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Paris High School
2255 South Collegiate Drive
Paris, Texas 75460

School Hours: 8:30-3:50
Summer Office Hours: Mon-Thur, 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

Phone: 903-737-7400
Fax: 903-737-7515
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Summer Office Hours

The PHS office will be open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. during summer.  Limited services will be available so visitors are advised to call ahead (903-737-7400).

Final Report Cards

Final academic reports for students in grades 9-11 have been mailed home.  Transcripts for seniors have been mailed to designated colleges.  Additional requests for transcripts must be made in writing and signed by the graduate.

STAAR Testing

Students have an opportunity to improve their STAAR test scores during the next round of STAAR retesting June 25-28. 

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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.

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If you would like to have notifications sent to you cell phone, you can opt in to the PISD text messaging service.  Learn more.

PHS News
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January 25, 2017

Cats Use Fast Start to Finish off L-E

The Paris Wildcats’ recent history of slow starts fortunately didn’t hold form in Tuesday’s District 14-4A road trip to Liberty-Eylau.  The Cats dropped in five 3-pointers in a 27-8 opening quarter, then held off a late Leopard charge to win, 76-66.

The Ladycats, meanwhile, used a 21-12 fourth quarter finish to erase a double-digit deficit before the Lady Leopards curbed the comeback with a 55-54 L-E win.

The 16th-ranked Paris boys, now 18-4, host Pittsburg in the Wildcat Gym Friday with first place on the line at the midpoint of district play.  The Cats top the standings with a 4-0 mark, while Pitt and Pleasant Grove are tied for second at 3-1.  L-E and North Lamar are tied for fourth at 1-3, while Atlanta is 0-4.

While all four of the Cats’ district wins have been by double digits, poor shooting starts had plagued them in their previous three games.  Paris was tied by PG and Atlanta and led NL by a single point at halftime of those games.

That wasn’t the case Tuesday.  Paris, which knocked down nine 3-pointers in the game, took a 40-27 lead to the locker room at L-E’s Rader Dome and still led by 13 points, 62-49, heading into the fourth quarter.  The Leopards went on a 13-0 run between the third and fourth quarters to cut the deficit to 5, 62-57, with 5 minutes left in the game.

While L-E held Paris without a field goal in the final frame until 1:39 was left, the Cats converted 15 of 23 free throws off 20 Leopard fouls to ensure the win.

Josh Robinson and Jalon Pipkins, as usual, led the way with 28 and 24 points, respectively.  Sam Hawkes added 10 and Vershaud Richardson scored 9.  Decorian Phillips topped L-E with 21. 

The Ladycats fell to 8-19 for the season and 1-5 in district with their loss, but they didn’t show the same lethargy they experienced last week in losses to PG and Atlanta.

After trailing, 26-22, at the half, the Ladycats tied the Lady Leopards at 31 in the fourth quarter before L-E went on a 12-0 run.  The Paris girls staged a comeback and eventually took a 2-point  lead with 2 minutes remaining before the hosts scored 5 straight to regain the lead.

With Peaches Jackson held to 14 points, Paris had more balanced scoring from teammates.  Drea Jenkins produced 8 points, and five other Ladycats had at least 5 points each.  L-E’s Taylor Crabtree topped all scorers with 18.

January 24, 2017

Cats Top Anna on Long Shot

The Paris Wildcats scored a goal off a set piece with 31:41 remaining, then made it stand up for a 1-0 soccer win over the Anna Coyotes Tuesday night at Wildcat Stadium.  Paris, now 7-3-3 for the season, travels to Crandall Friday to continue the pre-district portion of its schedule.

After a scoreless first half, the Cats found the Coyote net on a 40-yard free kick from senior Seth Hudgins (shown left in photo by Joe Watson).  Senior Colin Harris’ attempt at a header distracted the Anna goalie to allow the ball to bounce into the goal.

Paris had a 12-7 advantage in scoring opportunities.  Wildcat senior goalie Cade Blackmon made a couple of nice saves to preserve the shutout.

The Wildcats have additional pre-district matches at Tyler Chapel Hill on Jan 31 and at Pleasant Grove on Feb. 3 before starting defense of their three-time district championships on Feb. 14 vs. North Lamar.

The Cats’ JV squad won the preliminary game, 2-0, over the Anna JV.

January 24, 2017

PHS Swimmers Qualify for Regionals

Paris High will send eight swimmers to the Region 3 Swimming and Diving Championships Feb. 3-4 in Frisco after qualifying at the recent District 12-5A Championships.  The PHS boys swimming team (above) finished third at district to Highland Park and Lucas Lovejoy.  They are (above from left) Keyton Gilbert, Brendan Henry, Coach Seanda Gilbert, Graham Bain, Dalton Kee.  The girls team also was third behind Highland Park and Lovejoy.  They are (below) Andria Gentry, Sydney Walter, Coach Gilbert, Reagan Stone, Shelby Wilson.  The Swim Cats advanced 3 relay teams to regionals along with Gilbert, Stone, and Wilson in individual events.  Walter is a freshmen, Bain, Gentry, and Stone are juniors, and the rest are seniors.

January 24, 2017

Ladycats Fall to Berg's Lady Bobcats

The Paris Ladycats were introduced to elite level club soccer Monday night in a 5-0 setback at Celina, led by senior Haley Berg’s 4 goals.

Berg, a member of the U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team, committed to play for the University of Texas before her freshman year.  Her high school didn’t even field a soccer team until her junior season.  The Lady Bobcats (6-3-1) are at the mercy of her rigorous club schedule, but when she’s on the field she’s a game-changer as Paris (6-5-1) discovered first-hand Monday.

The Ladycats have a two-week lull in their schedule before they host Pleasant Grove on Friday, Feb. 3, at Wildcat Stadium.

January 23, 2017

Paris Soccer Teams Go .500 at Tourneys

Both Paris High varsity soccer teams wrapped up play in their final pre-district tournaments with 2-2 records at separate venues Saturday.

The Ladycats (6-4-1) fell to Little Elm, 4-0, in the semifinals of the Highway 5 Invitational.  They opened the tournament with a 2-0 loss to Midlothian Heritage on Thursday before a pair of wins Friday to finish as runnerup in group play.

The Paris girls beat co-host Anna, 4-2, with junior Estephany Balderas scoring twice and providing an assist.  Other goals were by senior Tieren Gates and freshman Grace Woodby, while junior Katy Hall notched a pair of assists.

The Ladycats then beat Dumas, 2-0, behind goals by Gates and junior Laney Madding.  Senior goalkeeper Lindi Hamner stopped a penalty kick to earn the shutout.

The Wildcats (6-3-3) opened play Thursday at the Terrell Tournament with a 1-0 win over Kaufman before falling to No. 1-ranked Palestine, 2-0.  They returned Friday to drop a 3-1 decision to Midlothian Heritage.  Sophomore Alan Garcia provided the lone Paris goal in that match.

On Saturday they finished tournament plan with a 3-2 win over Athens.  Paris jumped out to a 2-0 halftime lead and led, 3-0, before Athens scored a pair of second-half goals.  Wildcat seniors Colin Harris, Zach Lamb, and Christian Mitchell each scored for Paris.

The Ladycats travel to Celina Monday for a varsity-only match, while both Wildcats JV and varsity teams host Anna on Tuesday at Wildcat Stadium.

January 21, 2017

Cats Start Slow, Finish Fast Again

For the third straight time in district action, cold first-half shooting continued to plague the 17th-ranked Paris Wildcats Friday night before a second-half explosion resulted in another double-digit win.  The Cats eventually destroyed the Atlanta Rabbs, 81-51, in the Wildcat Gym.

Earlier, the Ladycats lost to the Lady Rabbs (2-3), 63-47, to fall to 1-4 in District 14-4A at the midpoint of the girls race.  Sophomore Peaches Jackson scored 24 for Paris, now 8-18 overall and 1-4 in district.  Pleasant Grove (5-0) remained unbeaten Friday with a 65-58 win over Liberty-Eylau (3-2).  North Lamar (4-1) beat Pittsburg (0-5), 51-47.

The Wildcats, 17-4 for the season and 3-0 in district, hold a one-game lead in the boys chase over Pleasant Grove and Pittsburg each with 2-1 records.  NL and L-E are tied for fourth at 1-2, while Atlanta is winless at 0-3.  PG beat L-E, 66-54, and Pitt beat NL in overtime, 46-42, in other Friday action.

