Paris ISD uses School Messenger to provide timely communications. If you have a child attending PISD, you are automatically in the database and will receive phone notifications. To enhance our ability to accurately deliver information on activities and emergencies, we kindly request that you create your own contact preference profile.
If you would like to have notifications sent to you cell phone, you can opt in to the PISD text messaging service. Learn more.
The Ladycats and Wildcats faced some tough competition in their third and final tournaments of the young soccer season last weekend.
The Paris girls rallied from an 0-2 deficit in the second half to finish play at the Highway 5 Invitational with a 3-2 win over the Dallas HSAA Blue Angels. Earlier in the tournament co-hosted by Melissa and Anna, the Ladycats tied Bridgeport, 0-0, and beat Sunnyvale, 3-0, before losing to Argyle, 1-0.
Paris senior Sunny Scruggs started the late comeback against HSAA with her first goal as a Ladycat before senior Katy Hall got the tying and winning tallies. It was the second 2-goal match of the tournament for Hall, who also scored twice in the win over Sunnyvale.
“What a comeback for the girls,” Ladycats head coach Matt Dickinson said. “I love the no-excuse attitude from this team.”
Freshman Erika Garcia picked up the other tally vs. Sunnyvale, and senior Laney Madding had an assist. The Ladycat defense, with sophomore Grace Woodby in goal, notched its sixth and seventh shutouts during the tournament.
Paris, now 6-4-2, is scheduled to continue pre-district play Tuesday at Pittsburg before returning to Wildcat Stadium Friday to host Celina.
The Wildcat boys, meanwhile, fall to 6-5-1. Their next action is scheduled for Jan. 30 at Marshall.
The Cats had a rough first day. They lost, 4-0, to Midlothian Heritage and by a 3-0 court to host Terrell.
They returned Friday to defeat Mineola, 4-2. Junior Jose Arraujo scored twice, while senior Cole Miller and junior JP Rojas scored the other goals. Junior Kyler Beshirs had an assist.
Miller had the lone goal for Paris in a 2-1 loss Saturday to Oak Cliff Life, a regional semifinalists last season. The game was headed for a 1-1 draw when Life scored the winner with 22 seconds left.
Pleasant Grove staged second-half comebacks to post a pair of District 14-4A basketball wins Wednesday over Paris in the Wildcat Gym.
Both Ladycat and Wildcat varsities shared common fates as the result of poor shooting and untimely turnovers after enjoying halftime leads. The Paris girls squandered a 16-point halftime lead on the defending district girls champions to lose, 63-59, while the Paris boys lost in overtime, 60-55, in a key home game they needed to win to have a chance to repeat as 4-time district champs.
“We got the shots we were looking for,” said Wildcat head coach Billy Mack Steed. “They just didn’t fall.”
The games were delayed 24 hours from their scheduled Tuesday dates due to winter weather that hit East Texas Monday night. The two varsity games were moved back to Wednesday with all sub-varsity games cancelled. They were played before the smallest crowd to ever watch a Wildcat boys game since the new high school opened seven years ago.
The Ladycats (12-14, 1-3) held a slim 15-14 lead over the Lady Hawks (15-6, 4-0) after the opening quarter and were tied, 24-24, midway through the second period when they closed out the first half on an incredible 16-0 run. The rally was keyed by freshman Quiniya Savage’s 8 points (pictured right in photo by Joe Watson), but it was a dazzling display of shooting accuracy and defensive pressure that had to rank as the finest 4-minute display of basketball by a Paris girls team in recent memory.
The Ladycats returned to earth in the second half as the 40-24 halftime lead soon became a distant memory. Paris, which committed 11 turnovers in the first half, equalled that number in the third quarter and was outscored by PG, 15-4, as the Lady Hawks pulled within 44-39 to start the final frame.
PG regained a tie on 3 occasions before taking the lead, 57-54, on a corner 3 by sophomore Sha’Nequa Henry with 3:13 remaining in the game. Savage scored the next 5 points for Paris to lift the Ladycats to their final lead, 59-58, but a 12-footer by senior Monique Walker plus a pair of free throws by Henry gave PG a 62-59 cushion with 35.8 left to play.
Paris then missed an open 3 that would have tied the game and PG sophomore Ashanti Levingston added a free throw with 10.7 left to ensure the victory.
Henry topped PG scoring with 18, while Walker scored 14, Madeline Haak 12, and Abby Hines 12. Paris’ Peaches Jackson led all scorers with 20, Savage ended with 13, and Serenity Sanders 10.
The boys game was close throughout with the largest lead just 6 points. There were 11 ties and 12 lead changes in regulation with the Cats holding slim 10-9, 21-19, and 37-33 leads after the first 3 breaks.
Paris had golden opportunities to extend the lead at the close of the third quarter by starting a trend of missed shots in the paint. That malady continued through the rest of the game.
Still, it was the Wildcats’ game to lose after a Trea Johnson spin move gave them a 46-44 edge. The Cats regained possession in the final 2 minutes but an unforced turnover led to a tying baseline jumper by PG’s Kameron Woods that knotted the score at 46. Paris then forced an ill-advised outside shot to give the Hawks the ball with 1:01 remaining.
However, Johnson’s defensive presence led to a backcourt violation and Paris had one final chance to end it in regulation with 21.9 left on the clock. The Cats freed Johnson at the top of the key for the game-winner, but his shot rimmed out and the game went into overtime.
PG never trailed in OT and knocked down 8 of 11 foul shots to leave with a key district win. The Hawks (2-0) have opened district play with tough road wins at Pittsburg and Paris.
Sophomore post Trevon Dennis (pictured above in photo by Joe Watson) led Paris in scoring with 17, including a trio of 3’s, while Jordan Mitchell and Johnson each scored 12. The Hawks had four players in double figures, topped by Xavier Benson with 13.
The Cats (12-11, 1-1) try to rebound by taking the long trip to Atlanta Friday before returning home next Tuesday to host Liberty-Eylau.
Less than capacity crowd watches Lamar County rivals battle in district basketball opener
Late arrivals to Saturday night’s Paris-North Lamar boys basketball district opener in the Panther Gym were greeted by an unfamiliar sight: Empty seats, and lots of them.
In recent seasons the Lamar County rivals were perennial contenders to advance to the regional tournament. You had to arrive before their JV teams played in order to find a seat on nights when Paris and NL clashed on the basketball court.
This season the Cats (12-10) are struggling to remain above .500, while the Panthers are struggling to reach the break-even mark, which had to affect the attendance at Saturday’s District 14-4A opener won by Paris, 52-38.
There was little suspense in the outcome for those in attendance. Paris took the lead for good, 7-6, and enjoyed a 15-8 advantage after Zyan King canned a baseline jumper to beat the first period buzzer.
Jay Walters hit three 3’s and Josh Dangerfield knocked down a couple to keep the Panthers in the hunt in the first half, but Jameon Mitchell’s reverse lay-in restored the 7-point Paris advantage at halftime, 27-20.
The Cats’ trapping defense took its toll in the third quarter, and Paris soon stretched the lead to double digits, 33-22, after Trevon Dennis found Trea Johnson on a baseline cut and Jordan Mitchell added a fast break bucket.
Walters responded with a baseline jumper and a 3 to trim the gap to 6, 33-27, but those were his final points of the game as he finished with a team-high 16. Paris completed the frame on a 9-2 run to take a 42-29 lead into the final period.
