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.
Students have an opportunity to improve their STAAR test scores during the next round of STAAR retesting June 25-28.
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Quarterback Ja’Kerion Brown was chosen as the MVP of this year’s All-Red River Valley football team and senior teammate safety TD Williams received the nod as Defensive MVP as selected by The Paris News. The duo recently received the same designations on this year’s All-District Team after leading the Paris Wildcats to a 5-0 district championship and an appearance in the Class 4A-I Region 2 semifinals.
Paris picks on the All-RRV First Team Offense were senior guard Mitchell Cole, senior receiver Jalon Pipkins, and junior running back Donovan Williams. Second Team Offense selections were junior center Gunner Vest and senior placekicker Zach Lamb.
Named to the First Team Defense were senior linebackers Dre McKinney and Tyrel McCalester along with junior safety Jordan Furtch. Second team posts went to sophomore end Vershaud Richardson, junior linebackers Michael Godwin and Perry Franklin, and junior punter Montana Payne.
The Paris Wildcats, ranked 18th in Class 4A, managed to hang around for a half against Class 6A Wylie on the Pirates’ home floor Tuesday before Wylie pulled away in the second half for an 84-62 pre-district basketball win.
The Cats (9-3) will take some time off for the Christmas holidays before hosting the 7th annual Guaranty Bank Paris Holiday Invitational Dec. 28-30 in the Wildcat Gym.
The action starts at 10 a.m. daily beginning with pool play on Wednesday, Dec. 28. Paris plays Gladewater at 12:40 p.m. then closes out Day 1 with an 8:30 nitecap against 10th-ranked Class 3A Teague.
Wylie (9-3) led, 23-17, after the first quarter and had a 41-35 halftime lead before outscoring the Cats, 23-14, in the third quarter and finishing with a 20-13 final period.
Five Pirates finished in double figures topped by Matt Garriga’s 21 points. Scott Ator added 18, Donovan Ollie 13, with 11 apiece from Cameron Wells and Dathan Brooks.
For Paris, Jalon Pipkins led all scorers with 25 points, while Josh Robinson scored 20. Junior Perry Franklin added 6, Tavon Lawrence and Sam Hawkes 4 each, and Jalen Easter 3.
The Hugo Buffaloes’ used some defensive pressure in the fourth quarter and a 24-11 foul shot advantage to outscore the Paris Wildcats, 25-10, in the final period to register a 75-68 win Friday in a pre-district basketball game played in Hugo.
It was just the second loss this season for the 18th-ranked Cats (9-2), both losses to out-of-state opponents. Paris fell to Arkansas High, 75-70, in the first round of the New Boston Gunslingers Tournament.
The Cats led at each break, 22-17, 38-33, and 58-50, but couldn’t overcome turnovers created by the Buffs’ trapping press. Hugo converted 20 of 24 foul shots (10 of 13 in the fourth quarter), while Paris made 6 of 11 at the line (4 of 6 in the fourth).
Otherwise, the game was a 3-fest, with the Cats dropping 13 from long range and the Buffs making 9.
Jalon Pipkins led Paris with 22 points (14 in the opening period). Josh Robinson added 19 and Sam Hawkes 10. Four Hugo players finished in double figures topped by Kealin Scott and Kyon Freeman with 19 apiece.
Paris will travel to Wylie Tuesday for a trio of games before taking a break for the Christmas holidays. The freshmen tip off at 12 noon followed by JV and varsity.
-- Photo by Joe Watson
Paris senior Dextiny Patrick tries to split a Hugo double team in the paint
Despite making just 42% of their foul shots, the Hugo Lady Buffaloes used an overwhelming 38 to 9 advantage in free throw attempts to take a 52-45 pre-district win over the Paris Ladycats Monday in the Wildcat Gym.
The Lady Buffs converted just 16 of their 38 free throw attempts, but it proved to be the decisive difference in the game. Paris made just 4 of their 9 opportunities at the foul line.
More importantly, the Ladycats’ 23-8 edge in fouls took its toll on Paris’ leading scorer, sophomore Peaches Jackson, who scored 31 points just three nights previous in a win over Bonham. Jackson had to sit for 14 minutes due to foul problems, and the sophomore post picked up her fourth personal as the third quarter got underway.
When she took a seat on the bench the game was tied, 23-23, but Hugo closed out the period on a 14-6 run to take a 37-29 advantage into the last quarter. When she returned to the court with 6:11 left in the game, Paris faced a 32-40 deficit.
The Ladycats managed to close within 3, 39-42, on a steal and Drea Jenkins layup, a feed by Serenity Sanders to Jackson, and a Nautica Harris 3-pointer. However, the Lady Buffs dropped in 7 of their final 10 free throws to close out the victory.