Josh Robinson gets a breakaway slam among his game-high 32 points in this photo by Joe Watson.

Slow starts have been the norm for the Paris boys.  The Cats led NL by only 1 and were tied with PG and Atlanta at halftime of those district games.  Still, Paris has the dynamic scoring duo of Jalen Pipkins and Josh Robinson in the bank.  Pipkins had just 5 points at halftime but heated up in the second half to finish with 29.  Robinson led all scorers with 32.

As a team, Paris made just 2 of their 17 attempts beyond the 3-point line in the first half and weren’t much better from inside the arc.

“That was the worst-shooting half we’ve had in a long time,” Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed said.

Atlanta, meanwhile, dropped in four 3-pointers and finished on a 6-0 scoring run to tie Paris at halftime, 28-28.  As usual, the Cats turned up the defensive intensity after halftime and began pressing the Rabbs into mistakes.

“We’re not very good at pressing,” Steed said, “but we wanted to get the game to a faster pace.”

It worked to the tune of a 29-7 third quarter advantage that quickly put the game out of reach.  Paris led by as many as 35 points (74-39) before Steed pulled his starters off the court.

Tavon Lawrence scored 11 off the bench to finish as the only other Wildcat in double figures.  Quentin Rowe scored 20 and Charlie Dowe had 15 for Atlanta.

Paris returns to Texarkana Tuesday to play L-E, then returns home next Friday to host Pittsburg.

January 20, 2017

Boys Split, Girls Lose at Tournaments

The Paris Wildcats split their opening matches, while the Ladycats lost their opener as both squads began tournament action at separate venues Thursday.

The Ladycats fell to Midlothian Heritage, 2-0, in group play at the Highway 5 Invitational co-hosted by Anna and Melissa.  Although Heritage is in its first year of UIL competition, the fast-growing school has a strong senior class and is expected to be bumped up to Class 5A or even 6A at the next realignment.

The Paris girls (4-3-1) continue group play Friday with an 11:30 a.m. match vs. Anna, then have a long wait until their 7:30 p.m. game vs. Dumas.  Anna beat Dumas, 4-1, in group play on Thursday.  Finals will be held on Saturday. 

The Paris boys (5-2-3) beat their recent playoff nemesis Kaufman, 1-0, in Thursday’s group opener at the Terrell Tournament.  Sophomore Kyler Beshirs scored the lone goal off a cross from senior Colin Harris.  The Lions had knocked the Cats out of the playoffs the past two seasons.

The Cats had a quick turnaround and had to face defending state champion and No. 1-ranked Palestine just 2 hours later.  They lost, 2-0, but coach Jeremy Beshirs was pleased with the effort.

“I felt we outplayed them in the first half but missed some good opportunities,” he said.  “We got tired in the second half.”

The match was scoreless at halftime.  Palestine scored twice in the second half, including a penalty kick off a handball in the box with 8 minutes left.

The Cats finish group play Friday with a 5:30 p.m. match vs. Midlothian Heritage, which also lost to Palestine Thursday by a score of 2-1.

January 20, 2017

Kimble Wins at S&S Powerlifting

Senior Jorden Kimble won her weight class to lead the Ladycat powerlifters to a 9th-place showing Thursday at their first meet of the season at S&S Consolidated.

Other points were scored by junior Jayla Sims (4th) and junior Anna Perez (6th).  The meet drew 220 lifters.

The Wildcat powerlifters traveled to S&S Consolidated on Saturday for their meet attended by 218 lifters.

Girls results (squat-bench press-deadlift--total):

  • 123s: 6. Anna Perez 215-115-230—560
  • 148s: 4. Jayla Sims 310-140-295—745
  • 165s: 13. Akeirria Garvin 230-115-225—570
  • 198s: 10. Deja Sikes 255-165-235—655
  • 259s: 1. Jorden Kimble 315-185-305-805
  • Team standings: 1. Anna 40, 2. Denison 27, 3. Bonham 21, 4. Van Alstyne 17, 5. Leonard 16, 6. Pottsboro 12, 7. Sanger 10, 8. Whitesboro 10, 9. Paris 9, 10. Howe 7

Boys results:

  • 148s: 13. David Ilechie 280-155-315—750
  • 165s: 9. Travius Bronner 405-215-400—1020; 12. Greg Yarbrough 315-165-410—890
  • 220s: 9. Michael Godwin 415-245-400—1060; 26. Quin Dangerfield 305-215-335—855
  • 242s: 8. Gunner Vest 425-250-405—1080

January 18, 2017

Cats Close Out Win with 4th-Quarter Finish

Jalon Pipkins leaps skyward to execute a backwards overhead, two-handed slam in the Wildcats’ district win at Pleasant Grove

Pleasant Grove hung around for three quarters but the strain of covering two of the region’s best offensive stars proved too much for the Hawks to overcome as the 17th-ranked Paris Wildcats used runs of 8-0 and 13-2 as a cushion to a 68-55 win Tuesday in the Hawk Gym.

Paris, 16-4 overall, is off to a good start in its District 14-4A title defense.  The Cats are the lone unbeaten team at 2-0.  PG, Liberty-Eylau, North Lamar, and Pittsburg are a game back at 1-1, while Atlanta is 0-2.

Pitt beat L-E, 34-33, and NL beat Atlanta, 51-36, in other district action Tuesday.  The Cats host Atlanta Friday in the Wildcat Gym.

“That was a good game tonight,” Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed said.  “It was a good win for us.  They’re a very good team.”

PG (13-7) used some sharp shooting to remain tied with Paris at halftime, 33-33.  The Cats turned up their defensive intensity to cut down on those open looks in the second half.  Paris took a 43-41 advantage into the final quarter. Then the floor caved in for the Hawks.  The Cats’ dynamic scoring duo of Jalon Pipkins and Josh Robinson each scored 4 points to pad the lead to 51-41.

“They were able to stay with us as long as the lead was 6 points or less because they can hit a couple of 3’s and get back in it,” Steed said.  “Once we got the lead to double digits, they probably got a little discouraged.”

Robinson and Pipkins finished tied for game-high honors with 25 points each.  Each scored 9 in the Cats’ 25-14 final period.  Another spectacular dunk by Pipkins on a backwards, overhead, 2-hand putdown (pictured above) stretched the Paris lead to 17 points, 66-49, before the Hawks closed with back-to-back 3 pointers.

Sam Hawkes pitched in 8 points, all in the second half, and helped a team rebounding presence that cut down on second-chance opportunities for the Hawks.  Paris out-rebounded PG, 30-28.

PG had 4 players in double figures, topped by senior guard Connor Oullette’s 17.  Cory Jones scored 12, while Aaron Harmon and Xavier Benson managed 10 each.

The teams split their sub-varsity games.  The Paris freshmen won, 65-50, while the Hawks took the JV game, 81-43.

Ladycats Fall to Lady Hawks, 64-47

The Paris Ladycats, meanwhile, fell behind early and could never recover in a 64-47 loss to the district-leading Lady Hawks despite getting 30 points from sophomore Peaches Jackson.

Paris, 8-17 overall and 1-3 in district, had problems with PG’s full-court pressure and committed 7 turnovers in the opening quarter to fall behind, 20-10.  The halftime score was 38-23 with 8 more Paris turnovers in the second quarter.

The Lady Hawks, a young team with 2 freshmen and a sophomore in the starting lineup, are 4-0 heading into a district midpoint showdown with crosstown rival Liberty-Eylau Friday.  Freshman Sha’Nequa Henry topped PG with 23.  Monique Walker scored 15 and Madeline Haak 12.

Serenity Sanders scored 12 for Paris, which hosts Atlanta Friday in a game that will be a key to the Ladycats’ chances of extending their season into the playoffs.  PG won the JV game, 47-29.

January 18, 2017

Ladycats Tie Kaufman in Soccer, 1-1

The Paris Ladycats battled the Kaufman Lady Lions to a 1-1 tie Tuesday night in a pre-district match played in Kaufman.  The goal was scored by junior midfielder Estephany Balderas, assisted by junior forward Katy Hall.