The closest the Panthers narrowed the margin in the fourth quarter was 11, 44-33, before the Cats eventually stretched their lead to 16, 52-36.
Jordan Mitchell topped all scorers with 17, sophomore post Dennis had 15, and sophomore guard Jameon Mitchell 7. In support of Walters’ 16, Alec Asay scored 8 and Dangerfield 6 for NL.
In other district openers, Pleasant Grove won a tough game at Pittsburg, 60-53, and Liberty-Eylau trounced Atlanta, 83-53. The Cats host PG Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym in a key contest if Paris hopes to defend its 3-time district title.
The district co-favorites split their two tournament appearances last month. PG topped Paris in overtime, 58-51, at the New Boston Gunslinger Tournament, while Paris turned the tables at the Paris Holiday Invitational, 60-49.
In Saturday’s sub-varsity games, the Paris freshmen beat NL, 51-37, while the Cats JV won, 47-41.
Paris Wildcats pose with their 2018 R.K. Hall & Kings Classic boys championship trophy
The Paris Wildcats received a rare chance for tournament redemption at the R.K. Hall & Kings Classic Saturday night at Wildcat Stadium as they made Tony Saavedra’s second-chance goal stand up for a 1-0 win over Kennedale in the boys championship final.
The two tournament finalists met in a group game Friday, and Kennedale scored late to come away with a 2-1 win over the Cats. However, Paris rebounded with a 3-1 victory over Pittsburg in Saturday’s noon match to finish group play and earn a rematch in the tournament final. So what made the difference in the 24-hour turnaround?
“Effort,” Paris head coach Jeremy Beshirs said afterwards. “Our effort was outstanding tonight. They (his players) really took it to them.”
The final appeared headed for an overtime shootout when neither team could dent the scoreboard late in the match. Then, senior Tony Saavedra took advantage of a turnover by the Kennedale defense to make a quick burst inside the 18-yard box.
As the Kennedale goalie rushed out of his net, Saavedra sent the ball goalward. The backside defender covered the open goal and managed to divert the shot off the crossbar and back into the field of play.
It was unclear whether the ball had crossed the goal, and Saavedra had already turned to begin his celebration when he quickly reversed direction, caught up with the rebound and left no doubt with a follow-up shot with 13 minutes left to play. The Cats then went into a defensive shell to fritter away the remaining time.
The goal symbolized the type of never-quit attitude the Cats needed to regain the top trophy at the annual event after a year layoff. They played, and won, the third-place game in 2017, then watched Pittsburg defeat Kennedale in a shootout to win last year’s tournament title.
They denied Pittsburg a chance to repeat as tournament champions with the 3-1 win earlier in the day. Senior Felix Vasquez registered his team-leading fourth goal of the season midway through the opening half when his shot resulted in an own goal off a Pitt defender’s attempt at a late clear.
However, the Pirates tied the score, 1-1, less than a minute later when they cracked the Paris defense on a breakaway rush. Just three minutes later, junior JP Rojas found the net from the ring wing, and junior Alan Garcia netted the third goal after a takedown in the box and successful penalty kick.
The second half was scoreless.
In other boys group play Saturday, Pleasant Grove downed North Lamar, 4-1, and Kennedale blanked Kemp, 2-0. PG then shut out Kemp, 3-0, in the third-place match.
Paris, now 5-2-1, continues pre-district action at the Terrell Tournament starting Thursday where the Cats will face Midlothian Heritage, host Terrell, and Mineola in pool play.
Ladycats Finish Runnerups
The Paris Ladycats (4-3-1), missing three key starters due to injuries, managed to defeat Class 5A Canyon Randall, 2-0, to conclude their group play Saturday before falling to Athens, 2-0, in the girls championship final.
Athens, a state tournament finalist last season, played Sulphur Springs to a scoreless draw earlier in the day, while Chapel Hill routed Pittsburg, 12-1, in a match where the Lady Pirates managed to score the first goal in the first-year program’s short history. The third-place match was cancelled by mutual consent.
Paris took a 2-0 halftime lead over Canyon Randall, which made the 400-mile trek to join this season’s tournament field. Senior co-captain Deagan Dingman started the scoring with a perfect 27-yard missile on a free kick that just cleared the crossbar (see photo left).
Senior defender Sarah Bloodworth picked up the insurance goal off a corner kick that bounced off the near post. Bloodworth headed the ball, then followed up the rebound in a crowd parked in front of the net.
The Ladycats return to Wildcat Stadium Tuesday for a pair of matches against Kaufman (JV at 5 p.m., varsity at 6:30) before entering the Highway 5 Invitational co-hosted by Anna and Melissa starting Thursday.
Peaches Jackson goes up for a layup flanked by NL defenders Emma Stewart (4), MaKayla Figueroa (3), and Summer Andrews (15). Notice, however, that Jackson is positioned directly underneath the goal, making her shot difficult, if not impossible. (photo by Joe Watson)
The North Lamar Pantherettes packed the lane with a tight zone defense to shut down the Paris Ladycats’ scoring machine, Peaches Jackson, and they were able to effectively negate Paris’ full-court pressure to take a 43-38 win in District 14-4A girls basketball Friday night in the Panther gym.
Jackson was held to 13 points, 7 points below her season average, and had a sub-par shooting night as the Ladycat junior was forced into shots outside her range or into off-balance or awkward attempts on occasions when she was able to penetrate the paint. It was the lowest offensive output for Paris since a tournament game on Dec. 1.
The result left both teams with 1-2 district marks. Paris falls to 12-13 for the season.
Both teams were offensively challenged in the first half. The Ladycats didn’t show good patience working against the Pantherette defense and settled for, and missed, their outside shots, while NL was able to stay in the game by out-hustling Paris for rebounds.
The Ladycats led, 7-3, after the first period and extended their lead to 16-8 in the second before NL’s Makayla Figueroa connected on a 3 then a layup off a double-team pass from senior post Summer Andrews to cut the lead to 16-13 at halftime.
Paris got into early foul trouble due to reach fouls and poor positioning in the first half, but the Pantherettes weren’t able to take full advantage at the line. They made just 2 of 14 foul shots in the first half and finished the game making just 36% (9 of 25).
Paris went to Jackson down low with a bucket to start the second half, 18-13, but the Pantherettes answered with a 10-0 run to grab the momentum. A 3-point play and 3-pointer by Andrews plus a layup and short baseline jumper by Emma Stewart gave NL a 23-18 advantage.
Stewart and Andrews scored 8 points apiece in the quarter as the Pantherettes enjoyed their biggest lead of the night, 31-22, before the Ladycats reclaimed the lead, 32-31, with a 10-0 run of their own at the start of the fourth quarter.
Andrews would finish with a game-high 15 points, and Stewart scored 12.
The lead changed hands 3 times and was tied on 2 occasions before a free throw by Andrews gave NL the lead for good, 36-35. Two foul shots by Stewart and an uncontested drive down the lane by Andrews put the Pantherettes up, 40-36, with 1:07 left in the game.
Jackson made a pair of foul shots with 12.2 remaining to get within one possession, 41-38, but NL broke Paris’ full-court pressure and a layup by Danny Risinger sealed the win.
The Pantherettes also won the JV game, 31-20.
