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By the 4:16 mark of the second quarter, the Cooper Dogettes had called 4 of their allotted 5 timeouts, but it was too late to stem the tide as the Paris Ladycats already held a 41-16 lead on their way to doubling up the Class 3A visitors Friday, 64-32, in the Wildcat Gym.
The win lifts the Ladycats to a 7-8 season record. They host Princeton Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym as pre-district play continues.
Carol Croom drives baseline before finding teammate for open shot
Paris swamped Cooper from the opening jump as the Ladycats’ full-court pressure created backcourt turnovers, their height advantage controlled the boards, and their superior speed created numerous fast-break buckets. The Ladycats led, 27-10, after one quarter and had a 44-18 advantage at the half.
The pace slowed in the second half with Paris coach Deanne Dial substituting freely.
Paris junior Peaches Jackson scored 12 points in the first quarter alone and finished with a game-high 20. Freshman Quiniya Savage added 13, 8 in the second quarter, while junior Carol Croom provided 12.
Rakima Scott led Cooper with 9 points.
Cooper won the JV game, 31-23. Tatiana Washington topped Paris scoring with 10 points.
Basketball fans should get an early preview of the upcoming District 14-4A boys title chase when the top three contenders meet in the semifinals and finals of the Gunslinger Tournament at New Boston High School Friday and Saturday.
Three-time defending district champion Paris routed the tournament hosts Thursday, 68-35, and will face Hope (AR) Friday in an 8 p.m. semifinal. Meanwhile, district rivals Pleasant Grove and Liberty-Eylau square off in a 1:30 p.m. semifinal. The Wildcats will face either PG or L-E in their Saturday final, either for third place or the championship depending on Friday’s outcomes.
Paris, now 3-5, led New Boston Thursday at each break, 14-8, 28-15, 51-24, and 68-35. Once again, the Cats got balanced scoring led by Cameron Jones’ 14 points, Jordan Mitchell’s 11, and sophomore Treyvon Dennis with 10. No NB player reached double figures.
Hope won its opening game over the L-E junior varsity, 52-34. In other tournament action, PG swamped Daingerfield, 75-42, and L-E pulled away from Clarksville, 50-39.
Jordan Mitchell passes to Cameron Jones for early layup vs. Mount Pleasant
The growing pains continue for the Paris Wildcats boys basketball team. After a promising start in their latest outing Tuesday night in Mount Pleasant, the Cats were worn down by a senior-dominated Tiger lineup, 57-46.
Paris falls to 2-5 with the loss heading into the New Boston Gunslingers Tournament where the Cats open with an 8 p.m. Thursday date against the host Lions.
Paris jumped out to a 12-6 lead on MP (5-2) thanks to a motion offensive attack and assists by Jordan Mitchell (2), Trevon Dennis, and Cameron Jones plus steals and fast-break buckets by Jones and Perry Franklin. A 3-pointer by MP’s Josh McGill at the buzzer narrowed the lead to 12-9 at the first break.
Another Franklin fast-break layup and a 3-pointer by Jameon Mitchell gave Paris a 17-12 advantage in the second quarter, but the Tigers pushed ahead, 18-17, with 4:45 to go in the second half on a putback by 6-6 center Christon Himes.
MP’s superior height along with Paris turnovers and the inability to convert open shots began to plague the Cats as the Tigers grabbed the momentum and never trailed the rest of the way. A layup by Jordan Mitchell off a pass from Jones beat the halftime buzzer and cut the lead to 27-24 going to the locker room.
Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed inserted 6-7 Ashton Savage into the lineup to start the second half to try to combat MP’s frontline, but the big senior picked up 3 quick fouls in the first minute and sat out the rest of the night.
The second half belonged to MP senior guard Kevin Savage, who scored all 20 of his points after halftime. His 3-pointer gave the home team its first double-digit lead, 36-26. A 3 by Paris’ Braylon Perrin cut the deficit to 40-31, but MP rebuilt the cushion to as many as 17 points, 55-38, before a late flurry by the Cats against the Tiger reserves cut the final margin to 11.
In addition to Savage’s 20, the Tigers got 12 from Dorian Glinton and 9 from 6-4 Buddy McGill.
Jameon Mitchell was the only Wildcat in double figures with 12. Eight other Paris teammates scored points.
The schools split the sub-varsity games. The Paris JV fell in overtime, 40-38. The Cats’ freshmen, coming off a Cooper JV tournament win, remained unbeaten at 5-0 with a 66-58 victory, topped by Jalen Gray’s 15 points.
|Paris High students (from left) Jake Freelen, Nick Leija, Nicholas Reed, Rhea Tabora, and Rowan Burns will advance to Area Choir auditions on Jan. 13 at A&M-Commerce.|
Five Paris High choir students will advance to Area Choir auditions to be held Jan. 13 at Texas A&M-Commerce as the result of pre-area tryouts held Tuesday in Gilmer.
The list includes:
Sophomore Jared Posey and seniors Javian Dabbs and Molly Law also auditioned at pre-area but qualified one chair away from advancing.
Rains survived an overtime battle of attrition to nip the Paris Ladycats, 67-65, Monday night in a pre-district game played in Emory.
Paris had 4 players foul out of the game, while Rains lost a pair of players to foul trouble. Junior Peaches Jackson and senior Serenity Sanders each scored 17 points, while freshman Quiniya Savage added 9, and junior Carol Croom 7, but each Ladycat fouled out.
Freshman Chanlee Oakes also scored 17 to go with 10 rebounds for Rains, freshman Leo Terry managed 15, and senior Makinzie Garvin 10.
Paris held a 29-23 lead at halftime but fell behind, 49-41, heading into the final quarter before tying the game at the end of regulation, 60-60.