Paris, now 4-2-1, will play in a tournament co-hosted by Melissa and Anna this weekend.  They open with a 10 a.m. match Thursday against Midlothian Heritage.

The Paris Wildcats were idle Tuesday.  They were scheduled to play at Marshall, but that match was cancelled due to a miscommunication.  They open play in the Terrell Tournament Thursday against Kaufman then face defending state champion Palestine just two hours later.

January 16, 2017

Cats Catch NL Off-Guard with Richardson

The Paris Wildcats unleashed another weapon in their offensive arsenal Saturday as they began defense of their district basketball title with a 69-53 win over North Lamar in the Wildcat Gym.

Well-known to regional basketball fans are the scoring exploits of senior Jalon Pipkins (averaging 20 points a game) and junior Josh Robinson (27 average).  Senior starters Tavon Lawrence and Sam Hawkes have shown a 3-point shooting touch during the Cats’ 14-4 season start.

In the District 14-4A opener, 6-5 sophomore post Vershaud Richardson also showed he’s worth the attention of opponents’ defenses by contributing 22 points, 13 in the second half as Paris pulled away from a 31-30 halftime lead.  With the Panther defense over-extending to cover the Cats’ perimeter, Richardson showed a deft touch to finish in the paint or draw fouls (he was 6 of 8 from the foul line).

Josh Robinson (14) drives the lane, draws a crowd of 4 Panthers on defense, and dishes to a wide-open Vershaud Richardson (12) for 2 of his 22 points

On several occasions, Pipkins or Robinson would drive the lane, draw up to 4 NL defenders, and dish to Richardson for an easy bucket.

“Believe it or not, that’s been the plan all year,” Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed said.  “Work it inside first.  They (Panthers) ran at the kids outside, and the passing lanes were open.”

Pipkins and Robinson once again proved neither is a one-trick pony.  Robinson finished with a game-high 24 points (10 in a 21-9 third quarter where the Cats took over the pace of the game), 5 assists, and 7 rebounds.  Pipkins, held to 2 points in the first half, finished with 12 points, 5 assists, and 7 rebounds.  Richardson had a double-double with 13 rebounds to go along with his 22 points.

Menderiz Gray was the only Panther in double figures with 10 points, but he was scoreless in the second half.

Paris held a 13-12 lead after the opening quarter as NL coach Homer Garner worked hard to keep the game tight.  The Panthers called their 3rd of 5 allowed timeouts with still 4:39 left until halftime after 6-5 senior post Jake Stewart picked up his third personal foul.

The Cats pulled away to a 31-24 lead before the Panthers closed out the half on a 6-0 run ended by Gray’s drive to beat the buzzer.

Pipkins found his range in the second half to join Robinson and Richardson as point producers.  At the same time, the Panthers began missing from outside.

A Pipkins outlet pass to Robinson produced the first dunk of the evening and a 50-36 Paris advantage.  Pipkins missed a spectacular breakaway one-handed windmill dunk plus a two-handed putback on the same Paris possession, and Josh Dangerfield knocked down a Panther 3 on the other end to cut the deficit to 50-39.

Richardson curbed the Panthers’ comeback hopes with a follow shot to make it 52-39.  By the time Garner called his final timeout with 5:39 remaining, the lead had ballooned to 56-39.

The other excitement remaining were two more Paris dunks: a Robinson self-feeding pass off the glass on a breakaway and a Pipkins putback jam.

Paris, 15-4 and ranked 16th in the state coaches’ poll, plays at Pleasant Grove on Tuesday before returning to the Wildcat Gym on Friday to host Atlanta.  PG (13-6) beat Pittsburg, 58-47, while Liberty-Eylau defeated Atlanta, 57-43, in other district openers.

Paris won both sub-varsity games vs. NL.  The Cat freshmen won, 62-49, with 4 players in double figures: Trevon Dennis 13, Jameon Mitchell 12, Gavyn Hollje 11, and Tray Johnson 10.  The JV took a 58-52 decision as Zyan King led the way with 18 and T. J. Williams added 10.

January 17, 2017

Heart, Hustle, and Heart-Break for Paris

All eyes are on the basket as a long shot by Madison Morrison (lower left corner) finds the net

Nobody can accuse the Paris Ladycats basketball of not playing with heart and hustle.  Twice they rallied from 11-point deficits to take the lead in Friday’s District 14-4A showdown with crosstown rival North Lamar in the Wildcat Gym.

In the end, however, they left the court heart-broken after a 56-54 loss to the Pantherettes who, for the second straight year, departed the Paris gym as last-shot victors.  In 2016, it was a Bailey Jones layup that beat the buzzer to lift NL to a 51-49 win.  This time it was Madison Morrison who took an inbounds pass with 0.5 second left on the clock, turned to face the basket, and fired a long 3-pointer that found the net.

It proved to be the game-winner, but it wasn’t a buzzer-beater.  At the end of the play, as NL players and fans erupted with joy, the scoreboard still read the same 0.5.  Time stood still as the 3 officials huddled and agreed to count the basket.

Video timecode would later show that it took Morrison 0.63 second from the time she touched the inbounds pass to the point that the ball left her hands to get off the shot.  The 0.13 second discrepancy was too small for human detection, especially without benefit of a running clock and horn.

The crew made the only decision they could rightly justify.  Although emotionally distraught, the Ladycats had only themselves to blame after losing control of the game and a 50-44 lead with 3 minutes remaining.

That same heart and hustle became a liability over the final minutes.

Paris sophomore Peaches Jackson led a second-quarter comeback from a 16-5 hole by scoring 13 of her game-high 35 points to gain a 26-26 halftime tie,  When the Ladycats fell behind, 43-32, to start the fourth quarter, it was Jackson again with 13 more points to fuel an 18-1 Paris run to achieve that 50-44 advantage.

That’s when the situation went south for the Ladycats, who tried to force an inbounds pass to a triple-teamed Jackson in the post.  It led to an NL breakaway and two free throws by Morrison to make it a 50-46 game.

Instead of milking the clock, Paris then put up a forced shot that was blocked by Sydnee Prunty.  The Pantherettes worked the ball to a wide-open McKayla Figueroa who hit a 3-pointer off the glass. 

The lead was down to 50-49 when Serenity Sanders found Jackson again for a 3-point play that made it 53-49, but a left-open Figueroa connected from the baseline after an assist by Morrison to make it 53-51.

Paris failed to score on its next possession but got the ball back on a press steal with 1:15 remaining.  Again, the Ladycats forced a shot when they didn’t have the numbers (2 on 3).

Figueroa made 1 of 2 free throws to make it a 1-point game, 53-52, with 1:01 to go.  Once more Paris tried to feed Jackson in the paint, but the pass was knocked away by Summer Andrews.

Morrison missed on a baseline drive, Paris was fouled on the rebound, but missed both foul shots.  For the game, Paris was just 12 of 29 on free throws (42%), while NL made 20 of 33 (61%).

Dextiny Patrick tipped the second foul miss to Serenity Sanders.  After a timeout, Sanders made 1 of 2 from the foul line to extend the lead to 54-52 with 24.6 seconds left.

Patrick then stole the inbounds pass and put up a layup that sailed over the rim and bounced off the glass into the corner where Morrison was granted control.  NL almost lost the ball in the frontcourt, but Morrison picked up the ball, drove the lane and missed a 5-footer.  There’s a tie ball on the rebound with 2.1 seconds left and the possession arrow in NL’s favor.

On the inbounds play, NL sent 3 players into the paint. and Abbie Fischer slipped off a screen to take the pass and put up a baseline shot that hits the side padding.  A popular and well-respected Ladycat senior had the rebound but was called for a foul.  In the heat of the moment, she slammed the ball to the floor and was called for a technical foul.

Later, she would say, “I don’t know what happened.  I was mad at myself and upset at my team.”

Her coach, Deanne Dial, understood.  “Basketball is a game of passion and emotion,” Dial said.   “When you leave everything you possibly have on that court, and get it ripped away from you, it hurts.”

Remarkably, the Ladycats were granted a second life when the Pantherettes could convert just 1 of their 4 foul shots.  Because of the technical, NL retained possession and inbounded at midcourt.

Figueroa passed to a streaking Morrison, who stopped, pivoted 90 degrees and fired as time stood still.