The fierce north winds calmed down a bit but were still a major factor on Day 2 of the R. K. Hall & Kings Classic soccer tournament Friday at Wildcat Stadium. The Paris Ladycats used a second-half field advantage to turn their match into a turkey shoot on the Pittsburg goal in an 8-0 shutout, while the Paris Wildcats fell short in their second-half attempt to battle the wind and a solid Kennedale team, 2-1.
In other tournament results Friday, Athens and Canyon Randall battled to a scoreless draw, while Sulphur Springs edged Chapel Hill, 1-0, on the girls side. In other boys scores, Pleasant Grove beat Kemp, 1-0, and Pittsburg defeated North Lamar, 4-1.
The tournament concludes Saturday with championships decided in both girls and boys divisions. The Ladycats face Canyon Randall at 11 a.m. Saturday followed by a 12:30 p.m. match between the Wildcats and Pittsburg.
Working against the 15 to 20 mph breeze to start their match, it took almost 7 minutes for the Ladycats (3-2-1) to dent the scoreboard against the Lady Pirates, a first-year program. Ironically, it was standout defender Sarah Bloodworth who got the score on a header off a corner kick and followup cross by Deagan Dingman.
It took another 7 minutes for Paris to increase the lead to 2-0 off a short chip shot by Josie Cade over the Pitt goalie after taking a feed from Katy Hall. Hall gave Paris a 3-0 haltime lead with 5:35 left in the first half when she got behind the Pitt defense and beat the goalie to the short side.
The teams changed ends of the field for the second half, and the Ladycats doubled their goal output in the first 5 minutes with the wind on their side. Freshman Sara Davidson and senior Laney Madding would each score twice in the second half and senior Deagan Dingman picked up the final goal.
The Wildcat boys (3-2-1) had the benefit of the wind in the first half of their match vs. Kennedale, but the score was 0-0 at halftime. Kennedale took a 1-0 lead in the second half, but senior Felix Vasquez tied it, 1-1, on a goal with 10 minutes remaining.
However, Kennedale reclaimed the lead with 5 minutes to go, 2-1.
Happy Campers: Chapel Hill reserves bundle up to fight off the brutal north win during their team’s match vs. the Ladycats. Ironically, a wind shelter sits unoccupied in the background after it was unable to remain safely anchored in place.
As if on cue, Mother Nature ushered in the soccer season at Wildcat Stadium Thursday with biting north winds gusting to 40 mph and wind chills that dipped into the lower teens. It was near perfect weather for running around in shorts on Day 1 of the annual R.K. Hall & Kings Classic soccer tournament.
The Paris Ladycats battled to a scoreless tie in their mid-afternoon match with the Chapel Hill Lady Bulldogs, while the Paris Wildcats edged the Pleasant Grove Hawks, 1-0, in the tournament nitecap.
The tournament’s 12 participating teams will be greeted by near-balmy conditions on Friday with temps in the 40s, full sun, and quieter winds. Only in Texas, where football rules the fall and soccer is deemed an appropriate winter sport.
While high school soccer teams and their faithful fans are accustomed to battling the low temps, the gale-force winds turned the matches into half-field slugfests favoring the team defending the north goal. Still, the extreme breeze totally negated skill from the sport.
“It’s just as ridiculous playing with (the wind) as it is playing against it,” Ladycats head coach Matt Dickinson said after watching his team miss what should have been a golden scoring opportunity.
His team had the wind at their backs in the first half. The Ladycats’ best chance on goal came midway through the opening half when a shot by senior Zanesha Dangerfield sailed just over the goal and hit the football crossbar.
Veteran senior defender Sarah Bloodworth turned in the play of the match in the closing minute before halftime. Paris goalie Grace Woodby became entangled in a Chapel Hill challenge at the top of the 18-yard box. A Lady Bulldog managed to send an uncontested shot on goal, but Bloodworth made a 10-yard sprint to reach the ball and knock it out of play just before it crossed the goalmouth.
Bloodworth immediately received a heartfelt hug from Woodby for her heroics.
Bloodworth was able to clear a couple of other scoring opportunities facing the wind in the second half to fight off endless pressure from the CHill offense. In the final 15 seconds a Lady Bulldog shot ricocheted off the football crossbar and ensured the scoreless draw.
Paris (2-2-1) crossed midfield just once in the second half when freshman Erika Garcia caught up with a through ball and made a deep run before losing possession out of bounds. The subsequent throw in quickly sent the teams back into the Paris side of the field.
The Paris boys also had the wind at their backs during the first half of their match vs. PG. Seniors Felix Vasquez and Cole Miller each had clear shots on goal from 20 yards out, but their attempts sailed over the net.
A deep throw-in by junior Alan Garcia started the goal producing play just 1:35 before halftime. A teammate quickly turned and fired on goal, but the shot was headed into the left corner by a PG defender. Garcia followed up his own throw-in to catch up with the rebound and send the ball on a sharp trajectory that just beat the Hawk goalkeeper to the short side.
Wildcat goalie Luis Herrera had to make a tricky stop on a PG shot from 30 yards away in the second half, and Miller was able to clear the rebound. A final Hawk attempt from 20 yards out sailed over the goal with 15 seconds remaining to seal the win for Paris, now 2-1-1.
In other girls matches on Day 1, Athens opened the tournament with a 7-0 rout of Pittsburg before the cold front ushered in the brutal winds and Sulphur Springs played Canyon Randall to a scoreless draw. On the boys side, Pittsburg and Kemp also ended 0-0 and Kennedale beat North Lamar, 4-1.
The Ladycats play Pittsburg at 2:30 on Friday while the Wildcats get Kennedale at 7.
After sleep-walking through the first half of their District 14-4A home game vs. Pittsburg Tuesday night in the Wildcat Gym, the Paris Ladycats got a jolting halftime alarm. When the teams returned to the court, Paris responded with a 33-1 blitzkrieg to ensure the Ladycats wouldn’t wake up and find themselves lodged in the district cellar.
Paris turned an 18-26 halftime deficit into a 64-41 victory to even the Ladycats’ early district record at 1-1 and overall season mark at 12-12. They take the short crosstown trip to North Lamar Friday for a game that could be critical in both teams’ playoff hopes. NL (0-2) fell to Liberty-Eylau (2-0), 45-33, Tuesday and Pleasant Grove (2-0) dropped Atlanta (1-1), 73-48.
Carol Croom glides in on a baseline drive for 2 of her 14 points in the Ladycats’ win (photo by Joe Watson)
The Ladycats have won just two district games over the past two seasons, and both came last year against the Lady Pirates (0-2), who were routed by Atlanta, 82-30, in their district opener last week. A loss on their home floor to Pitt would have been a crippling blow to the Ladycats’ early district aspirations.
But they appeared headed to that destiny after a myriad of turnovers and lackluster play along with some bullseye Lady Pirate outside shooting (they racked up six 3’s in the game) sent Pitt to the locker room with a 26-18 edge. In the third quarter, the Ladycats turned up the defensive heat for an almost endless parade of steals and transition baskets.
Paris scored the first 21 points of the second half before Pitt ended the streak on a made free throw, and that meager output was the result of an curious intentional foul against the Ladycats in the backcourt on an inbounds play. By then, Paris was in cruise control at 39-27.