The Ladycats, now 6-8, host Cooper Friday for a pair of games in the Wildcat Gym. The JV contest starts at 5 p.m. followed by varsity.
The Paris varsity went 1-3 against some tough competition last weekend at the Royse City Tournament. Tournament summaries:
The Paris Wildcats varsity boys basketball team went 2-2 in the Van Tournament. The Cats, now 2-4, take the short trip south to Mount Pleasant Tuesday to play the Tigers (4-2).
Paris went 1-1 in pool play. The Cats opened with a 64-50 loss to 22nd-ranked Athens before notching their first win of the season, 48-35 over Crandall.
Paris stayed within reach of the Hornets in the opener and were down just 34-39 heading into the fourth quarter. Nine Paris players scored at least 4 points, topped by sophomore Gavyn Hollje’s 8. Gary Lyons topped Athens with 20 and teammate Miles Koehlar scored 18.
The Cats jumped out to a 17-8 lead at the end of the first quarter vs. Crandall and held a 44-27 advantage after three quarters. Junior Cameron Jones scored 11 and senior Jordan Mitchell added 10 for Paris, which connected on seven 3-pointers. No Crandall player reached double figures.
The Cats lost their first game in the consolation bracket to Class 5A Lindale, 50-43. The difference came at the foul line where Lindale went 20 of 27 while Paris was just 1 of 10. The Cats held a 33-31 lead after three periods, but the Eagles converted 11 of 15 foul shots in the fourth quarter. Mitchell scored 17, including four 3’s, for Paris, and Jones had 8. Gray Pittman led Lindale with 11.
Paris finished the tournament with a 68-30 rout of Malakoff. The Cats closed the game with a 27-5 performance in the final period. Mitchell again led the way with 22 points, including a trio of 3’s, while sophomore Trevon Dennis scored 10 and senior Braylon Perrine added 9. Ten players hit the scoring column for Paris.
A combination of lethal outside shooting in the fourth quarter plus a distinct advantage at the foul line enabled the Kaufman Lions to catch the Paris Wildcats and extend Tuesday’s varsity boys basketball game into overtime where the hosts prevailed, 71-67.
The Cats (0-2) have opened their young season with two losses, the first time that’s happened during coach Billy Mack Steed’s 11 seasons at Paris High. They try to get untracked Thursday at the Van Farmers Invitational, where they are the 3-time defending tournament champions.
Paris led Kaufman at each break and held a 47-37 advantage heading into the fourth quarter before the Lions drained six 3-pointers to tie the game at the end of regulation, 62-all. Kaufman outscored Paris, 9-5, in the overtime period.
The difference in the outcome came at the foul line where Kaufman was 12 of 19, while Paris made 5 of 8.
Trevon Dennis led the Cats in scoring with 15 points, including a trio of 3s, while Jordan Mitchell added 13 and Cameron Jones 12. Kaufman also had three players in double figures: Andrew Rocha 19, Dylan Gunter 18, and Jamar McCray 15.
Paris swept both freshman and JV games.
An ill-advised backcourt foul with 1.6 seconds left sent the Mount Pleasant Lady Tigers to the foul line where the visitors made the first free throw to send the Paris Ladycats to a 47-46 defeat Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym.
Peaches Jackson works the paint for a game-high 28 points to lead the Ladycats (photo by Joe Watson)
Paris (5-4) trailed most of the game but rallied to take a 45-43 lead with 33.9 remaining when Peaches Jackson beat a triple team with a 3-point play. Jackson led all scorers with 28 points including 11 in the fourth quarter.
A 3-point bucket by the Lady Tigers sent MP back in front, 46-45, but a foul sent Paris guard Carol Croom to the line with 5.4 seconds on the clock where she made the second of two foul shots to tie the score at 46-all.
Paris then committed a reach-in foul in the backcourt with regulation time about to expire, and the Lady Tigers took advantage of the mistake to exit with the win.
MP held a 27-18 halftime lead, but the Ladycats started their comeback with a 6-0 run on a pair of Jackson field goals plus a steal and assist by Quiniya Savage for a Serenity Sanders layup to pull Paris within 27-24 midway through the third period.
A steal by Sanders and Jackson follow shot again trimmed the lead to a point, 41-40, with 2:52 left in the game. With 1:21 to go, a 12-footer by Jackson had the Ladycats back within 1, 43-42.
Paris coach Deanne Dial called her final timeout with 33.9 left, and when play resumed, the Ladycats put the ball into Jackson’s hands for a strong layup and 1 for the brief lead.
Sanders ended up with 6 points and Tori Jones scored 5 for Paris, which enters the Royse City tournament starting Thursday.
Mount Pleasant also won the JV game, 36-29. Tatiana Washington scored 13 and Tiy McGee 8 for the Ladycats.
Senior libero Katy Hall was named co-Most Valuable Player on the 2017 All-Red River Valley volleyball team as selected by The Paris News. The three-year varsity starter was credited with 667 digs and 55 backcourt kills in helping to lead the Paris Ladycats to a 25-15 record and the school’s first district championship since 2010.
Three other Ladycats landed spots on the All-RRV First Team: senior setter Deagan Dingman, junior middle blocker Peaches Jackson, and sophomore outside hitter Grace Woodby. Named to the Second Team were seniors Zanesha Dangerfield and Sunny Scruggs along with sophomore Riley Bills.
Receiving honorable mention were sophomores Quiniya Savage and Quanteria Jenkins.
by Amy Burrows
PHS Theater Sponsor
Set in 1960s Baltimore, this dynamic show tells the story of dance-loving teen Tracy Turnblad who auditions for a spot on the “The Corny Collins Show” and wins. Tracy becomes an overnight sensation and using her new-found fame, Tracy advocates to bring racial integration to the show. Winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Hairspray continues to be one of the most widely-produced musicals today.