The Ladycats, now 8-16 overall and 1-2 in district, try to get away from the heartbreaker as they travel to Pleasant Grove Tuesday to face the 3-0 Lady Hawks.

January 16, 2017

Ladycats 2nd, Wildcats 3rd at Kings Classic

The Paris Wildcats captured the bronze trophy (above), while the Ladycats claimed silver (below) at the 2017 R.K. Hall & Kings Classic soccer tournament

The annual R. K. Hall & Kings Classic soccer tournament ended Saturday with both co-hosts coming away with lesser trophies than they had hoped to capture but still optimistic that each is on course for bigger prizes ahead.

The Paris Ladycats finished second to Sulphur Springs, which successfully defended their Kings Classic title with a 3-1 win over Paris in the girls championship finale at Wildcat Stadium.  Earlier in the day the Ladycats claimed their second win in five days over the No 1-ranked team in Region 2. 

On Tuesday, Paris nipped preseason No. 1 Kilgore, 1-0, in a pre-district match at Wildcat Stadium.  Saturday morning the Ladycats edged Mabank, 2-1, to finish tournament group play.  Mabank had replaced Kilgore as the top team in Region 2 in the current state soccer coaches rankings.  The Ladycats have moved up a couple of notches to fourth in those regional rankings.

The Paris Wildcats, the tournament’s boys defending champion, failed to advance to this year’s championship match after tying Pittsburg, 1-1, to complete group play on Saturday.  They finished by swamping Pleasant Grove, 4-1, in the third place match.

Senior striker Christian Mitchell continued his hot early season scoring streak.  He scored the tying goal vs. Pitt just 1:30 until halftime when he rebounded his initial shot on the Pirate goal.  He scored twice in the first half of the third-place match to power Paris to a 3-0 halftime lead.

Mitchell now has 10 goals for the season to double his career output to 20.  He has scored in every Wildcat match in 2017 except for one: Thursday’s scoreless tie against the same PG side.  High winds helped neutralize his speed against the Hawk defense that night to cost the Cats a chance to return to the tournament championship. 

Instead, Kennedale, which also tied Pitt, 1-1, squeaked by PG, 1-0, to win the Cats’ group.  Pitt topped Kennedale in the boys championship, 5-4 in a penalty kick shootout, after regulation ended in a 1-1 tie.

Seniors Stanley Watkins and Colin Harris scored the other Paris goals in their third-place win.  The Wildcats, now 4-1-3, travel to Marshall on Tuesday before entering the Terrell tournament Thursday.

The Ladycats, now 4-2, play their next match Tuesday at Kaufman then play in the Melissa-Anna tournament Thursday. 

The Paris girls started strong in their match against Mabank with junior midfielder Estephany Balderas finding the Lady Pirate net twice in the opening 10 minutes on feeds from junior topside defender Deagan Dingman.  A Dingman corner kick also set up junior Zanesha Dangerfield for the lone Ladycat goal vs Sulphur Springs.  

January 14, 2017

Ladycats Clinch Kings Classic Title Berth

The Paris Ladycats earned a berth in the R.K. Hall & Kings Classic girls championship game with a 5-1 win over Chapel Hill Friday at Wildcat Stadium.  Meanwhile, the title fate of the Paris Wildcats will depend on their final group game Saturday despite a 6-0 rout of the Terrell JV.

The Ladycats clinched their Group 1 standings with their win over Chapel Hill.  They took a 2-0 halftime lead on goals by seniors Anahdian Mitchell and Tieren Gates.

Chapel Hill caught the Paris defense flat-footed to start the second half and Kaitlyn Shepard took advantage of a severe angle on the left flank following a corner kick to cut the Ladycats’ lead to 2-1.

The Paris offense then exploded for three insurance goals over a 7-minute period to wrap up the victory.  Junior Zanesha Dangerfield scored back-to-back goals after short runs, then senior Keisha Mitchell capped off the scoring following a set piece corner play by juniors Deagan Dingman and Katy Hall.

Paris is scheduled to play Mabank at 11 a.m. Saturday to finish group play.  Their opponent for Saturday’s 4 p.m. girls championship match is Group 2 winner Sulphur Springs, the tournament’s defending champion.

The Paris boys, meanwhile, took their group lead with the shutout over the Terrell JV.  Senior Zach Lamb scored twice, while other goals were scored by sophomore Kyler Beshirs, juniors Cole Miller and Nick Mitchell, and senior Christian Mitchell.

The win could prove costly for Paris, however, as Nick Mitchell went down with an apparent knee injury.

The Cats face Pittsburg at 12:30 p.m. Saturday to finish group play and will either play in the 6 p.m. boys runnerup match or the 8 p.m. championship depending on Saturday’s match results.

Friday’s results:

  • Boys: Kennedale 1, Pleasant Grove 0; Pittsburg 4, North Lamar 0; Paris 6, Terrell JV 0
  • Girls: Sulphur Springs 6, Bonham 0; Mabank 1, Athens 0; Paris 5, Chapel Hill 1

January 13, 2017

Ladycats Win, Wildcats Tie at Kings Classic

The contrast was, quite literally, day and night for the Paris Ladycats and Wildcats soccer teams on Day 1 of the R.K. Hall & Kings Classic at Wildcat Stadium.

The Ladycats opened the tournament during shirt-sleeve, noon-time weather with a warm, south wind and a 5-0 rout of district rival Bonham.  By the time the Wildcats closed the day with a 0-0 tie against Pleasant Grove, temperatures had dropped 25 degrees by a brisk north breeze.

The Ladycats’ offensive burst was fueled by 4 goals from junior midfielder Estephany Balderas (pictured left in 2016 file photo by Joe Watson).  Senior Tieren Gates had the other Paris tally along with an assist, while junior Katy Hall notched 2 assists and senior Janya Cook had an assist.

Other first-day results on the girls’ side of the tournament saw Athens defeat Chapel Hill, 3-1, and Sulphur Springs blank Mabank, 2-0.  The Ladycats play Chapel Hill Friday at 2:30.

Goals were a rarity in the boys’ bracket.  In addition to the Paris-PG scoreless tie, Pittsburg and Kennedale battled to a 1-1 tie, while North Lamar scored a late goal to nip Terrell, 1-0.  The Wildcats get Terrell in Friday’s 7 p.m. match to finish Day 2 play.

Paris put a ball in the PG net less than 2 minutes into their match, but it was nullified by an offsides call.  The Cats had the wind at their backs in the first half and took advantage with numerous scoring opportunities.  Scoring chances were fewer in the second half, and Paris played the final 20 minutes down a player after drawing a red-card ejection for demonstratively arguing a foul call.

PG had a clear path to the game-winner in the final 2 minutes on a rebound after Paris senior goalkeeper Cade Blackmon’s initial stop on a breakaway.  However, junior defender Jose Resendiz was able to clear the ball before it could cross the goalline.

January 11, 2017

Hall's Goal Tops 6th-Ranked Kilgore

Katy Hall watches her game-winner slip past the reach of the Kilgore goalkeeper

Katy Hall scored a breakaway goal just 1:33 before halftime, and the Paris Ladycats made it stand up for a 1-0 win Tuesday over defending regional champion Kilgore in a pre-district match at Wildcat Stadium.

Topside defender Deagan Dingman chipped the ball over the Lady Bulldog defense that Hall was able to control at the top of the 18-yard box.  The junior forward then beat the Kilgore goalie with a shot from 10 yards out that slipped into the leftside corner of the net.

Kilgore (2-3) threatened to get the equalizer with 20 seconds left in the first half, but a close-range shot bounced off the football goalpost above the soccer goal.

Paris (1-1) tried to work the ball to Hall in the second half following long left flanking runs by Tieren Gates and Estephany Balderas but defensive traffic in front of the net swallowed up one crossing pass, and Hall misfired on the second chance.

Kilgore had three excellent scoring chances the rest of the match but each shot in the 18-yard area slipped across the goalmouth without senior goalie Lindi Hamner having to make a save.

The Ladycats will co-host the Kings Classic tournament with the Wildcats starting Thursday at Wildcat Stadium.  They open the tournament with an 11:30 a.m. match against district opponent Bonham.  Paris faces Tyler Chapel Hill on Friday, 2:30 p.m., and closes out group play Saturday with an 11 a.m. match against 9th-ranked Mabank.