Paris finished the third-quarter onslaught outscoring Pitt, 23-1, and taking a 41-27 lead into the fourth quarter. The Lady Pirates didn’t score from the field until 5:39 remained in the game, and the Ladycats finally settled on a high-water mark of 57-30 to conclude an improbable 39-4 run.
Peaches Jackson paced the Paris scoring with 17 points despite sitting out most of the fourth quarter with the game in hand. Carol Croom was also in double figures with 14. Serenity Sanders and Tori Jones each scored 9, Quiniya Savage had 8, Bailee Brown 4, Tatiana Washington 2, and Elvira Infante 1.
Sharp-shooting guard Sydney Reynolds, who knocked down four 3’s, led the Lady Pirates with 19.
Pitt won the JV game, 43-38, despite 16 points from Paris’ Tiy McGee.
The Paris Wildcats, after a long, successful home stand which saw them win 7 of 9 games in the Wildcat Gym, hit a road bump Tuesday in their final pre-district tuneup as they dropped a 60-56 decision at Melissa.
“We had a couple of chances to tie it late in the game, but we couldn’t hit our shots,” said Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed, who saw his team’s season mark fall to 11-10. The Cats open District 14-4A play Saturday at crosstown rival North Lamar.
The Melissa game was close throughout, with the Cardinals holding a 28-22 halftime lead and taking a 37-34 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Jordan Mitchell scored 14 of his game-high 20 points in the second half for Paris. Melissa had four players in double figures: Joshua Wood and Junior Castleberry 14 each, Matt Holloway 12, and Brendon Lewis 10.
Perry Franklin slams down the alley-oop pass from Cameron Jones to top off a big win (see video replay on Twitter)
That olde familiar swagger is beginning to return to Paris Wildcats boys basketball, just in time, as the Cats close out pre-district and prepare for a potential fourth straight district title.
After an uncharacteristic 4-7 start to the 2017-18 season, Paris has now won 7 of its past 9 games following Friday’s 68-33 blowout of Oak Cliff Life in the Wildcat Gym. The only two losses in that streak have been to a very strong Class 5A Mt. Pleasant.
Paris, now 11-9, travels to Melissa Tuesday before starting District 14-4A action with the crosstown trip to North Lamar next Saturday, Jan. 13.
Wildcat fans have grown accustomed to winning basketball during Billy Mack Steed’s 11-year tenure at the school where his teams have fashioned an overall mark of 284 wins against just 68 losses (.807 winning percentage). While the current team can’t draw comparisons to the past three teams which reached the regional tournament, these Cats have made significant strides since those early-season struggles.
The offense has been a big key to the improved showing, and the Cats tied a season-best in total points in subduing the Lions Friday. The Cats had some early problems adapting to the Dallas team’s 4-corner offense and 3-point shooting (the Lions dropped in eight 3’s during the contest), but Paris finished the first quarter with a 7-0 run to take a permanent lead.
Back-to-back corner 3’s by Wildcat sophomores Gavyn Hollje and Trevon Dennis topped off the first half and sent the Cats to the locker room with a 28-16 advantage.
Life managed to close the gap to single digits, 30-21, in the third quarter, before the Cats stormed back with a 20-2 run to put the game away. The lead blossomed to a high mark of 28 points, 65-27, in the closing minutes.
Fans who stayed around during the rout were treated to a once-routine but now almost extinct sighting of a jaw-dropping dunk when 6-2 senior Perry Franklin slammed down point guard Cameron Jones’ alley-oop assist.
“I wasn’t sure we’d have a dunk this year,” Steed said. “Now we’ve had two (in the past three games).”
The Cats were without the services of a couple of their primary ball-handling guards due to illness, but every player who suited up managed to score. Senior Jordan Mitchell had another good night from the field and led the way with 18 points, while Dennis scored 11, Hollje 10, and senior Zyan King 8.
Sharp-shooting Lion guard Braylon Lacy topped Life with 17 points, including five 3’s.
Paris won both sub-varsity games. The freshmen continue to attract attention among Wildcat fans as they improved to 12-1 with an 82-31 rout topped by KD Washington’s 20 points. The JV squeked by in overtime, 45-43, as TJ Williams led the way with 11.
The Paris girls and boys soccer teams drove a collective 1,500 miles to open their seasons last week. Now, they return to Wildcat Stadium to co-host the annual R.K. Hall and Kings Classic tournament beginning Thursday.
The Ladycats finished 2-2 at the Kennedale Lady Kat Regional Cup. They were shut out by Mineral Wells, 1-0, and the tournament’s third-place finisher Brownwood, 4-0.
They beat Bryan Rudder, 3-1, behind a pair of goals from senior Estephany Balderas and a goal by senior Laney Madding. Fellow senior Katy Hall provided an assist.
They finished the tournament on Saturday with a 4-0 shutout of Wichita Falls Hirschi. Madding and Hall started the scoring, and freshmen Sara Davidson and Erika Garcia also found the net. Madding also was credited with 2 assists, while seniors Zanesha Dangerfield and Morial Amin-Allen also assisted on goals.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats were 2-1-1 at the Hallsville Tournament. They opened the season Thursday with a 2-0 shutout loss to Chapel Hill.
They bounced back on Friday with a 4-1 decision over Texas High. Junior Kyler Beshirs, junior Jose Araujo, senior Tony Saveedra, and senior Perez had the goals. Perez’ tally came on a free kick. Araujo also provided an assist.
Paris played two matches on Saturday. The Cats tied Class 5A Whitehouse, 1-1, but lost the tournament shootout, 3-2. Senior Felix Vasquez scored the lone goal in regulation on a penalty kick.
The Cats finished with an 8-2 rout over Gladewater. Goals were scored by Saveedra, Vasquez, sophomore Justin Medina, senior Nick Mitchell, senior Jesus Deleon, junior Alan Garcia, junior JP Rojas, and Araujo, Assists were recorded by Beshirs (2), Saavedra, Garcia, Deleon, and Vasquez.
There’s a line of demarcation in District 14-4A girls basketball separating defending champion Pleasant Grove and the Lady Hawks’ main rivals Liberty-Eylau and Atlanta from the rest of the league. However, the upstart Paris Ladycats showed they’re getting closer to crossing that line and joining the top playoff tier in a district-opening, 72-57 loss Friday in L-E’s Rader Dome.
The host Lady Leopards (13-10) used a 38-14 advantage in turnovers to overcome the Ladycats’ edge in shooting and rebounding. Still, the game was in doubt until three Paris starters fouled out and L-E finished on an 8-0 flurry in the final minute of play.
Peaches Jackson at the foul line from an earlier game this season (photo by Joe Watson)
Paris junior Peaches Jackson scored a game-high 25 points to go with 21 rebounds, while senior Serenity Sanders scored 9, and freshmen Bailee Brown and Quiniya Savage chipped in with 8 and 7, respectively. Sophomore Tori Jones added 6.
For the Lady Leopards, Taylor Crabtree led the way with 22, Skylier Bailey had a trio of 3’s among her 17 points, and Kaliyah Thompson scored 13.
L-E also won the JV game, 34-14. Yas Browner scored 10 for the Ladycats.
In other district openers Friday, Atlanta trounced Pittsburg, 82-30, and Pleasant Grove edged an improving North Lamar, 53-46.
Paris (11-12) returns home to host Pittsburg Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym. After a winless district campaign in 2016, Paris swept Pitt for their only two district wins in 2017.