Paris High students are excited to bring this dynamic show to the PJHS Weger Auditorium stage. This year’s show includes a large cast and crew of students, several PISD teachers and one local talent.
Council members Garrett Wilson and Skylar Brian get ready to perform in the Corny Collin’s Show in PHS’s production of “Hairspray”
Cast and crew members include Hannah England, Reagan Stone, Alec Finch, Robbie Turner, Lilly Lewis, TK Marshall, Akeirria Garvin, Allyssa Standifer, Javian Dabbs, Jared Posey, Jake Freelen, Kaia Claypool, Jessica Martinez, Morgan Dudley, Ava Hutchings, Carol Anne Starnes, Garrett Wilson.
Also, Kaitlynn Hutchins, Hunter Moore, Molly Law, Skyler Bryan, Cynthia DeHoyos, Patrick Baird, Tate Lewis, Quinn Andrews, Axeel Rodriquez, Yessica Ramirez, Rafael Sanchez, Kadaisha Hopkins, Courtney Scales, Will Elliot, Laney Madding, local talent Josh Maxwell, and instructors Jared Cronk, Jill Stone, Cheri Lewis, Angie Black and Angela Calvin.
It’s been a great experience for Paris to bring this play about the importance of inclusiveness to the stage. The kids have dedicated three months to making the show a hilarious, energetic musical experience that promotes the importance of acceptance. Their enthusiasm for this show has made it worth all the work and time it has required.
Additionally, it’s been a wonderful learning opportunity for our students to work with other gifted PISD instructors like Jill Stone, Cheri Lewis, Angie Black, and Angela Calvin as fellow performers on stage. The show is directed by Amy Burrows, choreographed by Jeff Cochran, Amy Burrows, Britney Drake, and Jared Cronk, musically directed by Melody Logan and Tim Woods, set designed by Jayna Shull and lighting designed by Josh Maxwell who brings much to the show with his interpretation of Spritzer, the uptight Ultra Clutch Hairspray sponsor.
Hairspray opens Thursday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m, and is repeated Friday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 pm, with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. Adult admission is $10, children $5. PISD students may view the Thursday and Sunday performances for the discounted price of $2. Reserved seats are $15 and may be purchased by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, tickets may be purchased at the door.
The Paris Ladycats fell to a tall, fast, and unbeaten Class 5A Sulphur Springs team, 71-41, Tuesday afternoon in the Wildcat Gym. The Ladycats will take off for the remainder of the Thanksgiving holidays before hosting Mount Pleasant next Tuesday, Nov. 28.
SSHS (4-0) raced out to a 21-8 lead after one quarter and held a 35-18 halftime advantage. Senior 6-0 forward Kaylee Jefferson topped the scoring with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Junior point guard Sadavia Porter scored 19 points, and junior 6-0 post Autumn Tanton added 14.
Junior Peaches Jackson led Paris (5-3) with 17 points, while freshmen Quiniya Savage and Bailee Brown scored 8 and 6, respectively.
SSHS also won the JV game, 32-17.
Perry Franklin skies to steal an in-bounds pass as fellow football players Jameon Mitchell (10), Jaylen Henderson (4), Jalen Easter (20), and Trea Johnson (14) spark a Wildcat comeback
Day 1 of the post-Jalon Pipkins era was a rough one for the Paris Wildcats boys basketball team as they dropped their season opener Saturday at 18th-ranked Class 3A Van Alstyne, 74-52.
Pipkins, the all-state guard who led the Cats to a 105-12 record and back-to-back regional tournament appearances during his four seasons on varsity, is now playing collegiately at Cal State-Northridge. The problem for Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed is that Pipkins took his 21-point scoring average with him.
To compound Steed’s rebuilding task, Pipkins’ all-state backcourt mate Josh Robinson moved prior to starting his senior year. Robinson’s 28-point scoring average crossed the Red River into Oklahoma residency.
The search to replace the pair’s offense, rebounding, ball-handling, and defense will be a tenuous one, if Saturday’s game was any indicator. Van Alstyne jumped out to an 11-2 lead by the midpoint of the first quarter and never looked back. The Panthers held a 39-19 halftime lead before the Cats showed some resilience in the second half.
Buoyed by a group of players not 48 hours removed from the 2017 football season, Paris whittled the Van Alstyne lead to 13, 62-49, following a 3-pointer from Jameon Mitchell. In the final three minutes the Panthers used free throw shooting to finish on a 12-3 run and extend the final margin of victory.
Jaylen Henderson topped the Cats’ scoring with 10 points, while Perry Franklin added 9, Jalen Easter 8, Trea Johnson 6, and Mitchell 6. The Panthers shot nine 3-pointers in the game.
The Wildcat JV powered past the Panthers, 77-37, in the early game, with a group of freshmen making impressive debuts.
Paris has a 10-day wait before its next outing on Nov. 28 at Kaufman.
The Paris Ladycats won the consolation bracket of the Saltillo Tournament Saturday with wins over county neighbors North Lamar and Chisum. The Ladycats finished third in their pool after splitting their four games on Thursday and Friday.
Paris, now 5-2, hosts Sulphur Springs Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym for a pair of games starting at 1 p.m.
Donovan Williams picks up some tough yardage against the Crandall defense (photo by Joe Watson)
On the way to Thursday’s bi-district football playoff game, a Paris ISD van transporting junior high coaches was stuck in construction traffic on I-30 less than two miles from Rockwall’s Wilkerson-Sanders Memorial Stadium. Helpless, the driver looked into his rear-view mirror as he watched the fast-approaching vehicle slam into the van’s rear-end and pinball the car and its occupants into stopped traffic ahead.