January 11, 2017

Ladycats Even District Record, 61-41

The Paris Ladycats climbed back into the District 14-4A race Monday with a 61-41 win at Pittsburg.  It was the Ladycats’ first district win since Feb. 10, 2015, also over Pittsburg.

Paris, 8-15 for the season, evened its district mark to 1-1 prior to Friday’s crosstown encounters with the North Lamar Pantherettes in the Wildcat Gym.  The schools’ freshmen teams get the rivalry started at 4:30 followed by JV, then varsity.

Pleasant Grove is the early district leader at 2-0, with Paris, NL, Liberty-Eylau, and Atlanta all bunched in the middle at 1-1.  Pittsburg is 0-2.

The Ladycats cut down on their turnovers and fouls, two areas that proved costly in their loss last week against L-E.  Paris offset their 26 turnovers with 18 steals.  The Ladycats swamped the Lady Pirates, 20-4, in the second quarter to take control of the game.

Sophomore Peaches Jackson again topped the offense with 22 points, while senior guard Drea Jenkins scored 12, and senior post Dextiny Patrick had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Sydney Reynolds led Pitt with 15 points, and Star Smith added 14.

January 10, 2017

Turnovers Mar Wildcats' Dunkfest

The 17th-ranked Paris Wildcats closed out the pre-district portion of their schedule Monday with a 96-72 rout of the Melissa Cardinals in a game that served as both cause for optimism and alarm for future District 14-4A opponents.

The alarming element were the 9 memorable attacks on the Wildcat Gym basketball goals in the form of authoritative dunks provided by Josh Robinson (pictured right) and Jalon Pipkins.  The rim-rattling showcase gave the small crowd in attendance justification for skipping out on a night at home watching the NCAA championship football game on TV.

But the optimistic portion could be mirrored in the facial grimaces and sideline contortions of their coach Billy Mack Steed who suffered through a painful evening of watching his team consistently succumb to the Cardinals’ full-court traps and all-too-easy penetrations in the paint.

“That was ugly,” said Steed, whose Cats begin their district title defense Saturday with a 5 p.m. start back in the Wildcat Gym against crosstown rival North Lamar.  The schools’ freshmen teams start the tripleheader at 2 p.m. followed by the JV squads.

The veteran Paris coach was actually upbeat prior to the game.  “We’ve had some great practices this past week,” he said of the 14-4 Cats who had been idle for 10 days after hosting the annual Paris tournament.  “However, we don’t usually practice well on Mondays.

“That was what our Mondays are like.”

Paris never trailed the 10-9 Cardinals, but turnovers (11 in the opening quarter alone) along with 19 missed layups during the night allowed the visitors to hang around longer than Steed would have liked.

“If we make half those shots, we would have easily had 120 points,” he lamented. 

Jalon Pipkins (pictured left) soars to throw down a posterizer dunk against Melissa.

Melissa pulled within a single point of the Paris lead, 17-16, before the Cats finished the first quarter on a 5-0 run to take a 22-16 advantage into quarter No. 2.

The grew to 49-29 at halftime as Melissa’s defensive pressure took its toll on the Cardinals in terms of foul troubles.  Two Melissa starters picked up their third fouls in the second quarter.

The Cardinals trimmed the lead to 13 twice in the third period before the Robinson and Pipkins dunkfest finished off Melissa.  After a Pipkins posterizer dunk, Cardinal defenders didn’t contest the prolific pair the rest of the night on their flights to the rim.  Paris enjoyed a 95-63 lead with 3:24 left in the game when Steed pulled his starters.

Robinson ended with 34 points, while Pipkins had 30.  Tavon Lawrence was the only other Cat in double figures at 10.    Junior Castleberry topped Melissa with 14, Tre Homer scored 12, Kaedri Cobbs 11, and Cameron Withers 10.

Paris swept both sub-varsity games Monday.  The Cat freshmen won, 74-42, as Gavyn Hollje scored 19.  The JV used a 3-point play by Zyan King to claim a 59-56 win in overtime.  Ty Garvin had 11 for Paris.

January 7, 2017

Wildcats Lose Bracket Title in Shootout

So are boys just tougher, or maybe girls are smarter?

Both Wildcat and Ladycat soccer programs unveiled their 2017 lineups during tournament play this weekend.  Due to frigid temperatures in the teens and travel concerns, the Ladykats Regional Cup in Kennedale was cancelled after the first day of a scheduled 3-day run.

Meanwhile, Wildcats’ head coach Jeremy Beshirs told his troops to bundle up and boarded a bus to beat Friday’s snow storm to the southern tropical paradise of Hallsville where temperatures were only in the balmy 20s.  Fortunately, Beshirs had previously reserved rooms at a Longview area hotel for Friday night, avoiding some potential treacherous road conditions.

The Cats, despite playing 3 Class 5A opponents, held their own to finish 2-1-1.  They rallied from an 0-2 halftime deficit in the Classic Bracket championship game Saturday vs. 5A Lindale to gain a 2-2 tie only to lose the penalty kick shootout.  Goals by senior Christian Mitchell, assisted by sophomore Isaac Vasquez, and the game-tying goal by junior Montana Payne, off a corner kick by sophomore Kyler Beshirs, sent the match to the overtime session.

The temperatures may have been frigid, but Mitchell is off to a hot start to his senior season.  The 3-year starter has scored in every match and now has 6 goals for the young season, 16 for his career.

The Ladycats’ lone appearance in the Kennedale tournament was a Thursday matchup of regional semifinalists.  Melissa, the No. 4-ranked team in Region 1 this season, beat Paris, ranked 6th in Region 2, by a 4-1 count. 

The Lady Cardinals took a 2-0 halftime lead before a stronger performance by the Ladycats produced a goal by senior Tieren Gates (pictured left in photo by Joe Watson) in the second half, assisted by junior Katy Hall.  The Ladycats will host state semifinalist Kilgore, the No. 1-ranked team in Region 2, on Tuesday at Wildcat Stadium.

The Wildcats started the Hallsville tournament Thursday with a 2-1 win over Class 5A Whitehouse.  Header goals were scored by Mitchell, assisted by Vasquez, and the game-winner by senior Zach Lamb, following up a shot on goal by Mitchell.

The Cats returned to Hallsville Friday needing a win or tie to finish first in their assigned pool but dropped a 2-1 decision to Class 5A Marshall.  A goal by Mitchell gave Paris a 1-0 halftime lead, but the Mavericks scored twice in the second half to take the win.  The Cats had a potential tying goal negated by an official’s call.

That dropped the Cats into the tournament’s Classic Bracket where they routed Spring Hill, 6-0, in a semifinal pairing.  Mitchell scored the hat trick (3 goals, one coming on a penalty kick), and junior brother Nick Mitchell also scored.  Beshirs had a pair of goals on corner kick benders.

Assists were credited to Beshirs and seniors Colin Harris and Stanley Watkins.  The Cats held a 2-0 halftime lead before exploding for 4 goals in the second half.

The Paris boys’ next action will be Thursday in the annual Kings Classic tournament held at Wildcat Stadium.  The Wildcats open with a 7 p.m. match against Pleasant Grove, while the Ladycats play the 11:30 a.m. tournament opener on Thursday vs. Bonham.

January 8, 2017

Ladycats' Comeback Falls Short, 66-63

The Paris Ladycats staged a furious fourth-quarter rally Saturday afternoon in the Wildcat Gym to trim a 12-point Liberty-Eylau lead down to a single point, but turnovers and foul issues continue to haunt the varsity girls basketball team as the defending district champion Lady Leopards escaped town with a 66-63 win.

L-E (15-7) started the fourth quarter with a 54-42 advantage.  However, sophomore post Peaches Jackson, who led the comeback by scoring 16 of her game-high 39 points in the final period, had a putback-and-1 to pull Paris (7-15) within 64-63 with 1:02 left in the game. (See picture left)

The Lady Leopards, who held a 7-0 advantage in 3-point field goals, missed on an attempt beyond the arc, giving Paris the ball with 39.2 remaining.  Jackson missed on a 10-footer, but a tie ball on the rebound gave the Ladycats another chance with 20.3 on the clock.