After surpassing last season’s win total in preseason action, the Paris Ladycats basketball team sets its sights on returning to the playoffs following a two-year absence. The Ladycats (11-11) open District 14-4A play tonight at Liberty-Eylau.
The 2016-17 team finished with an overall mark of 9-22 and were 2-8 in district.
The Ladycats will be entering district off a third-place showing at the Kaufman Holiday Tournament where they beat the host Lady Lions, 57-50, in the trophy game. Paris trailed at halftime, 28-27, but used a monster game by junior Peaches Jackson (31 points, 11 rebounds, 6 blocks, 3 steals) to secure the win. Senior point guard Serenity Sanders chipped in 10 points and 5 assists.
The Ladycats opened the 2-day tournament with wins over Palmer, 55-17, and Van Alstyne, 43-34. They lost in the semifinals to Class 6A Lufkin, 62-40, before bouncing back to defeat Kaufman.
Paris jumped out to a 20-5 start at the first break in the Palmer game and never looked back. Jackson led the way with 19 points and 8 rebounds. She scored 27 and Sanders added 9 in the Van Alstyne game, marked by 43% shooting from the field by the Ladycats. Paris found itself down, 0-18, after the opening quarter of the Lufkin game. Junior Carol Croom topped the scoring with 9.
In other Christmas road results, the Ladycats stormed past Bonham, 55-35, and dropped a 63-40 decision to Hugo. Sanders had 21 and Jackson 10 at Jackson, and the Ladycats had a total of 27 steals in the contest. The Ladycats were outscored, 22-6, in the second quarter of the Hugo loss. Jackson had 12 points and freshman Quiniya Savage scored 15 with 9 rebounds.
Jordan Mitchell scored 13 points in both Saturday games to help Paris to a third-place finish (photo by Joe Watson)
It pales in comparison to a state championship trophy and doesn’t hold the same tradition and status of a district championship trophy, but the main prize of the 3-day Guaranty Bank Paris Holiday Tournament has proven elusive and cherished during its 8-year history.
The host Paris Wildcats are the only school to win the title twice (2011 and 2014), but they were eliminated in this year’s semifinals Saturday morning by tournament defending champion Mt. Pleasant, 66-53. The Tigers, in turn, were denied a repeat title Saturday night when Waxahachie Life overcame the loss of 3 starters to fouls with a gutsy, 89-87, overtime win.
Paris, meanwhile, settled for the third place trophy after beating District 14-4A rival Pleasant Grove, 60-49.
In other tournament minor trophy games, Commerce beat Hot Springs AR, 51-49, in overtime to claim Championship Bracket consolation, and Lufkin Hudson won the Gold Bracket final over Jefferson, 70-64. Under this year’s tournament format, the top 2 teams in each prelim pool advanced to the Championship Bracket, while the Nos. 3-4 finishers were grouped in the Gold Bracket.
Reserves Spark Life’s Overtime Win
Waxahachie Life downed Pleasant Grove, 81-48, in the first championship semifinal, and the 18th-ranked Mustangs led Mt. Pleasant most of the way in the championship final until the Tigers mounted a late rally. Life’s outstanding 6-6 point guard Justin Nimmer (20 points) fouled out with 12.6 seconds remaining in regulation, and MP had a 78-75 lead with just 10 seconds on the clock.
Senior reserve Armani Holmes leaned in on a desperation, 3-point attempt trying to draw a foul, but his prayer amazingly was on mark to tie the game, 78-all, and force overtime.
During overtime, Life also lost powerful 6-4 post Joshua Sanders (23 points) and a third starter to fouls. MP, led by Josh McGill’s 24 points, grabbed the momentum, but Mustang reserve Bryan Moreland nailed a pair of huge 3-pointers to stay within reach. Finally, Tavon Spears canned a 10-foot pullup jumper to beat the buzzer for the game-winner.
Cats Beat PG to Take 3rd Place
The third place game was the second pre-district meeting of the season between the defending district champion Cats and the team expected to provide the biggest challenge to a Paris 4-peat. Pleasant Grove topped Paris in overtime at the New Boston Gunslinger tournament earlier this month.
That PG team was missing several players who were still helping the Hawks on their state football championship run. The Paris tournament marked the first game action since the football stars joined the basketball mix, and it was obvious the Hawks were having growing pains making the adjustment.
The game was tied, 22-22, before Paris scored the final 5 points to take a 27-22 halftime lead. The Cats opened the second half with a 12-2 start. A Jordan Mitchell 3-pointer closed out the run and extended the lead to 39-24 with 4:24 left in the third quarter.
PG closed within 8, 45-37, on a Luke Harmon 3-point play, but Ashton Savage got a turn-around in the lane to regain a double-digit margin, 47-37, heading into the fourth quarter. Savage, the 6-7 offensive tackle, provided a big boost to the Paris offense with 7 straight points including a 3-point putback-and-1 that made the score 50-39.
The Hawks made one final 7-0 run to close the gap to 50-46 before the Wildcat starters closed out the win with a 10-3 finish.
The Hawks’ Aaron Harmon and the Cats’ Jordan Mitchell tied for game-high honors with 13 points each. Savage and Trevon Dennis scored 9 apiece for Paris, followed by 8 each from Jamie Mitchell and Trea Johnson.
3rd Time Not Charming vs. MP
It was the third loss in three meetings this season for Paris against Class 5A Mt. Pleasant. As in previous encounters, the Cats were no match for the Tigers’ size and athleticism.
Paris sophomore post Trevon Dennis scored the game’s first 5 points, but MP battled back to take an 11-9 lead after the first quarter on a spin drive by 6-7 Christon Himes.
Paris coach Billy Mack Steed tried to go small with a trio of 5-8 guards in the lineup to start the second quarter, then switched to a big lineup (at least as big as his roster can allow). Neither strategy was effective, as the Tigers bolted to a 30-18 lead before a buzzer-beating 3 by Braylon Perrin trimmed the advantage to 30-21 at halftime.
In the second half Paris was able to cut the deficit to 8 on 3 occasions, but Mt. Pleasant was never seriously threatened. A follow-up dunk by senior Perry Franklin in the game’s final minute was the high point for Cat fandom.
Jordan Mitchell scored 13 and Jameon Mitchell 10 to top Paris scoring. For the Tigers, KJ Cannon had 17, Josh McGill 16, and Dorian Glinton 12. MP was 15 of 25 at the foul line, while Paris was just 3 of 5.
Form held true in the quarterfinals of the 8th Annual Guaranty Bank Paris Holiday Tournament Friday in the Wildcat Gym as pool champions Waxahachie Life, Mt. Pleasant, Pleasant Grove, and host Paris each won their opening games in the Championship Bracket.
Paris (9-8) knocked off its second straight lower classification ranked opponent in Friday’s nitecap with a 60-50 win over 20th-rated Class 3A Teague. On Day 1 of the tournament Thursday, the Cats overpowered Jefferson, 60-47, and routed 16th-ranked Class 2A Clarksville, 57-33, to capture Pool D.
There were 2 lead changes and 2 ties in the Paris-Teague game as the Lions closed the first quarter on a 3-pointer by Tyrese Heard followed by a backcourt steal and layup from Mychal Shed that beat the buzzer and created the last tie at 15-15.