The accident resulted in a 10-mile backup to Royse City and caused many fans to miss the 7 p.m. kickoff of the Paris-Crandall game. Fortunately, the PISD staff members survived the accident with bumps, bruises, and relatively minor injuries. The same could not be said for the 2017 Wildcat football team which saw its season come to a crashing halt by a score of 28-7.
Crandall (7-4), the third-place team from District 8-4A-1, moves on to an Area Round matchup against unbeaten Midlothian Heritage, while Paris (7-4) begins the long road back to next season.
In the final analysis, the Cats had too many turnovers (a fumble and 3 interceptions), too many key penalties (8-75), wasted a golden opportunity to keep the Pirates from taking a halftime lead, and couldn’t stop Crandall from making enough big plays to seize the momentum.
Pirate running back Tyson Gatewood rushed for 196 yards on 24 carries including a 49-yard TD sprint, while quarterback Josh Redding completed 7 of 8 passes for 80 yards and a pair of scores. The Pirate defense finished the scoring act with a pick-6 interception return by Bobby Myers.
Paris was able to tie the score, 7-7, on Donovan Williams’ 3-yard burst with 8:45 left in the first half, but the Cats’ offense would not cross midfield again until the game’s final minutes with the outcome already settled.
Williams rushed for 124 yards on 24 carries to end his PHS career as the school’s No. 2 rusher just shy of the 4,000-yard mark. He also fell just 1 TD and 6 points shy of school records held by Frank Jackson (1954-56).
Junior quarterback Kobe Savage passed for 88 yards but left the game in the fourth quarter with a severe ankle sprain as the result of a vicious hit. As a defender corralled his legs from behind, Savage’s upper torso was snapped backwards from the waist by a tackler in front.
Just like the coaches in the PISD van, he could see the impact coming but was helpless to avoid it.
Peaches Jackson leads Paris scoring with 30 despite foul troubles (photo by Joe Watson)
Senior point guard Serenity Sanders’ pull-up jumper in the lane with 15 seconds remaining lifted the Paris Ladycats to a 52-50 win over Whitewright Tuesday in the basketball season opener in the Wildcat Gym.
The Lady Tigers had tied the score, 50-all, with 28 seconds left on a baseline drive by Kayela Willis. Instead of calling timeout, the Ladycats quickly inbounded the ball and Sanders drove the length of the court to put up the runner and regain the lead. Whitewright then called timeout to set up a final play, but a 3-point attempt rimmed out and Sanders escaped with the rebound.
Junior Peaches Jackson led the Ladycats with 30 points, but she spent considerable time on the bench in foul trouble and picked up her fifth personal with 1:31 left in the game.
Paris was whistled for 32 fouls, and 4 of the 9 varsity players fouled out of the game. The Ladycats never trailed but was offensively challenged with Jackson out of the lineup for long spells.
Sanders finished with 8 points, while freshman Quiniya Savage scored 7, sophomore Courtasia Dowdy 5, and freshman Bailee Brown 2. Willis topped Whitewright with 16, and Hannah Brown scored 10.
The Ladycats were 10 of 16 at the foul line. Whitewright was 17 of 44.
The 1-0 start gives the Ladycats their first winning record since the 2014-15 season.
In the JV game, Tatiana Washington scored 17, including 11 in the fourth quarter, to lead Paris to a 35-24 victory. Yaszmia Browner was also in double figures with 11.
The varsity enters the Saltillo Tournament starting Thursday, while the JV plays in the Prairiland Tournament Saturday.
The Paris Ladycats, who won their first district volleyball championship in seven years, received the lion’s share of District 14-4A superlative awards as voted on by league coaches.
Junior Peaches Jackson was named Blocker of the Year, senior Deagan Dingman was co-Setter of the Year, senior Katy Hall Libero of the Year, and Britney Humphrey was Coach of the Year.
First team all-district honors went to sophomore Grace Woodby and senior Sunny Scruggs. Named to the second team were freshman Quiniya Savage and senior Zanesha Dangerfield. Earning honorable mention were sophomores Riley Bills, Tori Weatherford, Courtasia Dowdy, and Quanteria Jenkins
The Academic All-District Team included Scruggs, Hall, Woodby, Savage, Bills, and Dowdy.
Paris finished with an overall record of 25-14, losing to Wills Point in bi-district. The Ladycats were 8-2 in district play.
Trae Johnson skies to bring down his third touchdown catch (photo by Joe Watson)
Two-sport Paris High standout Jalon Pipkins made his collegiate basketball debut Friday night at Cal State-Northridge. He had, for him, an inauspicious evening, scoring just 2 points on free throws with 2 rebounds and 2 turnovers in 12 minutes of court time in the Matadors’ 76-50 win over Life Pacific.
Sophomore Wildcat wide receiver Trae Johnson can commiserate. Johnson was tagged as Pipkins’ heir apparent for the 2017 season, a tall target who could help stretch defenses focused on stopping the Cats’ running game. Instead, Johnson operated in virtual obscurity with just 5 catches for 37 yards and no touchdowns though Paris’ first 9 games.
All that anonymity disappeared Friday in the Cats’ 55-6 romp over North Lamar at Wildcat Stadium. As the Panthers concentrated on stopping senior running back Donovan Williams, junior quarterback Kobe Savage used Johnson’s height superiority to connect on TD passes of 21, 5, and 23 yards to close out the Cats’ first three offensive series.
