-42, as the fourth quarter got underway. Poor shot selection by the Cats and a steal and fast-break bucket by Panther junior Menderiz Gray gave NL its biggest lead of 3 points, 45-42.
Enter Paris’ defensive wizard Wallace.
Meanwhile, freed of defensive responsibility for watching Buchanan, Pipkins and Robinson came alive on the offensive end. A Robinson 3 regained the lead at 47-45 for Paris before Buchanan used a push-off and teammate screen to free himself for his last 3 of the night and the Panthers’ last lead at 53-52.
Pipkins sank two foul shots to send Paris back up, 54-53, with 1:03 left.
Wallace and Robinson trapped Buchanan and stole the ball, but Wallace was whistled for his fourth personal foul.
Steed didn’t think twice about pulling Wallace from the game or switching defensive assignments.
“I didn’t have a choice at that point,” he said.
Buchanan made 1 of 2 foul shots to tie the score at 54 and set the stage for a wild final 50.8 seconds.
Wallace took an off-balance shot from the top of the key and missed, but Jared Embry chased down the long rebound and Paris got another chance following a timeout with 25.3 left.
With about 12 seconds remaining, Robinson drove the paint and missed a short runner. What ensued was a bizarre melee with the ball bouncing into three separate piles of humanity until Panther senior Julique Franklin drove and gained momentary control just on the NL side of midcourt.
As Garner and Porter desperately signaled for a timeout, Buchanan quickly took a handoff from Franklin and heaved a 25-foot shot that missed the rim and bounced off the glass as time expired.
Officials didn’t allow the timeout, and the teams headed to overtime tied at 54.
The Cats showed why they’ve been a fixture in the state’s top 10 all season from the overtime tip. Pipkins dropped in a 17-footer, Jared Embry made a 12-foot jumper, and Robinson alertly tipped a long rebound off a Buchanan missfire to a streaking Jared for a layup and 60-54 start midway through the extra frame.
A 3-pointer by Porter, who finished with 13 points, momentarily slowed the charge, but two more classic Pipkins pull-up jumpers reasserted the Cats’ control. Robinson scored the final 7 Paris points, punctuated by a dunk, and Paris was finally home free.
Paris will visit Pittsburg (2-5) on Tuesday before hosting Pleasant Grove (6-1) next Friday, Feb. 12, with the district title on the line for Senior Night.
NL, now 16-14 overall and 3-4 in district, faces two key matchups next week. The Panthers host PG Tuesday before traveling to Liberty-Eylau (2-5) on Friday.
You can bet that Steed will be pulling for the Panthers to win those games to avoid a potential third meeting with the pesky Panthers in the regional quarterfinals. The district’s No. 1 and 4 seeds share a quarterfinal bracket, while Nos. 2 and 3 are placed in the other bracket.
“No, I don’t want to see them again this year,” Steed said of a potential third meeting.
Paris also won both warmup games Saturday. The Cats freshmen won, 49-43, in a game that saw tempers flare at the end when a hard NL foul preceded a brief on-court fight and double player ejections. T.J. Williams scored 19, Vershaud Richardson 14, and Jaylen Henderson 12 for Paris, while Jay Walters had 13 and Alec Asay 10 for NL.
The JV score was a more calm 67-44 result. Kelo Scott scored 10 and Jordan Mitchell 10 for Paris. Finch led NL with 19.
Paris Ladycats salute their loyal family and fans after another one-goal win at home
Slowly, but surely, the Paris Ladycats soccer team is learning to win the close matches against quality opponents as last week’s results indicate.
On Tuesday, sophomore Katy Hall’s header with five minutes remaining proved the decisive difference in a 1-0 win over 2015 regional semifinalist Crandall. The Ladycats ended the week at Wildcat Stadium on Friday with a 2-1 win over 2015 regional quarterfinalist Kaufman. This time Paris needed some defensive plays to secure the win after the Lady Lions scored their lone goal with 5:31 left in the match.