Paris tried to get the ball to Jackson, but a tight double-team allowed L-E to steal the inbounds pass.  L-E attacked the Paris goal, and Jackson picked up her fifth foul.  That sent Lady Leopard guard Eliyah Howard to the line to pad the lead with a pair of foul shots with 13.7 remaining.
The Ladycats’ last remaining chance ended on the final of 52 turnovers at midcourt.

Both teams were hampered by turnovers, fouls, and poor foul shooting.  The Ladycats made just 19 of their 39 shots from the line (49%), while L-E was just 9 of 25 (36%).  The teams combined for 48 fouls with 4 starters fouling out.

L-E used a couple of bursts from 3-point land to create separation.  The Lady Leopards broke away from a 19-19 tie in the second quarter with a 13-0 run fueled by a trio of 3s.  Jackson also picked up her third personal foul during that run to complicate matters for the Ladycats, who faced a 37-29 deficit at the half.

L-E led, 52-42, after 3 quarters, and starting Paris point guard Serenity Sanders fouled out just 12 seconds into the fourth quarter.  When L-E increased the lead to 54-42 on a fast-break layup by Taylor Crabtree, any chance of a Paris upset seemed doomed.

Still, the Ladycats fought back with full-court pressure and pounded the ball inside to Jackson to set up the last-minute dramatics.  Senior post Dextiny Patrick was the only other Ladycat in double figures with 10 points, while senior guard Drea Jenkins had 8.

Howard topped the Lady Leopards with 21, and Crabtree scored 17. 

In other district openers, Pleasant Grove beat North Lamar, 55-42, and Atlanta beat Pittsburg, 55-44.  The Ladycats travel to Pittsburg Monday before hosting NL Friday in the Wildcat Gym.

December 31, 2016

Tourney Trophy Painted MP Black & Gold

The Paint.  In basketball terms, it’s the (usually) painted or shaded rectangle part of the court nearest each basket.  Teams that can consistently score in the paint and can keep their opponent from scoring in that area usually win basketball games.

The football equivalent is The Red Zone (inside the 20-yard lines).  In baseball, it’s having runners in Scoring Position (second or third base).  The same simple concept applies: Score inside the Red Zone or bring runners across home from Scoring Position . . . keep your opponent from doing likewise, and you can win championships.

The Mt. Pleasant Tigers controlled The Paint in Friday’s championship finale of the 7th Annual Guaranty Bank & Trust Paris Holiday Invitational to claim the tournament’s big trophy by virtue of their 79-71 win over the Paris Wildcats in the Wildcat Gym.

“We don’t match up with them inside,” Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed said afterwards, “and then we have our inside players in foul trouble and have to play people out of position.”

It was a disappointing ending for the host team, which knocked down eight 3-pointers and added an in-bounds thundering alley-oop dunk-and-1 to senior Jalen Pipkins’ highlight reel to take a 39-28 lead over MP midway through the second quarter.

Pictured left: Vershaud Richardson battles James Moore (44) and Buddy McGill (1) for a rebound in The Paint.  Picture by Joe Watson

But The Paint soon left its mark on the Cats’ chances of winning their third title in the tournament’s 7-year history.  Senior 6-6 forward Sam Hawkes picked up his third personal foul, and by the end of the first half 6-5 sophomore post Vershaud Richardson, and their replacements, 6-2 junior Perry Franklin and 6-0 junior Demetric Glover, also had 3 each.

Also, 6-2 junior Jalen Easter was unavailable after injuring his leg in Thursday night’s semifinal win over Life Waxahachie.

Meanwhile, the Tigers were able to drive the lane at will and get second-chance points off offensive rebounds to whittle down the Paris lead.  Although the Cats led, 45-41 at halftime, disaster loomed.

“People don’t understand how much a tournament like this (playing 5 games in 3 days) can wear on your legs,” Steed said.

The legs went dead on both Wildcat scoring machines, Pipkins and junior Josh Robinson, who collected 22 and 17, respectively, in the first half but went stone cold and were shut out in the third period.  Hawkes quickly picked up his fourth foul, Franklin had his fourth by the end of the quarter, and Richardson had No. 4 at the start of the fourth period.  MP won the third quarter, 19-5, to take a 60-50 lead into the final 8 minutes. 

The Tigers extended the lead to 12, 62-50, before Pipkins and Robinson found a second wind to help the Cats close within 67-63 on a Robinson floater with 1:11 left to play.

MP’s huge advantage at the foul line (19 of 29 compared to just 7 of 15 for Paris) and some snowbird layups over the Cats’ press finished off the win for the Tigers (14-5).  Dorian Glinton led the winners with 26, while 6-5 senior James Moore had 18, along with 11 apiece from guards Josh McGill-Spencer and Kevin Savage.

For Paris (13-4), Robinson had a tournament-high 30 points and Pipkins finished right behind at 28, despite making an un-Pipkins-like 2 of 7 free throws.   The Cats take a much-needed break before closing out the pre-district portion of their schedule on Jan. 9 vs. Melissa in the Wildcat Gym.

Summaries of other Day 3 finals:

  • 5th Place: Teague 65, North Lamar 60.  The Panthers held a 30-24 halftime lead, but a bucket by Keyshawn Rice to close out the third quarter gave the Lions a 40-39 they would not relinquish as Teague's scrappy defensive pressure took its toll on North Lamar in the final period.  The Panthers did manage to trim an 11-point Lions' lead in the final two minutes against the Teague reserves.  Menderiz Gray led NL with 21 points and Josh Dangerfield added 10, while Mylan Shed scored 12 and Tyrese Heard 11 for Teague.
  • Consolation: Hot Springs 60, Clarksville 59.  Exavian Christon, the 6-4 Louisiana Tech commit, took the inbounds pass with 15 seconds left, drove coast-to-coast, and dropped in a baseline floater to send the Trojans home with the consolation trophy.  Hot Springs was the defending Paris Invitational champions.  Christon finished with a game-high 28 points for the Trojans, who had been blown out by Clarksville, 80-55, on the tournament's first day.  Paris Harris added 18 for Hot Springs.  Clashon Gaffney finished with 22, including 3 straight dunks to start the fourth quarter, but Hot Springs' full-court pressure began creating turnovers for the foul-plagued Tiger guards.  Quintin Wallace scored 13 for Clarksville and Ranzae Daniels had 11 before fouling out.
  • 3rd Place: Life Waxahachie 52, Hope 45.  Life rebounded from Thursday night's loss to host Paris with a solid outing to take third place.  Joshua Sanders scored 16, Daniel Nguyen 15, and Justin Nimmer 12.  T. D. Walton paced Hope with 14.

January 1, 2017

Ladycats Open District Play Friday

The Paris Ladycats varsity basketball team won their final pre-district game at the Kaufman Holiday Tournament to take a 7-14 mark into the District 14-4A opener Friday vs. defending champion Liberty-Eylau in the Wildcat Gym.

The Ladycats lost their opening game in the Kaufman tournament, 51-45, to Malakoff despite a monster game from sophomore post Peaches Jackson (pictured left in earlier photo vs. Hugo by Joe Watson), who scored 30 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, 6 steals, and blocked 3 shots.  Senior post Dextiny Patrick added 5 points with 8 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 blocks.

Foul problems and turnovers cost Paris in its second game which Scurry-Rosser won, 40-36, in overtime.  Three Ladycat starters fouled out, and Paris was mired with 40 turnovers.  Jackson led the team in scoring with 11 points while Patrick had 15 rebounds and 6 points, but both players picked up 5 personal fouls.

The Ladycats topped Class 6A South Garland in the finale, 55-40, as 10 Paris players scored points in the game.  Jackson again led the way with 21 points, senior Drea Jenkins scored 8, and Patrick collected 6 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists.

The 2017 district chase figures to be a wide-open affair.  North Lamar was the preseason choice by state coaches to come out on top, followed by Pleasant Grove, L-E, and Atlanta, but the Ladycats could be in the mix if they can curb their foul tendencies and improve their ball-handling skills.

December 30, 2016

Paris, Mt. Pleasant Play for Tourney Title

-- Joe Watson Photo

Perry Franklin guards NL’s Sam Asay in Thursday’s Championship Bracket quarterfinal win over the Panthers while Sam Hawkes guards Cody Anthony in the paint

The Paris Wildcats try to keep the big trophy for the 7th annual Guaranty Bank & Trust Paris Holiday Tournament at home Friday when they face the Mt. Pleasant Tigers in the 5:30 p.m. championship game in the Wildcat Gym.