The win gives Paris a 7-3 season mark and tri-championship of District 7-4A-1 along with Liberty-Eylau and Princeton with identical 4-1 league marks. Due to point differential among common games, the Cats will enter the playoffs as the district’s No. 2 seed and face Crandall in a bi-district game Thursday, 7 p.m., at Rockwall’s Wilkerson-Sanders Memorial Stadium.
Paris beat Crandall, 21-0, in a first-round playoff last season at Allen Eagle Stadium.
Coupled with a lightning quick score on a mishandled opening kickoff, the three Savage-to-Johnson strikes helped Paris to a 27-6 halftime lead The Wildcat offense returned to its run-oriented strength in the second half to tack on pairs of rushing TDs by both Williams and junior James Neal.
Neal (shown left in photo by Joe Watson) started the onslaught by recovering Antonio Saavedra’s towering kickoff which was muffed and knocked into the end zone. The outside linebacker saw extended duty at running back and responded with 81 yards on 11 carries.
Sophomore H-back Jadarias Dillard also showed some flash as a ball carrier with 101 rushing yards on just 4 attempts. Williams finished with 19 carries for 119 yards, giving the Cats two 100-yard rushers for the first time this season and first since last year’s North Lamar game.
Savage, meanwhile, carried 9 times for 44 yards and completed 12 of 17 for 111 yards and the 3 TDs. Savage might have had his fourth TD pass just before halftime when he was on target to hit Johnson at the goal line on a post route, but a soft toss gave Seybian Holt enough time to close on the route and make an interception.
It was the only empty Paris possession on the Cats’ first eight offensive series as Paris rolled to a season-high 352 total yards and 55 points. It was the highest point production since a 63-13 win over Palestine in 2015.
The Wildcat defense might have pitched its second straight shutout except for the Panthers’ lone score on a swinging gate catch and run of 72 yards by Austin Allison which gave NL brief hope and narrowed the deficit to 20-6. Video replay showed that the ball hit the turf and should have been ruled incomplete.
As usual, it was an “11 men to the ball” approach which governed the Cats’ defensive prowess, forcing eight 3-and-outs and holding NL to a combined 167 yards. Junior linebacker Gerald Palmer collected 11 total tackles, while sophomore nose tackle Quin Dangerfield had 7 solo stops and junior end Vershaud Richardson notched 6 solo tackles.
Special teams were opportunistic, too. In addition to the opening kickoff, the Cats recovered a muffed punt to set up the final score of the evening.
How Wildcats’ Opponents Fared:
Jaylen Henderson breaks up a pass with a hard hit on Josh Dangerfield as James Neal (24) and Jeffrey Norlin-Blair (48) close in
Rashad Wilson gets blocking help from KD Washington (2) and Santwan Gray (10) on his 75-yard kickoff return
The freshmen Paris Wildcats finished a perfect 5-0 run through District 7-4A-1 Thursday with a 52-32 win over North Lamar. The Cats’ JV then turned back the Panthers, 34-22, as the schools wore out the R. L. Maddox Stadium scoreboard with a combined 140 points during the two games.
The freshmen game set the torrid scoring pace early with a 22-16 opening quarter. Paris never trailed and led, 36-24, at halftime.
Running back Zy’kius Jackson scored on runs of 16, 1, 42, and 64 yards and added a pair of 2-point conversion runs. Rashad Wilson scored on a 20-yard fumble return on NL’s first play from scrimmage and returned a kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown.
Keylan Fields scored on a pick-6 interception return on a pass tipped by Javin Cary at the NL 5-yard line. Cary completed a pair of conversion passes to KD Washington to finish the Cats’ score sheet.
The Paris freshmen finished their season with an 8-1 record, losing only to Argyle. The Cats JV, meanwhile, finished 6-4 overall and 3-2 in district.
Woody McCarty breaks loose on 98-yard TD run for Wildcat JV
The Cats’ superior speed proved the difference in the JV game as Woody McCarthy scored on runs of 64, 3, and 98 yards and Bobie Douglas sprinted 82 yards for a score.
Quarterback Jadarius Dillard’s 27-yard TD run with 33 seconds left until halftime gave Paris a 22-16 lead it would not surrender. Bryan Ramirez tacked on 4 extra point kicks.
Despite the offensive showcase, it was a couple of red zone stops by the Paris defense which kept the Cats in control in the second half. The Cats staged a goal-line stand after NL had a 1st-and-goal at the Paris 2 at the end of the third quarter. McCarthy then broke free for his 98-yard TD romp to give Paris a 34-16 cushion.
After NL pulled within 34-22 and were threatening to make it a one-possession game, the Paris defense stopped a Panther drive at the Paris 7 with two minutes left in the game. McCarthy then sprinted free for an apparent 82-yard scoring jaunt, but it was negated by a flag thrown at midfield 30 yards behind the play.
Paris defense smothers Anna running back Aaron Lee at line of scrimmage
Moments after administering a 25-0 whipping of the Anna Coyotes Friday night at Coyote Stadium, the Paris Wildcats sought out their hosts for a post-game combined huddle, as is their normal practice of sportsmanship. They’ll need their new-found best friends to help them secure the coveted No. 1 playoff berth from District 7-4A-1.
Almost 200 miles east, Liberty-Eylau outlasted Princeton, 55-44, creating a 3-way tie for the top among L-E, Princeton, and Paris, all with 3-1 records heading into next week’s regular season finales. While Paris hosts county neighbor North Lamar (1-3) at Wildcat Stadium, Anna (2-2) travels to Princeton, and L-E visits Quinlan Ford (0-4).