Goals by Hall (assisted by sophomore Estephany Balderas) and junior Tieren Gates had given Paris a 2-0 advantage when Kaufman’s Perla Figuero cracked the Ladycats defense by turning the left flank and passing to a wide open Vanessa Montes, whose left-footed kick from 10 yards out crossed the goalmouth and bounced off the right post into the net.
The Lady Lions stayed agressive trying for the equalizer. Paris sophomore sweeper Sarah Bloodworth made a nice clear on one attempt, junior goalie Lindi Hamner was able to control a direct shot from 15 yards out on another scoring chance, and Hamner ran down and secured a loose ball following a free kick from 40 yards out on a third opportunity.
After those scary moments, the Ladycats offense took over and just missed insurance goals on kicks from 20 yards out by senior Monica Silva and sophomore Laney Madding that just missed wide right. The referees also missed an obvious handball violation against Kaufman when a ball hit a Lady Lion on the elbow of a raised arm.
Paris, now 6-7-2, has a bye week before finishing out pre-district play on Feb. 16 at another quality opponent, 2015 regional finalist Pleasant Grove.
As Pantherettes celebrate last-second win in the background, Lady Cats Cap Johnson, Drea Jenkins, and Peaches Jackson exit the court following heart-breaking loss
With 2.4 seconds left in a tie game, North Lamar senior Sydney Chadwick inbounded the ball to senior Bailey Jones. Paris freshman Peaches Jackson tipped the pass into the left corner and into the hands of NL senior Michaela Smith, who quickly flipped the ball over the heads of three collapsing Paris defenders back into the arms of Jones who slipped free down the baseline for a layup that just beat the final buzzer in a 51-49 win by the Pantherettes over the Ladycats Friday night in the Wildcat Gym.
On a night normally reserved for Senior Night, the Ladycats played their final home game of a dismal 4-27 season before a half-vacant homeside bleachers in the Wildcat Gym Friday night. Barring an upset win Tuesday at Pittsburg in the season finale, Paris will carryover a 17-game winless streak into the 2016-17 season.
The Pantherettes, meanwhile, with a roster that features six seniors, will host Pleasant Grove on Tuesday. A win by NL (6-3 in District 15-4A) would create a tie for second place with PG (7-2).
Paris, which includes two prominent freshman posts and two sophomore guards on an otherwise all-junior roster, will watch the upcoming playoffs from home. But the Ladycats may have matured by leaps and bounds Friday night by challenging their county rivals to the final microseconds.
Coming into Friday’s game, the Ladycats had lost 8 district contests by an average margin of 25.6 points. Their closest loss was by 10 to Pittsburg, 66-56. It was the lone district win for the Lady Pirates (1-8). Although the young Paris squad has shown moments of potential, they haven’t been able to put a full 32-minute effort together.
That wasn’t the case Friday night.
On four occasions, the Pantherettes looked like they would run away from the Ladycats, much to the delight of their fans who packed the visitors’ side. NL had leads of 8, 6, 6, and 10 points. Still, Paris reeled in the Pantherettes each time to tie or take brief leads.
NL jumped out to a 10-2 start, but Paris freshman Irone Franklin came off the bench and the Ladycats created turnovers off the press to pull within 11-10 at the end of the first quarter.
Paris took its first lead, 12-11, on a 10-foot baseline jumper by Jackson before NL retook the lead, 18-12. A 3-point play by Jackson and four Paris free throws had the Ladycats back in front, 19-18, and the teams went into the locker rooms tied at 21-all.
The Pantherettes went back on top, 27-21, to start the third period when Paris coach Deanne Dial reinserted Franklin into the lineup and she helped spark another Paris comeback to gain a 30-all tie. Paris turnovers created an opening for NL, which took a 40-32 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Pantherettes increased the margin to 10, 42-32, before Paris started another comeback. The Ladycats went on a 12-0 run to take a 44-42 lead on a 3-point play by junior Dextiny Patrick with 2:30 remaining.
The foul-riddled contest shifted to the free throw line with both teams missing numerous chances to create separation. A foul shot by sophomore Serenity Sanders gave Paris its biggest lead at 48-45 just under a minute left.