Heard hit a trio of 3’s in the opening frame and would finish as the game’s top scorer with 21 points. However, Paris guard Braylon Perrin took a charge that gave Heard his third personal foul and sent the 6-2 Lion senior to the bench with 3:07 left before halftime and Paris nursing a 24-19 lead.
With Heard off the court, the Cats finished the half on a 9-2 run fueled by a Perrin 3 and 2 free throws, a Zyan King fast break off a Gavyn Hollje steal, and a Jordan Mitchell jump-step drive. That gave Paris a 33-21 halftime lead, and the Cats would maintain a double-digit margin for most of the game.
Paris stretched the lead to a high-mark of 17, 43-26, in the third quarter before Teague closed the gap to 12, 43-31, entering the final quarter.
A Jameon Mitchell 3-point play started the fourth period before Keshawn Rice (who scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half) engineered a Lion rally that trimmed the deficit to single digits, 46-37. A Jameon Mitchell step-drive, and a pair of assists by Trea Johnson feeding Cameron Jones and Jameon Mitchell on layups restored the 12-point advantage, 52-40.
At that point, the game deteriorated into a foulfest and parade to the charity line. A final 3-pointer by Heard got the Paris lead to a dangerous 7 points, 54-47, but Jordan Mitchell was able to snare a key rebound after falling on his back and a pair of foul shots by Johnson regained the 10-point pad, 57-47, with 1:05 remaining.
It was a familiar story, scoring-wise, for the rebuilding Wildcats. Nine players helped out in the scoring column, topped by sophomores Jameon Mitchell (10), Trevon Dennis (9), Johnson (8), and Hollje (8). King also scored 8.
The Cats now turn their focus to Saturday’s 10:30 a.m. semifinal against Mt. Pleasant. It will be the third meeting of the young season between the two regional rivals. The Tigers won both previous games by margins of 9 and 5 points.
The other championship semifinal starts Day 3 at 9 a.m. and pits Class 4A 18th-ranked Waxahachie Life and Pleasant Grove. Consolation games will be played in the auxiliary gym, while Gold Bracket games will start at 8 a.m. at Paris Junior High. The championship final is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Schools wrapped up pool play Friday morning. The top two teams in each pool advanced to the Championship Bracket, while the Nos. 3 and 4 finishers comprise the Gold Bracket.
Championship Semifinals (main gym)
Consolation Semifinals (auxiliary gym)
Championship Semifinals (PJHS)
Championship Bracket Quarterfinals
Gold Bracket Quarterfinals
Pool A Friday Games
Pool B Friday Games
Pool C Friday Games
Trevon Dennis reaches for a rebound in Cats’ win over Jefferson (photo by Joe Watson)
Paris Wildcats head coach Billy Mack Steed was hoping his team would come away with one win on Day 1 of the Annual Guaranty Bank Paris Holiday Tournament. Instead, his expectations were doubled.
The host Cats opened the tournament by surging past an athletic Jefferson team, 60-47, in the Wildcat Gym, and they closed out Thursday’s pool play action with a stiffling, 57-33 win over the 22nd-ranked Class 2A Clarksville Tigers in the nitecap. In the process Paris evened its season record at 8-8 and clinched the top seed from Pool D heading into Friday’s bracket play.
Pool play concludes Friday morning after which teams will be divided into two brackets to finish the tournament’s final two days. Bracket quarterfinals start at 3 p.m. in both Paris High gyms and at Paris Junior High. The Cats will face the runnerup from Pool C (probably Teague) at 7:30 p.m. Friday night in their next action.
See complete Paris Tournament schedule
The 2017-18 Wildcats struggle to score points and are turnover-prone, but they continue to wear the defensive mantle of Steed-coached teams. Paris held Clarksville to 8 points in the third quarter and just 4 in the final period to pull away to a blowout win.
The regional powers played before a half-packed gym, testament to the fact both schools are experiencing unusual down years. Over the past five seasons, the schools have drawn overflow crowds that has led to PHS officials opening the cafeteria for closed circuit video broadcasts.
Nonetheless, the Cats bolted out to a 12-2 lead before the Tigers clawed back to a 14-14 tie on Lavante Edwards’ second-quarter 3-pointer. There were 6 lead changes before Paris eventually took a 24-21 halftime lead.
“They were getting all their points off one play,” said Steed, who had his team concentrate on shutting down the Tigers’ screening options in the second half.
Although the Tigers’ Quay Scales opened the third quarter with a 3 to tie the game, 24-24, Paris went on an 8-0 run to assume control, 34-26.
At that point, Steed went to his bench. His second unit, keyed by 11 points from senior Braylon Perrin, increased the advantage to 53-31 before the Wildcat starters returned to the court.
“Their second bunch couldn’t keep up with our second bunch,” Steed said, “and their first bunch was worn out (in the second half).”
Another senior guard, Zyan King, had a big first day. His defense was a big factor in creating turnovers and fast-break opportunities in both games.
The Cats continue to rely on balanced scoring. Jordan Mitchell and Perrin each had 11, Trea Johnson 10, and King 8 to top the list. Jack Cherry was the lone Tiger in double figures at 12.
The Paris-Jefferson game saw 12 lead changes with the Cats taking a 23-22 halftime lead on a pair of King free throws. Paris had trouble coping with the Bulldogs’ pressure defense and domination on the offensive boards in the first half.
Steed went to his back of tricks to start the second half with an 8-0 run to seize the game’s momentum.
“We switched offenses and showed them something they hadn’t seen in the first half,” he said of his team utilizing some backdoor cuts that resulted in close baskets by Jameon Mitchell (twice), King, and Jordan Mitchell to push the lead to 31-25.
Gavyn Hollje knocked down a 3-pointer to widen the led to 11, 36-25, but the Bulldogs battled back to end the third quarter down by 38-33.
A 3 by flashy Bulldog senior Demionte Mitchell opened the fourth quarter and brought Jefferson within a pair, 38-36, but the Cats answered with 3’s from Trevon Dennis and Cameron Jones to regain stability.
Trea Johnson had 3 strong drives down the stretch along with a pair of steals by Jones leading to fast breaks to help seal the win.
Dennis led Paris with 13 points, while Jameon and Jordan Mitchell each scored 9, Johnson and Hollje 7, King 6, Jones 5, and Ashton Savage 4. Mitchell led all scorers with 25, and teammate Eric Gipson scored 11.
Thursday’s Pool Play Results:
Pool A Games
Pool B Games
Pool C Games
Pool D Games
Donovan Williams finished second as Paris High’s all-time career rusher and scorer (photo by Joe Watson)
Donovan Williams, who finished his Paris High football career as the school’s No. 2 career rusher (to Quez Allen) and second all-time in career scoring (to Frank Jackson), was named the District 7-4A-1 Offensive Player of the Year and Offensive MVP on the All-Red River Valley team.
The Wildcats, who finished as tri-champs along with Liberty-Eylau and Princeton, also nabbed three other top honors on the all-district list as chosen by league coaches. Vershaud Richardson was selected as Defensive Player of the Year, Montana Payne was the Special Teams Player of the Year, and Paris coaches shared Staff of the Year honors with L-E and Princeton.
Offensive guard Zaccheus Ellis, linebacker Micahel Godwin, and defensive backs Jaylen Henderson and Jordan Furtch were named to both lists’ First Teams. The All-RRV squad is chosen by The Paris News.