If Paris, L-E, and Princeton finish tied, as expected, then L-E grabs the No. 1 seed by virtue of a +7 point differential in common games (Paris beat L-E, 28-24, but lost to Princeton, 21-16). Paris is a -1, while Princeton is -6. However, if Anna can upset Princeton, a Paris win over NL would ensure the No 1 berth.
Why is the No. 1 seed so important? It means a favorable first-round matchup against the District 8 No. 4 seed and avoiding potential area round games against state top 10 powers Kennedale and Midlothian Heritage.
Friday’s showing at Anna was the perfect merger by Paris of all three phases of the game: Shutdown defense, sparking special teams, and just enough big plays on offense to create comfortable separation.
It started from the opening kickoff and Cameron Jones’ 31-yard return to the Anna 46. Field position played a huge component in the outcome. The Cats averaged starting their offensive possessions at the Paris 48, while the Coyotes faced a longer field at their own 25 and that included one drive that started at the Paris 15 following a fumble recovery.
Montana Payne manages to elude a fierce rush to get his first punt airborne
When the offense stalled on its first possession, punter Montana Payne was able to scoop up a short snap and avoid a big rush to get off a clean punt. He drew a roughing-the-punter penalty which extended the drive, and his next punt pinned the Coyotes at their own 3-yard line. Payne delivered 3 punts for a 43.3-yard average that traveled to the Anna 3, 16, and 6 yard lines.
After the Paris defense stuffed the first Anna offensive effort, a Coyote punt snap sailed over the punter’s head out of the end zone for a safety and 2-0 Wildcat lead. Junior Rhino Moore picked up his first varsity field goal shortly after the free kick to give Paris a 5-0 start.
Antonio Saavedra booms another kickoff for Wildcats
Meanwhile, senior Antonio Saavedra’s booming kickoffs and excellent downfield coverage continued to keep the Coyotes pinned up in the shadow of their own goal line. Eventually, a muffed kickoff was recovered by the speedy unit to set up the game’s final score.
But this game belonged to the Wildcat defense, who held the Anna attack to a paltry 93 yards (62 rushing, 31 passing). It was the first shutout since the 21-0 playoff win over Crandall last season and the best statistically showing since the 2014 season opener at Mount Pleasant when the Cats held the Tigers to just 63 yards.
The Coyotes managed just 1 first down in the opening half and 4 for the game as Anna was suffocated by the Paris defensive stone wall. Outside linebacker Palmer was in on 13 tackles, while TJ Williams, Michael Godwin (7 solo tackles), and Vershaud Richardson were credited with 9 apiece.
The Paris offense sputtered most of the night (just 8 first downs), as Anna focused on stopping the Cats’ running game. Senior RB Donovan Williams rushed for 145 yards and 2 TDs on 23 carries, but take away his 84-yard scoring sprint in the third quarter and he netted just 2.7 yards per carry.
Junior quarterback Kobe Savage rushed for 57 yards and found Wesley Gage on a 21-yard strike to give the senior his first varsity score. However, mishanded snaps, an interception, and breakdowns in execution made it a much closer game than it should have been.
Even with the loss, Anna clinched the district’s fourth and final playoff berth. It was a bittersweet Senior Night for the Coyotes, who held an elongated 35-minute ceremony prior to kickoff. Anna seniors never saw the Paris end zone in their careers, having lost a 41-0 decision in 2016.
Tickets to Friday’s Paris-NL clash will be on sale all week in the athletic office. Advance student tickets are $3 and adult general admission $5. Reserved tickets are $10. All tickets at the gate are $6.
How Wildcats’ Opponents Fared:
Students from Jeremy Beshirs’ art classes entered the recent Mythology, Fantasy and Folklore contest for area high schools sponsored by the Plaza Art Guild. Makayla Sexton (middle) took first place and won a $50 gift card. Sydney Jetton (left) was the third-place winner and won art supplies. Mackenzie Taylor (second from left) received honorable mention. Other top entries were submitted by Jackson Gibo and Jocelyn Ting.
The Paris Wildcats swept both sub-varsity football games vs. Anna Thursday night at Wildcat Stadium. The freshmen won, 40-6, and the JV defeated the Coyotes, 20-6.
The Paris freshmen remained perfect in District 7-4A-1 action with a 4-0 mark and are 7-1 for the season. The Cats broke open a scoreless game in the second quarter thanks to an interception return and a pair of electrifying punt returns by KD Washington.
A 42-yard interception return by Washington to the Anna 33 set up Zy’kius Jackson for the first of his three rushing touchdowns. Washington then returned a punt 70 yards to extend the Paris lead to 16-0 with 3:44 remaining until halftime.
After the Paris defense held Anna on the Coyotes’ next series, Washington duplicated the 70-yard punt return but that score was negated by a blocking penalty. Instead, the Cats drove to the Anna 2 where Jackson picked up another TD run on the final play of the first half with the Cats holding a 24-0 advantage.
In the third quarter Jackson collected his third TD on a 47-yard run. Anna then scored, but Santwan Gray intercepted the Coyotes’ conversion attempt and returned it for a rare 2-point defensive score.
Washington finished the scoring with an 18-yard run with 2:30 left in the third quarter. Paris was 4 of 5 on two-point conversion attempts, scoring on 2 Jackson runs, a Washington run, and a Javin Cary pass to Gray.
Jermaine Williams intercepted a tipped pass in the fourth quarter to turn back the final Anna scoring attempt.
The JV game was a defensive contest with the Cats protecting a 13-6 halftime lead until a Fred Sanders interception set up a 16-yard TD run by Dyvarious Douglas with 1:13 left in the game to seal the win. Sanders had a second interception with 14 seconds left at the Paris 1.