A weakside putback by Chadwick off a bad 3-point miss pulled NL within 48-47. NL sent Sanders back to the foul line with 33.5 remaining, and she sank 1 of 2 attempts to push the lead to 49-47. Two free throws by junior point guard Madison Morrison tied the game at 49 with 21.2 showing to set up the final drama.
The Ladycats worked the clock down to 10 seconds and got off a 3-point attempt by Jenkins which was missed and rebounded by Jones. The Pantherettes pushed the ball upcourt and called time with 2.4 remaining.
Just enough time left for a trio of NL seniors to combine, with a bit of luck, for a last-second victory.
Jackson finished with 16 points to lead all scorers, while Franklin had 10, and Patrick 8. Morrison topped NL with 14.
NL also won the JV game, 30-24. Paris held a 22-15 lead with 4 minutes left before the junior Pantherettes finished on a 15-2 spree. Paris' Elayah Runnels was the only player in double figures with 12.
Moving Jalon Pipkins to point guard, like in this earlier game vs. Pittsburg, proved to be a winning strategy Tuesday as the Cats finished off a win at Liberty-Eylau. Photo by Joe Watson
For three quarters the Liberty-Eylau Leopards had the 8th-ranked Paris Wildcats right where they wanted them, but the Cats finished the District 15-4A game in championship form, 63-45, to move one step closer to defending their district title.
The athletic Leopards pulled back from their normal aggressive pressing tactics that cost them in a 82-54 drubbing by Paris in the district opener and chose, instead, to pack the paint with a zone defense most of the game. The strategy was an open invitation to the Cats to fire away from outside, which they did unsuccessfully.
Although Paris finished the first quarter on a 13-0 run to grab a 20-10 lead at the first break, the Cats struggled all night to find their shooting touch from outside. Meanwhile, the clogged lane led to a series of Paris turnovers and second-chance points for the Leopards, who closed within 27-21 by halftime.
L-E trimmed the Cat lead to 4 points, 45-41, in the third quarter, when Paris changed gears on the offensive front.
“We decided to put Jalon (PIpkins) out front,” Paris coach Billy Mack Steed said. “That forced them to come out to defend and spread the zone to create all kinds of room.”
Pipkins scored 12 of his game-high 20 points as the Cats closed out the win on a 18-4 run.
It moved Paris’ season mark to 26-2 and kept them perfect atop the district standings at 6-0. Pleasant Grove remains in second place at 5-1 after a close, 59-52 win at Pittsburg (2-4), while North Lamar (3-3) moved into third place with a 60-40 rout of Atlanta (1-5).
Although L-E is tied for the district cellar with Atlanta, the Leopards still have a good shot at the playoffs, especially if they can play like they did against the Cats.
“It was pretty physical in the paint,” Steed said. “Jordan (Embry, the Cats’ 6-6 post) was getting hammered all night,” but still managed to pull down 17 rebounds to go with his 10 points.
Sophomore Josh Robinson scored 11 of his 13 points in the first quarter as the Cats jumped out to a 20-10 lead. Robinson injured an ankle at the start of the second period and sat out most of the remainder of the game, which forced Steed to turn to his main reserves, senior Clint Franklin and junior Tavon Lawrence for significant minutes off the bench.
Lawrence knocked down a 3-pointer and Franklin had a key tip-in, while Jalen Wallace scored 8 and Jared Embry 7.
Decorian Meadows led L-E (12-11) with 14 points.
The next challenge for Paris will be a rare Saturday afternoon game in the Wildcat Gym against crosstown rival North Lamar. Freshmen squads tip at 2 p.m. followed by JV, then varsity around 5.
The PHS baseball team will be holding its annual chili supper fundraiser for the games.
Katy Hall’s header finds the Crandall net with 5:04 remaining in Tuesday's 1-0 win by the Ladycats. Teammates Tieren Gates and Estephany Balderas sandwich the sophomore in a celebratory hug below.
The third time proved charming for the Paris Ladycats who finally subdued their 2015 season-ending adversary, the Crandall Lady Pirates, 1-0, on a goal by sophomore Katy Hall with just 5:04 remaining in their pre-district soccer match Tuesday night at Wildcat Stadium.