Complete Paris selections:
District 7-4A-1 Awards
All-Red River Valley
The growing pains continue for the 2017-18 Paris Wildcats boys basketball team, who dug themselves out of a 17-point hole to take a lead only to watch the Mount Pleasant Tigers (11-3) leave the Wildcat Gym Thursday with a 61-56 win.
“The effort was very, very good,” Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed said afterwards, “but we lost patience and threw the ball away when we didn’t have to and gave them too many second-chance points” after the Tigers dominated the offensive boards down the stretch.
The Paris starting lineup, which features a trio of sophomores, started the game flat and allowed the Class 5A school to jump out to an 14-1 lead. MP led, 23-14, after a first quarter which saw senior guard Kevin Savage score 10 of his 12 total points in the opening frame.
The Tigers eventually stretched their advantage to 17 midway through the second period, 35-18, before the Cats started their comeback with an 11-1 run to close out the half trailing, 36-29.
Paris opened the second half by scoring the first 8 points, sparked by defense and fast-break opportunities. A layup by 6-4 sophomore post Trevon Dennis (pictured right in photo by Joe Watson), who led all scorers with 16 points, put Paris in front, 38-37, with 5 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
MP battled back as senior guard Josh McGill scored the Tigers’ next 7 points, but a buzzer-beating putback by the Cats’ Ashton Savage sent Paris into the fourth quarter up by 44-43. The Cats saw their last lead, 47-46, evaporate under a barrage of turnovers and missed shots.
Another Tiger senior, 6-4 forward Buddy Gill, crashed the boards to tally 9 of his team-high 13 points to help put the game out of reach with a 60-51 lead heading into the final minute.
Senior sparkplug Perry Franklin scored 10, and sophomore Jaime Mitchell had 9 for Paris (6-8), which opens the annual Guaranty Bank Paris Holiday Tournament next Thursday, Dec. 28, with an 10:30 a.m. game against Jefferson. The Cats also close out Day 1 of the tournament with an 8 p.m. match against Clarksville.
The tournament features 15 teams, including the defending champions Mount Pleasant, playing 42 games over 3 days at 3 venues (Wildcat Gym, auxiliary gym, Paris Junior High).
In Thursday’s sub-varsity action, the Paris freshmen ran their record to 11-1 with a 74-50 win. Zack Jackson and KD Washington topped the scoring with 14 apiece, while Jeremarious Morgan added 12, Rashad Wilson 11, and Troy Jones 11. The Paris JV fell in double overtime, 66-58, as the Tigers made a clutch 13 of 15 foul shots in the extra periods. Zantavious Braxton was the lone Cat to reach double figures at 10.
Wildcat fans expecting to see a repeat performance from the Paris boys basketball team that upset state-ranked Hugo Friday were in for a rude awakening Monday when the Cats hosted 4-12 Greenville in the Wildcat Gym.
“We may have peaked,” Paris coach Billy Mack Steed conceded prior to the game.
Instead, the 6-7 Wildcats, an odd mixture of seniors and sophomores with no or little prior varsity experience, struggled to put away the Lions, who closed within 3 points in the final minute before Paris ended the night with 3 straight breakaways to pull out a 58-49 win.
Such is the reality of a rare rebuilding season for Steed, who’s learning to appreciate each victory no matter how many flaws and defects his team displays in the process.
The Cats continue their long homestand Thursday with a repeat match against Mount Pleasant before taking a short Christmas break. The Tigers defeated Paris, 57-46, two weeks ago in MP. The freshman game tips off at 1 p.m. followed by JV and varsity.
Trea Johnson works in the paint for 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Cats (photo by Joe Watson)
Both Greenville and Paris struggled with poor shooting and turnovers Monday. The Cats took a 10-8 lead after one quarter and held a 27-24 halftime advantage. Paris went on an 8-0 run between the third and fourth periods to get some breathing room at 44-35, but the Lions rallied behind the clutch shooting of sophomore guard Quin Anderson, who scored 13 of his game high 17 points in the fourth quarter.
A combination of Greenville defensive traps and Paris ill-advised passes and shot selection contributed to a meltdown of a 10-point lead, 48-38, to a slim 3, 52-49, in the game’s closing minute. The Cats clinched the win with a flurry of fast breaks by Cameron Jones, Jaime Mitchell, and Jordan Mitchell.
Paris was led by 6-2 sophomore Trea Johnson, who produced 13 points and 12 rebounds.
“Trea really stepped up his game tonight,” Steed said.
Jones scored 8 points, while Mitchell and fellow sophomore Gavyn Hollje had 7 each. Ten of the 11 Paris players scored during the evening.
Kye Walker was the only other Lion player to hit double figures with 11. Greenville, coached by Clarksville native and former Teague coach Dexter Patrick, lists 6 sophomores on its roster.
Paris swept the sub-varsity games. The Wildcat freshmen won, 56-29, led by Zeke Jackson’s 10 points. The JV won, 65-59, with Zantavious Braxton scoring 13.
An Ashton Savage hook shot sparks an 8-0 Paris run in the second quarter
The Paris Wildcats, who have struggled to find an identity for the 2017-18 basketball season, shocked the 8th-ranked Hugo Buffaloes, 65-50, Friday night in front of a large regional rivalry crowd in the Wildcat Gym.
In the process, the Cats certainly shocked their own coaches, who expected their team, with three sophomores in the starting lineup, to have massive issues dealing with Hugo’s quickness and athleticism.
“I fully expected we’d get blown out by 20, 30 points,” Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed said afterwards. “Practices this past week have been horrible.”
Last season Steed had watched in horror as the 2016-17 squad, which featured a pair of now-departed All-State guards, was outscored in the fourth quarter, 25-10, and lost an 8-point lead and the game, 75-68, to the Buffs in a contest played north of the Red River.
One year later the Cats emerged victorious because they didn’t fold under the pressure from Hugo’s full-court trapping defenses. “The traps were there,” Steed said, “but we found ways to beat them.”
It was, by far, the best performance by Paris (5-7) this young season. Junior point guard Cameron Jones was a huge, stabilizing factor breaking the Hugo pressure and setting the offense into motion. A cadre of seniors who are relative newcomers at the varsity level provided vital support with ball-handling, offense, rebounding, scoring, and defensive tenacity.
Jordan Mitchell, who moved to McKinney during his junior year before returning to Paris for his senior season, topped the Cats’ scoring with 18 points and an impressive four 3-pointers. Fiery sparkplug Perry Franklin came off the bench to add 10 points, and Jones pitched in 9.
But the evening’s show-stopper was big, 6-7 senior crowd favorite Ashton Savage who mesmerized his fans with a previously unseen, deft shooting touch in the paint to score 8 during limited action in the game. Savage connected on a pair of jump hooks and showed sure hands and a spin move you wouldn’t expect from the Cats’ football offensive tackle.
Sophomore Jameon Mitchell also scored 8, while seniors Zyan King (4 points) and Braylon Perrin (2) along with sophomores Trevon Dennis (4) and Trea Johnson (2) had their moments on both ends of the court.
After a slow start by both teams, Johnson connected on a 3 to give Paris a lead it would never lose. Back-to-back 3’s by Jordan Mitchell pushed the lead to 11-2 before Hugo countered with a 7-0 run sparked by talented 6-6 post Houston Gregg to pull within 11-9. Paris led, 13-11, after one period.