The Cats (13-3) have won the tournament’s top hardware twice before (2011 and 2014).  To make the third time the charm, they face the challenge of beating the Tigers (13-5) for the second time this season.  Paris topped MP, 83-78, back on Dec. 6 in a pre-district game in the Wildcat Gym.

The Tigers pose big problems in the paint for the Cats in the form of 6-5 senior James Moore, 6-4 junior Buddy McGill, and 6-4 senior Holden Davis who helped power MP past Clarksville, 52-51, and Hope (AR), 47-43, in Thursday’s championship bracket.  Paris, meanwhile, turned back North Lamar, 66-42, and rallied past Life Waxahachie, 58-56.

Jalon Pipkins, Paris’ human highlight reel machine, scored 29 in the win over NL and 28 in the Day 2 finale against Life Waxahachie, but it was the play of some of his fellow football-turned-basketball teammates that had head coach Billy Mack Steed optimistic about his team’s progress.

While Pipkins and 6-5 junior Josh Robinson are still the Cats’ primary scoring threats, Steed knows he’ll need a full team effort to contend in the upcoming District 14-4A title race.  Senior starters Sam Hawkes and Tavon Lawrence have made big contributions and sophomore Cameron Jones is giving quality minutes at point guard.  

However, big lineups such as the one that Mt. Pleasant will put on the floor will require the attention of the Cats’ football recruits.  Sophomore 6-4 post Vershaud Richardson got in foul trouble Thursday trying to defense Life Waxahachie’s standout 6-5 center Joshua Sanders.  That brought in Jalen Easter off the bench to guard Sanders, but the 6-2 junior had to leave the game with a leg injury.  That left things up to 6-0 junior Demetric Glover, and he had his best defensive outing of the season.

But the key contributor off the bench was 6-2 junior Perry Franklin, who has quickly become a crowd favorite with instant energy on both ends of the court.  With Paris needing a pick-me-up to get past the Mustangs, Franklin hustled for an offensive rebound off a rare Pipkins miss at the foul line.  He then knocked down a 10-foot baseline jumper to give the Cats a 48-47 lead.

He wasn’t through.  His steal and breakout layup gave Paris a 50-47 cushion.  Although the Mustangs countered to regain a 51-50 advantage, the rest of the game became “a free throw contest,” as Steed described it.  When you have a sharp-shooter like Pipkins, who knocked down 10 of 14 free throws in the game including a pair with 1.9 seconds left, it’s a contest you’ll win most nights.

“Perry and Cameron really played hard out there tonight,” Steed said.  “They (Mustangs) are a quality team, and that was really a good win for us.”

Four games remain in the Championship Bracket, starting with a 1 p.m. match between Teague and North Lamar for 5th place.  Clarksville and Hot Springs play for the consolation trophy at 2:30, Life Waxahacie and Hope meet in the 3rd place at 4, and Paris-MP conclude the 3-day tournament run in the 5:30 title game.

Four teams competed in the Gold Bracket on Thursday.  Lufkin Hudson beat Willis, 81-77 in overtime, to take that trophy home.

Thursday’s Day 2 game summaries:

Championship Bracket


  • Hope 61, Teague 53.  This game was close throughout, but Teague's aggressive play and size mismatch in the paint produced some second-half foul problems that helped Hope expand a 32-29 halftime lead.  The Bobcats' 6-3 senior Markel Haynie posted his third straight 20-point-plus game with 21.  T. D. Walton scored 19 and Keith Brown had 10.  Mylan Shed led Teague with 20, Tyrese Heard had 13, and Keyshawn Rice 10.
  • Mt. Pleasant 52, Clarksville 51.  This morning game heated up after a lackluster 24-24 first half.  This regional matchup featured teams with solid inside players battling foul problems.  In the end, Clashon Gaffney of Clarksville fouled out trying to block a James Moore drive with 1.8 left.  Moore made the second of two free throws to win it for MP.  Gaffney led all scorers with 17, and Rayzon Allen had 16.  For MP, Dorian Glinton scored 15, Kevin Savage and Moore 12 each.
  • Life Waxahachie 66, Hot Springs 49.  Joshua Sanders scored 23 for Life, Exavian Christon 17 for Hot Springs, who were the tournament’s defending champions.
  • Paris 66, North Lamar 42.  Jalon Pipkins scored the first 15 points for Paris before another Wildcat hit the scoring column when Josh Robinson drove for a layup with 4:54 left before halftime to make it a 17-10 Paris lead.  Who got the assist on the play?  Pipkins, of course, who seems to be finding his basketball legs after a long standout season with the Wildcats’ football team.  Pipkins also provided some shutdown defense on the Panthers’ main outside threat, Menderiz Gray, who managed his first points with 1:47 remaining until halftime.  By then, the Cats were already in control with a 26-12 lead.  Pipkins finished with 29 points and Robinson heated up to score 25.  Josh Dangerfield had 15 and Gray 12 for NL, which hit ten 3s in the game.


  • Clarksville 71, Teague 65.   The Tigers withstood a furious Teague rally to advance to the consolation championship.  Clashon Gaffney Gaffney had a chance to ice the win with 17.1 left, but missed a pair of free throws.  He redeemed himself with a block on the defensive end which led to a snowbird by Rayzon Allen and then he stole the inbounds to close out the win. Allen scored 20 to lead Clarksville, and Mylan Shed scored 19 for Teague.
  • Hot Springs 47, North Lamar 33.  Exavian Christon led the Trojans with 22 points as the defending champions outscored the Panthers, 25-12, in the second half to pull away.  The Trojans now face Clarksville on Friday in a tournament rematch for the consolation trophy. Jake Stewart led NL with 9 points.  
  • Mt. Pleasant 47, Hope 43.  A technical foul call with 3 seconds remaining ended Hope's final hope for a comeback tie or win as the MP Tigers punched their ticket to Friday's championship finale.  James Moore led MP with 14 folllowed by Kevin Savage’s 11 and Holden Davis’ 10.  Hope was led by Markel Haynie's 19 and T. D. Walton’s 16.
  • Paris 58, Life Waxahachie 56.  Jalon Pipkins scored 28 for Paris, including 2 of 3 FTs with 1.9 seconds left.  Daniel Nguyen topped Life with 17 and Joshua Sanders scored 16.  Life led most of the night, but sparkplug reserve Perry Franklin got a key rebound, 10-foot baseline jumper, and a steal and fast-break layup to give Paris its first lead, 50-47.  It became a free throw contest from there.

Gold Bracket


  • Lufkin Hudson 78, Gladewater 62.  Gladewater had its best offensive output of the tournament, but it wasn't enough as Hudson moved into the Gold Bracket Championship final.  X'ayvion Shankle led Hudson with 18, while Davis had 20 for Gladewater.
  • Willis 74, New Boston 56.  Brent Larry and Darius Mickens each scored 14 for Willis.  No New Boston player was in double figures.


  • Gladewater 51, New Boston 50.  In the consolation game, DeMarcus Smith scored 17 for NB, while Austin Hawley had 18 for Gladewater.
  • Lufkin Hudson 81, Willis 77 (OT).  Jacob Pierce scored 20 points and hit 3 of 4 free throws in the final seconds of overtime to seal the Gold Bracket trophy win.  Mark Hector led the Wildkats with 19.

December 28, 2016

Paris Faces NL in Thursday Quarterfinal

Local fans will get an early glimpse at the basketball version of the Crosstown Showdown Thursday when Paris faces North Lamar in a 2:30 p.m. quarterfinal game at the 7th annual Guaranty Bank & Trust Paris Holiday Tournament in the Wildcat Gym.

The Wildcats earned their spot in the Championship Bracket by winning Pool A on the tournament’s opening day Wednesday.  The Cats, ranked 18th in Class 4A, easily disposed of Gladewater, 41-15, then knocked off Teague, the state’s No. 10 Class 3A team, 71-54, in the Day 1 finale.

The Panthers, meanwhile, finished 2nd in Pool C, losing to Hope (AR), 55-42, in their morning game before beating Lufkin Hudson, 64-55.