Crandall eliminated a young, upstart Ladycat squad from the 2015 playoffs in the area round on a late goal by prolific freshman Madison Pottorff to win, 1-0. The Ladycats thought they avenged that setback two weeks ago when they held a 1-0 advantage over the Lady Pirates with under two minutes to play in a match during the R. K. Hall & Kings Classic tournament at Wildcat Stadium. However, a midfield turnover and quick counterstrike to Pottorff, now a sophomore, led to the tying goal.
The 1-1 tie felt like a loss to Paris, which faced Crandall in a rematch just 24 hours later in the third place game. A tired Ladycat squad, playing on a nearby practice field in miserable cold, rainy conditions, lost to the Lady Pirates, 3-2.
The Lady Pirates made the long trip back to Paris for Tuesday’s third meeting with the Ladycats for 2016. It looked like the teams would settle for a scoreless decision played with a blustery north wind.
Paris had the wind at its back in the first half and controlled play but couldn’t convert. Hall had the two best scoring chances, but was unable to settle the ball for solid shots on goal.
The Ladycat midfield and defense performed well in shadowing the dangerous Porttorff, even though they had to work against the breeze in the second half. A quick counter-attack produced a 40-yard run upfield by junior Tieren Gates before Crandall managed to clear the ball to the left sidelines near the 15-yard line.
Senior Katie Chaix then sailed a throw-in over Gates’ head that bounced and was kicked backwards by a Lady Pirate attempting to clear. Hall slipped though a pair of defenders and quickly headed the ball just inside the left post into the goal.
It was sweet redemption for Hall, who ironically created the turnover in the previous tie when she slipped and fell while dribbling at midfield.
Despite having the 1-0 lead with just 5:04 left to play, the Ladycats still had to overcome an anxious final push by the Lady Pirates. Pottorf was racing down the middle of the Paris defense when an attempted tackle bounced off Pottorff’s legs and was redirected to a wide-open teammate who rushed a clear shot from 10 yards out that missed badly wide right.
Paris, now 5-7-2, is back at Wildcat Stadium Friday to host Kaufman in a pair of matches. JV starts at 5:30 followed by varsity.
The Paris JV took a 2-0 win over Crandall in Tuesday's early match.
One of these nights, the Paris Ladycats will put four solid quarters on the court and finally put a lingering losing streak behind them. Tuesday wasn’t the night, however, as the District 15-4A leading Liberty-Eylau Lady Leopards went on a 34-8 run over the final 11 minutes to streak past Paris, 64-44.
The Ladycats (4-26, 0-8) held a 36-30 lead over L-E (19-6, 7-1) with 3:09 remaining in the third quarter before the Lady Leopards finally hit their stride. They tied Paris, 40-40, heading into the final period and put the game away with a 24-4 finishing flourish.
Paris has two more opportunities to break its current 15-game winless skid. The Ladycats host North Lamar in the Wildcat Gym on Friday, then close out the season next Tuesday at Pittsburg.
Excessive fouls again were an issue for the Ladycats, who held a 26-20 halftime lead, as they collected 29 personals vs. 14 for L-E. Freshman Peaches Jackson led Paris in scoring with 15 points before fouling out. Junior guard Serenity Sanders was also in double figures at 13.
Four Lady Leopards finished in double figures topped by Maya Polley’s 15.
UIL Academic Winners: (top, from left) Caroline Janes, Brendan Henry, Maggie Maxwell, Shelby Wilson, Kyson Hogue, Chelsea Savage; (seated) Rachel Young, Shreya Singh, Anna Floyd, Emma Napier; (missing from picture) Mason Hevron, Kendra Thomas, Maria Gonzales, Justice Flowers, Patxsonnia Brown
Paris High students placed at recent academic meets.
Seniors Caroline Janes and Maggie Maxwell placed first in Duet Acting at the Austin chapter of the National Catholic Forensic League to qualify for the Grand National Tournament to be held over the Memorial Day weekend in Sacramento. Kendra Thomas placed second in Student Congress, Patxsonnia Brown is an alternate to Nationals, and Kyson Hogue also competed at the meet.