Paris (5-4, 2-2) built a 13-0 lead on a 1-yard run by Jadarias Dillard and a 52-yard scoring run by Montrel McCarty before Anna scored just before halftime. Bryan Ramirez kicked 2 extra points for Paris, and Dillard snared an interception in the first half.
The Paris teams close out their seasons next Thursday with crosstown trips to R. L. Maddox Stadium to face North Lamar.
Peaches Jackson (6) and Zanesha Dangerfield block Melanie Sullivan’s spike attempt (photo by Joe Watson)
The Paris Ladycats went 7 long years between district volleyball championships, but they could not end a 6-year drought in playoff wins Monday night in a 25-17, 18-25, 25-17, 21-25, 10-15 loss to Wills Point in a bi-district match at Sulphur Springs.
The Lady Tigers’ 6-0 middle blocker Claire Hiler notched an impressive 27 kills to lead the come-from-behind win by the District 13-4A No. 4 seed. Still, Paris might be enjoying its first playoff victory since Andi Bawcum’s senior season in 2011 had it not been for Hiler’s teammate Melanie Sullivan.
The Ladycats held a 2-1 match lead and were threatening to close out the night with a 13-6 advantage in Game 4 when WP head coach Chris Williams called timeout. When play resumed the Ladycats gifted the Lady Tigers with 9 unforced errors and Sullivan knocked down 5 of her 13 total winners to complete the Game 4 comeback win and force a decisive fifth set.
Hiler had 6 winners and Sullivan 3 in the Game 5 win, as the Lady Tigers took control early and never allowed the Lady Cats to recover.
It was a bittersweet ending to the 25-14 season for the Ladycats, who went 8-2 in District 13 to take their first title since 2010. They were able to overcome a frontline height disadvantage through superior defense and court coverage. Those attributes failed them once the playoffs began.
The evening started well for Paris, which broke away from a 10-10 tie in Game 1 to take a 1-0 match lead. Senior Zanesha Dangerfield had 5 of her 8 kills in the first set, while junior Peaches Jackson had 4 of her 12 kills and 1 of her 7 blocks, and sophomore Grace Woodby had 4 of her 10 kills.
Quiniya Savage (5) and Grace Woodby guard the net for Paris. (photo by Joe Watson)
WP bounced back in Game 2, thanks to 13 unforced errors by the Ladycats, but Paris got a big spark from freshman middle blocker Quiniya Savage to win Game 3. A winner by Sunny Scruggs followed by back-to-back blocks by Deagan Dingman and Savage sent the Ladycats to an 11-7 lead.
Savage had two more winners and Jackson added a drop kill to move Paris to 16-11 before consecutive kills by Hiler pulled the Lady Tigers within 16-14. Three WP errors and aces by Riley Bills and Scruggs pushed the lead to 21-16, and kills by Savage and Woodby, a Savage block, and another Bills ace gave Paris the 2-1 match edge.
It looked like a happy, short bus ride home for the Ladycats after Savage’s fifth, and final, kill shot and a WP misplay sent Game 4 into that fateful timeout call by Williams with his team on the brink of collapse staring at a 6-13 deficit.
The Lady Tigers turned to their 2-headed monster of Hiler and Sullivan to re-energize and leave the Ladycats wondering about what might have been. It was also an abrupt end to the careers of Paris seniors Dangerfield, Deagan, libero Katy Hall, and Scruggs.
However, there is hope on the near horizon for Ladycat volleyball, a program that went 13-24 the season before head coach Britney Humphrey arrived two years ago to take over the reins. Five sophomores on the playoff roster return for Humphrey, and there is some much-needed height among the JV ranks to help Jackson and Savage on key frontline battles plus a talented 8th-grade group poised to make their high school debuts.
The Paris High golf team completed the fall portion of its schedule by participating in a tournament Monday at Mount Pleasant Country Club.
A dinosaur roams during the PHS Band Halloween halftime at Quinlan Ford
The Paris Blue Blazes Band dressed in various costumes and performed a special Halloween halftime show at Friday’s District 7-4A-1 game between the Wildcats and Ford Panthers at Quinlan Hobart Lytle Memorial Stadium. It featured a dinosaur running a circle around the group as they played the classic Thriller.
Meanwhile, the football contest also featured an offensive dinosaur that used to roam the gridiron but has become virtually extinct in these days of the spread attack. The Panthers deploy a multiple-look wing-T offense that relies on mis-direction and low-firing linemen tying up defensive pursuit in the free blocking zone at the line of scrimmage.
It’s an offense that requires monotonous repetition to perfect and one that opponents can not duplicate in the week’s practice leading up to game time.
Ford (5-3) relied on do-it-all senior quarterback Linus Beierschmitt (30 carries for 106 yards, 4 of 9 passing for 100 yards) to grind out a 14-14 halftime tie with Paris (5-3) before the Cats pulled away in the second half to a 41-20 win.
Most theories point to an asteroid or climate change as the reason for the dinosaurs’ extinction. A big climate change Friday, in the form of a cold front that dropped temperatures in the 40s with a brisk north wind, may have also contributed to the Panthers’ offensive extinction after halftime. The extreme chill made ball handling more difficult, and a pair of fumbled Ford handoffs gift-wrapped scoring drives that the Paris offense only had to cover 19 and 5 yards to take control of the game.
After Paris went up, 35-14, on Donovan Williams’ third TD of the evening, Ford got some help from an inadvertent whistle that nullified a third fumble recovery on a kickoff, which was then rekicked. The Panthers then drove for a touchdown that narrowed the gap to 35-20, but the Paris defense shut down the Ford offense the rest of the way, and the Cats added to the lead on Kobe Savage’s second rushing TD.