Gregg took game-high honors with 20 points, while teammates G’Quavious Lennox and Marcus Akins added 10 apiece for the Buffs (6-3).
Savage made his first appearance at the start of the second quarter and jump-started a 8-0 Paris run with a pair of buckets, including a hook shot. Perrin dropped in a pull-up jumper and King added a steal and fast-break layup to give the Cats their first double-digit lead, 21-11.
By halftime Paris had stretched the advantage to 32-17, and the Buffs would get no closer than 13 points the remainder of the evening.
Jordan Mitchell’s final 3-pointer in the fourth quarter gave Paris its largest lead at 22, 56-34. The only competition remaining was which school’s cheer squad could manage the longest tumbling run.
The schools split the sub-varsity games. The Cats’ freshmen won, 51-48, with the difference provided by KD Washington’s halfcourt buzzer-beater at halftime. Santwan Gray topped Paris with 13 points. Hugo won the JV game, 67-45.
Paris hosts Greenville on Monday and Mount Pleasant Thursday before taking a Christmas break. The varsity, which also hosts its annual holiday tournament Dec. 28-30, will quickly discover if Friday’s shocking result was an anomaly or a season momentum changer.
The Paris Ladycats missed out on an opportunity to climb back to the .500 mark for the season when the Princeton Lady Panthers used a parade to the foul line to overcome a 29-21 halftime deficit and edge Paris, 56-54, in a pre-district game in the Wildcat Gym Tuesday.
Freshman Quiniya Savage scores a layup for the Ladycats on her way to an 11-point night (photo by Joe Watson)
Princeton made 22 of their 43 free throw attempts, while Paris converted 12 of 19 at the foul line. Three of the eight Ladycats who suited up fouled out of the varsity game, while two other Paris players carried four fouls each. Paris was whistled for 28 fouls, while Princeton had 16.
Offensively, the Ladycats had balanced scoring with four players reaching double figures: Peaches Jackson 13, Quiniya Savage 11, and 10 each from Serenity Sanders and Carol Croom. Tori Jones netted 8.
Nakeitra Mack led Princeton with 18, and Payton Aungst scored 13. Princeton also won the JV game, 35-26.
Paris falls to 7-9 with the loss and continues pre-district play Friday at Bonham and Monday at Hugo.
The Paris Wildcats ran into a buzzsaw of talent Monday, taking the short trip south to Sulphur Springs and returning with a 64-41 loss to the 11th-ranked Class 5A school.
SSHS (14-1), which features a pair of 6-8 brothers in junior Victor Iwuakor and sophomore Godsgift Ezedinma, held a 31-14 halftime lead and knocked down ten 3-pointers on the night. The Hopkins County Wildcats got balanced scoring with Keaston Willis 13, Iwuakor 12, and Ezedinma 8 leading the way.
Paris (4-7) had no player reach double figures. Zyan King topped the visitors with 7 points.
Paris swept the sub-varsity games. The freshmen won, 53-20, and the JV took a 52-41 victory.
The Cats finally make their Wildcat Gym debut Friday when they host Hugo for a trio of games starting at 4:30 p.m.
Cats are all smiles after Gavyn Hollje (21) gives them a brief lead with a 3-pointer in the final minute of regulation
The Paris Wildcats received a progress report Saturday on their chances of winning a fourth straight district boys basketball championship. While it wasn’t all bad, the evaluation included a big red notation of “needs improvement” as the Cats left the New Boston Gunslingers Tournament with the runnerup trophy after a 58-51 overtime loss to District 14-4A rival Pleasant Grove.
The Cats, now 4-6, received a “satisfactory” mark from veteran head coach Billy Mack Steed for effort after rallying from an early 18-point deficit to force overtime with the Hawks. However, impressive PG newcomer Kameron Woods scored 9 of PG’s 11 points in the extra frame to pull away from Paris, which lost patience attacking the Hawks’ zone defense and settled for 5 off-target 3-pointers in overtime.
“The difference in the game was they had a ‘go-to’ guy; right now we don’t,” Steed said. “We have to rely on executing our offense to score points.”
Paris knocked down eight 3-pointers, but needed 27 attempts (30% shooting) to get those treys. “But those were the result of running our offense and getting shots from inside-out,” Steed pointed out.
PG becomes the early favorite to win this season’s district trophy after knocking off Liberty-Eylau, 68-64, in a tournament semifinal before edging Paris in the championship game. The Hawks are known for their outside shooting and they connected on 4 from long range to jump out to a 19-9 lead after one quarter.
They extended the lead to 31-13 when Steed called a timeout with 3:38 left in the first half. The Cats responded with a 10-1 run to close out the half and pull within single digits, 32-23.
Paris opened the second half on a 7-1 run to get within 33-30 after a Cameron Jones 3. Defense and improved rebounding keyed the comeback, but PG held on to the lead after 3 quarters, 37-34.
The Cats missed several opportunities under the basket and made just 3 of 9 free throws (compared to 12 of 19 at the line for the Hawks), but another 3 by Jones and back-to-back 3’s by sophomore post Trevon Dennis kept it a one-possession game.
“If we make some of those shots (in the paint) and our free throws, we come home with the upset,” Steed said.
Paris took a brief lead, 47-46, with 58 seconds remaining on a 3-pointer by sophomore Gavyn Hollje. After Woods tied the game, 47-47, on 1 of 2 foul shots, Paris had the final possession and 20.3 seconds to work for a shot.
Instead, a tipped pass had to be retrieved in the backcourt, and the disruption led to a missed corner 3 and overtime, where Woods took over by attacking the basket and anticipating Paris passes which led to a pair of steals and fast-break layups. The win by PG broke a 9-game Paris win streak in this series dating back to 2013.
Woods led all scorers with 23 points and Noah Fawbush had 11 for PG. Jones and Dennis each managed 13 for Paris, while senior Jordan Mitchell scored 8 and Hollje 6.
The Cats face a tough turnaround with a trip Monday to 13th-ranked Class 5A Sulphur Springs (13-1). Then the Cats get some much needed practice time in the gym before starting a 10-game homestand that starts with a Friday match against Hugo in the Wildcat Gym.
The Paris Wildcats set season lows for scoring but survived Friday’s semifinal vs. Hope (AR), 38-27, to advance to tonight’s 7:30 championship of the New Boston Gunslinger boys basketball tournament where they will face district rival Pleasant Grove.
The Cats (4-5), with three sophomores in the starting lineup, are averaging a modest 53 points per game and were held 15 points below that mark Friday. Fortunately, they also held the Bobcats to a season-low defensive standard. Hope managed just 5 points in the second half as Paris rallied from a 22-21 deficit.
One of those sophomores, Trevon Dennis, was the only Wildcat in double figures with 12 points, including a pair of 3’s. Eight other teammates scored precious points, topped by senior Jordan Williams’ 9 points.
Paris outscored the Bobcats, 10-3, in the third quarter and finished with a 7-2 fourth quarter to secure the win.
PG beat Texarkana neighbor Liberty-Eylau in the other semifinal, 68-64.
Senior setter Deagan Dingman (shown above in photo by Joe Watson) has been named to the Texas Girls Coaches Association All-State volleyball team, the first Paris Ladycat to receive that honor since Andi Bawcum in 2011. Also, seniors Katy Hall and Sunny Scruggs were selected to the Academic All-State team. The trio helped lead Paris to its first district championship in the sport since 2010.
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.