Students also placed at UIL Academic meets in Lindale and North Lamar.
North Lamar results:
The Paris Wildcats broke a 2½-match scoreless streak with a 2-1 win over Burkburnett Monday in a soccer match played at the neutral site of Gainesville.
After a scoreless first half, the Cats took a 2-0 lead with goals from senior Roberto Luna and Colin Harris. They were denied the shutout, however, when Burkburnett converted a penalty kick awarded for an accidental hand ball in the 18-yard box with two minutes remaining in the match.
It marked the third straight match that an opponent has scored their lone goal on a PK. Paris lost by 1-0 counts to Ferris in the championship final of the Kennedale Invitational and to Crandall last Friday at Wildcat Stadium.
Paris (6-8-1) closes out pre-district play on Saturday, Feb. 13, at Wylie.
Junior Matt Cochran and freshman Sahil Prakash finished 1-2, respectively, in boys singles of a tennis tournament held last week at Texarkana College. The team of Kiara Humphrey and Maria Gomez took first place in JV girls doubles. The Paris tennis team will compete in a tournament at Mount Pleasant on Feb. 11-12.
|Paris Girls Relay Team (from left): Reagan Stone, Cheyenne Plummer, Shelby Wilson, Zoie Young). Wilson won two individual events and the Paris girls finished second at the District 10-5A Swimming and Diving Championships.|
Junior Shelby Wilson won two individual events as Paris High swimmers competed Saturday at in the District 10-5A Swimming and Diving Championships at the Austin College Hannah Natatorium in Sherman.
Prosper won both girls and boys divisions with Paris finishing second among girls teams and fourth among boys. The top six finishers in each event advance to the Region 3-5A championships held Feb. 5-6 in Frisco. Paris will be sending 15 entries to that meet.
Wilson won the girls 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke, where she edged out the second-place finisher by 0.28 second.
Junior Keyton Gilbert was the top scorer among the Paris boys with a third in the 100 butterfly and fourth in the 50 freestyle.
Paris won both boys and girls divisions of the North Lamar Powerlifting meet Saturday.
The Ladycats, with a team of just 6 lifters, managed 27 points topped by wins from sophomore Jayla Sims and junior Deja Sikes. The girls division drew 52 entries.
The Wildcats scored 40 points to edge runnerup Texas High with 38. There were 109 lifters in the boys division. Wildcat class winners were sophomores Wesley Gage and Travius Bronner, and seniors X’Zavuis Gray and Dakota Helm. Gray’s total of 1,215 pounds was the top showing on the smaller platforms.
The next meet for Paris will be on Feb. 13 at Mount Pleasant.
Girls Results (squat-bench press-deadlift -- total)
Boys Results (squat-bench press-deadlift -- total)
The 7th-ranked Paris Wildcats (25-4) closed out the first half of the District 15-4A boys basketball race with a 78-34 blowout of the Atlanta Rabbits Friday night in the Wildcat Gym.
It was the ultimate laugher. In a game that was over before the visitors managed to score their first points, the Paris Wildcats saved the biggest laugh for one of their own.
After the Cats pitched a 24-0 shutout in the opening quarter, the Rabbs finally broke the scoring ice with 7:25 remaining until halftime on a 10-foot pullup jumper.
The crowd was politely reserved through the opening moments of the rout. They had seen this show before. Suffocating defense had forced a mixture of Rabbit turnovers and wild shots that were gobbled up by the Cats’ long-armed rebounders leading to breakaway baskets on the other end.
But with 4:28 left until halftime, they were awakened from that quiet reserve by a monster flying dunk by junior Jalon Pipkins. It started a 8-minute highlight stream that didn’t end until midway through the third period when Paris coach Billy Mack Steed sent his short bench onto the court to finish the game protecting a 56-12 lead.
Not to be outdone by the shorter Pipkins, 6-6 Jordan Embry showed his versatility by taking the ball coast-to-coast streaking through the paint for a left-handed slam (see picture above).