Williams was again the Cats’ workhorse with 33 carries for a career high 239 yards. He moved past Jesse Henderson, 2001-03, into third place in PHS career rushing yardage (3,585) behind only Quez Allen, 2012-15, (4,599) and Deon Hill, 1996-98, (3,812).
Luke Kyle waits for Kobe Savage’s 29-yard TD pass on 4th-and-22
Savage, meanwhile, carried 6 times for 24 yards and completed 7 of 9 passes for 68 yards and a TD throw to Luke Kyle. He was victimized for an interception on what should have been a free play after a Ford defensive lineman jumped offside prior to the snap, but no flag was thrown.
Wesley Gage caught 4 passes for 22 yards, while Montavius McCarty rushed 2 times for 29 yards. Junior transfer Rino Moore was 5 of 6 on extra point kicks in his first varsity action since gaining eligibility.
Paris outgained Ford, 338-291. Middle linebacker TJ Williams was busy with 14 total tackles, while outside LB Gerald Palmer had 8 tackles, including a pair of sacks and a fumble recovery. Michael Godwin and safety Jordan Furtch also had 8 stops apiece. DE Vershaud Richardson has a fumble recovery and 7 tackles. Jameon Mitchell had an interception to end Ford’s final series.
Paris visits Anna (6-2, 2-1) next Friday to continue district action. Paris, Anna, and Liberty-Eylau are tied for second behind Princeton (3-0) in district standings. Ford and North Lamar are still searching for their first district wins at 0-3.
How Wildcats’ Opponents Fared:
Vershaud Richardson picks up a Panther fumble and returns it to the Ford 5.
Coach Britney Humphrey and Ladycat seniors (from left) Sunny Scruggs, Katy Hall, Deagan Dingman, and Zanesha Dangerfield have brought championship volleyball back to Paris High (photo by Joe Watson)
Before Tuesday’s district-clinching win over Liberty-Eylau, 25-20, 25-23, 25-26, the Paris Ladycats honored four key volleyball players on Senior Night in the Wildcat Gym.
Three of those players have been in the program since arriving on campus as freshmen: Outside hitter Zanesha Dangerfield, setter Deagan Dingman, and libero Katy Hall. But the addition this year of the fourth senior, transfer student Sunny Scruggs, may have served as the catalyst in the Ladycats’ improbable drive to their first district title in seven years.
Scruggs has been instrumental in helping head coach Britney Humphrey implement a double-setter rotation that has overcome the height disadvantage the Ladycats regularly experience. Instead, Paris relies on its defense to keep volleys alive until opponents make mistakes or one of the twin setters can find an opening to exploit.
Tuesday’s regular-season finale was a case in point. L-E, with a frontline that stands 5-8, 5-8, 5-10, 5-11, and 6-0 plus a 5-10 setter, easily brought superior firepower to the net. Still, the Ladycats were able to overcome the height deficit through patience and perseverance and will move on to next week’s playoffs as the district’s top seed.
Paris, 25-13 overall, and Pleasant Grove each finished with 8-2 district marks, but the Ladycats take the top spot by virtue of their series sweep over the Lady Hawks. North Lamar finished in third place at 6-4, while Liberty-Eylau is fourth at 5-5.
Paris will play the Wills Point, the No. 4 seed from District 13, in the opening bi-district round Monday, 6:30 p.m., at Sulphur Springs.
The Ladycats have traditionally used a single-setter rotation, and they had a good all-district setter in Dingman to quarterback the offense the past two seasons, Dingman continues to lead the team in assists for the season, and she logged 23 assists along with 7 digs in Tuesday’s match.
Scruggs, meanwhile, had 13 assists and 17 digs. She also managed a couple of well-placed push kills in the opening set win.
“She’s aggressive at the net and has a great ability to see the whole court,” Humphrey said of Scruggs, a senior-year move-in from Wichita Falls.
The liability of the 2-setter approach is that both setters must rotate to the front line and are relied upon for net coverage (block assists plus an occasional outside spike or drop shot). Both Scruggs and Dingman have filled that bill this season.
Junior Peaches Jackson, sophomore Grace Woodby, and the senior Dangerfield were the beneficiaries of those twin setters with 12, 10, and 10 kills, respectively. Jackson used her athleticism for 6 blocks against L-E’s taller front line.
Defensively, Hall led the way, as usual, with 32 digs, while Woodby added 22, sophomore Riley Bills had 12, and Dangerfield 5.
Paris broke away from an 11-all tie to gain momentum in Game 1 on a Hall push kill, Bills’ service ace, and Woodby winner. The Ladycats closed out the game on back-to-back winners from Jackson and a Woodby spike down the line at game point.
Paris kept the heat on with a 4-0 start in Game 2, but the Lady Leopards stayed within reach and closed the gap to 8-7 before a service error, two Jackson kills, and an errant L-E kill pushed the Paris advantage to 12-7. L-E rallied to tie, 22-22, on consecutive Paris kill mistakes, but a Dangerfield winner broke serve in time for Jackson to rotate back to the front line to get a Lady Leopard net infraction and kill error to close out the game.
The Ladycats never trailed in Game 3 and took the lead for good at 4-3 on a Jackson winner. A 4-0 run off spikes by Jackson and Dangerfield, a Jackson block and L-E long kill extended the lead from 10-7 to 14-7. Another 4-0 run on kills by Dingman, freshman Quiniya Savage, and 2 Hall aces made it a 19-9 game.
The 7-year title drought ended moments later on a Dingman short serve and L-E long kill.
Paris also won the JV match over L-E, 2-0.
Sunny Scruggs sets Peaches Jackson (6) for a crosscourt spike vs. Liberty-Eylau
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.