The top 2 finishers in each pool advanced to the Championship Bracket, while 3rd place teams were grouped in the Gold Bracket.  In addition to Paris and Hope, other pool winners were Clarksville and Life Waxahachie.

Wednesday’s game summaries:

Pool A

  • Paris 41, Gladewater 15.  The Wildcats surged to a 23-0 lead before Gladewater scored its first points with 5:26 left in the first half.  Paris led, 13-0, at the first break with 6-6 senior Sam Hawkes (picture above, by Joe Watson) scoring all 8 of his points in the opening quarter.  Jalon Pipkins led the Cats’ scoring with 15.
  • Teague 100, Gladewater 33.  A deep and athletic Teague roster served notice that it was ready to take on host Paris in the night’s 8:30 finale.  A. J. Weathers and Tyrese Heard each scored 23 for the Lions, while Keyshawn Rice totalled 15.  Clint Starling led the Bears with 13.
  • Paris 71, Teague 54.  The Cats never trailed, but Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed wouldn’t have bet a plug nickel on his team’s chances at halftime holding a slim 30-26 lead.  “We thought we were in trouble with the way they were running players in and out of the game and putting pressure on us,” he said.  “But the kids pulled it out tonight.  That was a really good win for us.”  Jalon Pipkins added several more highlight reel dunks to his resume among his 22 points, but it took a courageous second-half performance by Josh Robinson to help close out the Lions.  Robinson, the Cats’ leading scorer on the season, was motoring on gimpy legs which caused Steed to rest the 6-5 junior in the Gladewater game, but he came alive in the second have to wind up as the game’s top scorer with 24 points.  Senior post Sam Hawkes also helped the scoring cause with 14.  Mylan Shed led Teague with 19, and Tyrese Heard had 15.

Pool B

  • Life Waxahachie 48, Mt. Pleasant 46.  Joshua Sanders’ putback at the buzzer settled what was, by far, the most entertaining game of the early session.  Sanders led all scorers with 19, while Mustang teammate Justin Nimmer added 13.  Dorian Glinton topped the Tigers with 13, and James Moore, whose 3-pointer had tied the game with 19.3 seconds remaining, added 10.
  • Life Waxahachie 57, Willis 48.  The Mustangs led at each break and steadily pulled away from the Wildkats.  Joshua Sanders led all scorers with 22, and teammate Justin Nimmer scored 13.  Darius Mickens topped Willis with 17 and Mark Hector Jr. collected 11.
  • Mt. Pleasant 90, Willis 59.   The Tigers rebounded from their close loss to Life Waxachie to claim the No. 2 seed from the pool  Senior James Moore led the way with 18, while Kevin Savage added 15, KJ Cannon 11, and Buddy McGill 10.  Bralyn Richardson scored 13 and Malik Hadnot 12 for Willis.

Pool C

  • Hope 55, North Lamar 42.  Tied at halftime, 20-20, the Bobcats took control of the game by outscoring the Panthers, 22-7, in the third quarter.  Junior 6-3 guard Markel Haynie took game-high honors with 24, and point guard T. D. Walton managed 16.  Menderiz Gray led NL with 12 points.
  • Hope 54, Lufkin Hudson 32.  The Bobcats won this pool with a lopsided win.  Markel Haynie again led the way with 21.  Jacob Pierce scored 8 to lead Hudson.
  • North Lamar 64, Lufkin Hudson 55.  Menderiz Gray, who scored a game-high 25 points, kept the Panthers in the contest until the cavalry, in the form of reserve guard Braylon Perrin, arrived in the fourth quarter.  Perrin scored 13 of his 18 in the final period to solidify the NL comeback and send the Panthers into the Championship Bracket as the No. 2 seed from Pool C.  The Hornets led by 17, 29-12, before NL closed the gap to 31-20 at halftime.  Hudson clinged to a 39-38 advantage heading into the final 8 minutes, but turnovers and some NL sharp-shooting created a 26-16 final frame for NL.  Kade Johnson was the leading scorer for Hudson with 12 and Teraven Rhodes added 11.

Pool D

  • Clarksville 98, New Boston 42.  The lone suspense in this game was whether the Blue Tigers would hit the century mark.  The score was 53-22 at halftime.  Clarksville’s big men, Quintin Wallace and Clashon Gaffney, scored 25 and 21 points, respectively.  Freshman Quay Scales and junior Ranzae Daniels had 14 each.  Colby McElwee scored 18 for the Lions.
  • Hot Springs 59, New Boston 39.  Louisiana Tech commit Exavian Christon was held out of this game and 6-5 Paris Harris spent ample time on the bench as the Trojans rested up for Wednesday night’s premier matchup vs. Clarksville.  They weren’t needed. Nehemiah Dangerfield scored 14 for the Trojans, while Cameron Gray had 12 for NB. 
  • Clarksville 80, Hot Springs 55.  The defending tournament champions had no answer for the Tigers’ inside duo of Clashon Gaffney (25 points) and Quintin Wallace (20), as 4th-ranked Clarksville used a 12-0 run in the second quarter punctuated by a Gaffney thunder slam to take control of the game.  Rayzon Allen added 11 for Clarksville, while Exavian Christon scored 19 and Trayvun Gordon 16 for Hot Springs.

December 25, 2016

12 Teams Battle for Tournament Trophies

A smaller, but still potent field of 12 teams tips off 3 days of boys basketball bedlam Wednesday in the 7th annual Guaranty Bank & Trust Paris Holiday Invitational in the Paris High Wildcat Gym.

The 12-team lineup, a reduction from the 16-team tournament of recent years, means fans and players alike will enjoy a couple of hours’ extra wakeup time since play will start at 10 a.m. daily.  Also, the majority of games will be played in the main gym, with the auxiliary gym used for just 6 of the tournament’s scheduled 28 games.

Pool play will be contested on Wednesday.  Host Paris is grouped in Pool A and will play Gladewater at 12:40 before ending Day 1 with an 8:30 tipoff against Teague.

North Lamar will play in Pool C at 10 a.m. vs. Hope, AK, and at 5:50 vs. Lufkin Hudson.  Clarksville plays New Boston in Pool D at 10 a.m. (in the auxiliary gym) then tackles defending champion Hot Springs, AK, at 7:10 p.m.

Pool B features a pair of Class 5A teams in Mount Pleasant and Willis along with Waxahachie Life.

The top 2 finishers in each pool advance to the championship bracket which begins on Thursday, while the 3rd-place teams will contend for the gold bracket trophy.  Finals in both brackets are schedule for Friday with the championship game starting at 5:30 p.m.

Last year’s tournament featured a matchup of teams with state title aspirations. Hot Springs ended host Paris’ 51-game regular season win streak with a 53-45 win in the finale.

While both schools lost key contributors to graduation, Hot Springs and Paris each return a pair of top talents to the 2016 field.  The Trojans, 4-7 against a rugged early schedule, features 6-4 Louisiana Tech commit Exavian Christon and 6-5 Paris Harris.  The Wildcats (9-3) are led by 6-5 junior Josh Robinson (29.6 points per game) and 6-4 senior Jalon Pipkins (19.3).

Paris was ranked No. 18 in the state’s latest Class 4A ratings, while Teague (8-5) was 10th in Class 3A, and Clarksville (10-4) was No. 4 in Class 2A.

See Tournament Schedule

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Happening Now at PHS
Student of the Year

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.  At the end of the year, the name of one of the monthly winners is drawn to receive a $100 Applebee’s gift card.  The 2017-18 winner is Michael Godwin.  See monthly winners on our Students of the Month page.

New Directors Named

Jeff Chapman (left) has been named girls athletics coordinator and head girls basketball coach, and John McCullough (right) is the new Director of Career and Technical Education and Director of Secondary Education.  Read more about ChapmanRead more about McCullough.

PHS Athletic Awards

Paris High students were recognized for their athletic accomplishments at the recent Athletic Awards Banquet.  Read more.

Events on the Cat Horizon

Summer Athletic Camps.  PHS athletic staff will be offering summer camps for multiple age groups this summer.  Click on each sport for more information.

  • Softball, July 12-13, 6-8 pm, incoming grades 5-8
  • Volleyball, July 16-18, 9 a.m. to 12 noon, incoming grades 4-6
  • Volleyball, July 16-18, 1 to 4 p.m., incoming grades 7-9