Then came some sit-down defense. Literally. Cats’ sixth man Clint Franklin landed on his backside when an Atlanta player juked and dribbled past him. The Paris bench and student body broke into hysterical laughter.
Franklin, himself, quickly shook off the embarrassment and congratulated the offending Rabbit once play resumed. Then Franklin took and made a corner 3 to climb back on the horse.
More shake and bake. This time, however, an Atlanta player ended on his rear on a Jalen Wallace zig-zag.
There was a scary moment, too, when Jared Embry tumbled over the scorer’s table while chasing down a loose ball. He, too, quickly recovered to enjoy a laugh at his own antics.
Paris took a 43-10 lead to the locker room, and when the second half start was delayed several minutes, many in the crowd must have wondered if the Rabbits had boarded their bus for the long drive home.
They hadn’t, so play and the highlight reel resumed.
Next was a nifty Cat breakaway that included back-to-back, no-look passes from Wallace to Pipkins to Jordan Embry for another dunk.
Then came a pinpoint, 30-foot overhand fastball pass from Josh Robinson that zipped through a small window between three defenders to Embry under the basket for a layup.
And, finally, it was Pipkins’ turn for a tomahawk slam on a steal and breakaway takeoff from the foul line (see picture left).
Steed had seen enough. Time to fold up the tent and take the circus on to the next stop before one of his performers hurt himself trying to please the crowd with a death-defying stunt.
The game’s final 12 minutes ended with the Cats’ 4-man bench facing the Atlanta troops. Steed rotated one of his starting guards (Pipkins, Wallace, Robinson) into the game to help distribute the ball to the second unit, who managed to stay even, 22-22, with the Rabbits the rest of the way.
Jordan Embry topped all scorers with 16 points to go with 12 rebounds. Robinson had 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists. Jared Embry scored 13, Pipkins and Franklin 10 each, Tavon Lawrence 7, while Wallace and Sam Hawkes scored 4 each.
Trin Taylor was the only Rabbit in double figures with 10.
Paris swept the sub-varsity games. The Cats JV won, 61-33, while the freshman won, 51-19, in a game played with a running clock.
The Cats return to Texarkana on Tuesday to begin the second round of district play at Liberty-Eylau. Paris is alone in first place with a 5-0 mark, followed by Pleasant Grove at 4-1. North Lamar and Pittsburg are tied for third at 2-3, while L-E and Atlanta are 1-4.
The Paris Ladycats varsity soccer team dropped a 3-0 decision Friday at Kilgore (8-4-2), the region’s 6th-ranked team. Paris (4-7-2) hosts Crandall on Tuesday at Wildcat Stadium for a pair of pre-district matches. The JV starts at 5:30 p.m.
A frustrating 2015-16 season will end for the Paris Ladycats after three more games. That ending was officially sealed with Friday night’s 78-48 loss in the Wildcat Gym to the Atlanta Lady Rabbits.
What remains to be seen is whether the Ladycats will carryover a 17-game losing streak into next season. They have three more shots remaining (Tuesday at Liberty-Eylau, Friday vs. North Lamar, and Feb. 9 at Pittsburg) to put the brakes on the losing skid, which currently stands at 14.
Excessive fouls again dogged Paris, now 4-25 for the year. Freshman Peaches Jackson, the Ladycats’ top offensive threat, picked up her second personal with the scoreboard still reading 0-0. Junior guard Cap Johnson had her third foul midway through the first quarter, and junior post Dextiny Patrick picked up her third with 2:46 left in the period.
With 6:19 left in the first half, junior point guard Serenity Sanders also had three fouls, and Jackson became the fourth Ladycat with three fouls less than two minutes later.
The two teams collected a combined 30 fouls in the first half, a common theme throughout District 15-4A girls games this year, which has made the distaff games a tough watch for basketball fans. The Lady Rabbs held a 40-24 halftime lead.
To their credit, both schools curtailed the fouling and resulting parade to the foul line in the second half as Atlanta’s edge in quickness and skills took over the contest. Paris finished with 28 fouls vs. 20 for Atlanta, which was led in scoring by Justonni Farmer’s 27 points.
Patrick was the only Ladycat in double figures at 12.
Meanwhile, in other district action Friday, L-E (6-1) assumed command of the district chase with a 63-58 win over Pleasant Grove, which drops into a tie for second place with Atlanta (both 5-2). North Lamar (4-3) edged Pittsburg (1-6), 44-40, and eliminated both the Lady Pirates and Ladycats (0-7) from the postseason in the process.
Wildcats seem to be everywhere in opponents’ eyes this year as this photo from Paris’ win over Pittsburg illustrates. The Cats’ defense held another high-powered offense under 50 points Tuesday in a 66-43 win over Pleasant Grove. Photo by Joe Watson
The official halfway mark of the District 15-4A boys basketball chase will be reached on Friday, but the 7th-ranked Paris Wildcats may have emphatically slammed the door on any obstacle in the way of repeating as district champions with a 66-43 win over the Pleasant Grove Hawks Tuesday night in Texarkana.
Prior to tipoff optimism was high among Hawk fandom who saw their team make its debut at No. 24 in the weekly state coaches’ rankings. They packed Hawk Gym for the showdown between the district’s two remaining unbeaten teams and saw 6-8 senior center Cross Bright score the game’s first two points.
Then the euphoria came crashing down to reality in the form of a 19-0 Paris run that realistically put the game away. Junior Jalon Pipkins drained an NBA 3-pointer to end the first quarter with Paris holding a commanding 22-4 lead. It was over.
“That first quarter was a thing of beauty,” Paris coach Billy Mack Steed said of his team’s start. As usual, his defense drew the lion’s share of credit. “When we play good defense, it’s tough for teams to score 60 on us.
“It was the best we’ve played since the first of the year.”
Neither team could mount a significant scoring streak the rest of the way as the Paris margin remained consistent in a range of 18 to 26 points. Once again, all five Paris starters, the 5 Js, managed double figures. Sophomore Josh Robinson and senior Jordan Embry each had 16, Jared Embry scored 13, Pipkins 11, and senior Jalen Wallace 10.
Bright topped the Hawks with 12, and senior Tanner Cole scored 11, but dangerous outside shooters Connor Ouelette and Trey Reynolds drew special focus from the Paris defense and were each held to 2 points.
The win leaves Paris (24-2 overall) in the district driver’s seat at 4-0, while PG (18-6) falls to 3-1. In other district games Tuesday, North Lamar (1-3) beat Liberty-Eylau (1-3), 62-41, while Pittsburg (2-2) topped Atlanta (1-3), 63-40.
The Cats close out the first half of district Friday against Atlanta in the Wildcat Gym. They already have their two toughest road games (PG and NL) out of the way, while the Hawks still have trips left to Lamar Country to face NL and Paris.
In recent games the Paris Ladycats have started strong only to fade their way to a winless District 15-4A campaign. They saw their losing streak extended to 13 games Tuesday night in a 72-50 loss at Pleasant Grove, but this time it was a poor first quarter that sealed their fate.
The Lady Hawks jumped out to a 26-7 lead after the opening period. Although the Ladycats managed to hang tough the rest of the way, the closest margin was 14 points the rest of the way.
PG led, 39-19, at the half and 48-32 after three quarters.
Sophomore Madeline Haak topped PG with 20 points, while senior Brette Wacha scored 18. For Paris freshman Peaches Jackson managed 11, junior Dextiny Patrick 10, and freshman Irone Franklin 9.
Paris, now 4-24 for the season and 0-6 in district, will host Atlanta Friday in the Wildcat Gym. PG is 18-9 overall and 5-1 in district. The Lady Hawks face Liberty-Eylau (5-1) for sole possession of first place Friday. L-E lost its first district game Tuesday, 52-33, to North Lamar.
The Paris Ladycats got a goal apiece from their two forward strikers to win a pre-district match Tuesday at Community, 2-1. Junior Tieren Gates and sophomore Katy Hall each netted goals, while Gates assisted on Hall’s tally.
Paris, now 4-6-2 for the season, travels to Kilgore Friday for a varsity pre-district match.
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.