Jackson and Harris, who made four 3s in the game, each scored 12 points to lead Paris, while Jenkins added 8. The Ladycats, now 6-12, will break for the Christmas holidays before resuming play Dec. 27-28 at the Kaufman Invitational.
Hugo also won the JV game, 47-34. Essence Gray managed 14 for Paris.
The Paris Ladycats cruised to a 62-42 win over the Bonham Lady Warriors Friday night in the Wildcat Gym.
With sophomore Peaches Jackson (pictured left) scoring 13 of her game-high 31 points in the opening quarter, Paris raced out to a 16-4 lead at the first break, was up by 31-18 at halftime, and extended the lead to as many as 23 points in the second half.
Senior Dextiny Patrick scored 8 points before fouling out midway through the third quarter. Paris coach Deanne Dial substituted freely as 10 of the 12 Ladycats scored at least 2 points in the game.
Melanie Lewis led Bonham with 19 and teammate Averi Reeves added 12.
The Ladycats’ JV won the preliminary game, 31-11, over Bonham. Essence Gray led Paris with 14.
Paris (6-11) returns to the Wildcat Gym Monday to play Hugo, OK, before taking time off for the Christmas holidays. The JV game tips off at 4:30 p.m. followed by varsity around 6.
A steal by Josh Robinson (above) and subsequent outlet pass to Jalon Pipkins leads to a rim-rattling dunk (below) and 64-60 lead over Sulphur Springs
The Sulphur Springs basketball program had posted a combined record of 36-136 over the past 8 seasons, a dismal 21% winning percentage, but the packed visitors bleachers at the Wildcat Gym Tuesday should have been an indicator that these 2016-17 Hopkins County Wildcats are not your perennial district doormats.
So you can understand why Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed was concerned at halftime with his 18th-ranked Wildcats holding a 38-31 lead.
“I didn’t feel good about our chances because I knew they’d start making their shots in the second half and I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to keep up with them.”
Steed was half-right. The visiting Wildcats did, indeed, stage a fourth-quarter comeback to take a brief lead before the hometown Cats made enough big plays over the final four minutes to escape with a 67-64 win. Paris is now 9-1 for the season, while SSHS is 12-2 and perched to become one of the big surprises in Class 5A this year.
Despite being unranked, SSHS has already notched the most wins by the school since 2008. Buoyed by 6-8 Nigerian sophomore post Victor Iwuakor, SSHS poses a tough inside matchup for most teams, and 6-3 sophomore guard Keaston Willis is a dangerous outside threat. The Wildcats’ only other loss this season has been to Class 6A third-ranked Dallas Skyline.
Their story only gets scarier for future opponents. Iwuakor has a freshman brother, Godsgift Ezedinma, who scored 28 points to lead the SSHS JV to a 56-46 win over Paris prior to the varsity headliner. Ezedinma is currently ineligible to play varsity, but will reportedly gain his eligibility at midterm.
Fortunately for Steed and the Paris Cats, that’s a problem they won’t have to face for another year. They were able to secure a win thanks to some good first-half shooting and tough defense.
Josh Robinson scored 28 points, including four 3-pointers, to lead all scorers, while Jalon Pipkins added 14 and Sam Hawkes 12. The Cats knocked down ten 3s in the game, while SSHS made nine from long range.
“Pipkins had one of his best defensive games ever,” Steed said of his 6-4 senior who drew primary responsibility to guard Willis. “Josh played great defense, too, and we roughed up the big kid (Iwuakor) and wore him down at the end.”
Iwuakor topped SSHS scoring with 20, including 12 in the third period, but he was shut out in the pivotal fourth quarter by the Cats’ inside players Hawkes, Vershaud Richardson, and Jalen Easter. Willis and senior guard Ke’ontae Dunn heated up in the fourth quarter to score a combined 17 points to make for the exciting finish. Willis finished with 15 points and Dunn 11.
Willis scored 9 straight points for SSHS to start the final period, and Dunn connected from the 3-point line to give the visitors a 57-54 lead when the Cats caught a huge momentum changer.
A baseline floater by senior Tavon Lawrence turned into a goaltending call on Iwuakor and subsequent technical foul on SSHS coach Clark Cipoletta for arguing the call.
It resulted in a 6-0 Paris run when Pipkins hit both technical foul shots and the Cats retained possession for a successful Pipkins drive to the basket. Dunn, however, knocked down another 3 to retie the score, 60-all, with 3 minutes remaining.
Robinson then dropped a floater in the lane over Iwuakor and picked up a steal on the defensive end to outlet to a streaking Pipkins for a rim-rattling dunk and a 64-60 Paris advantage with 1:48 left to play (see photos above).
Iwuakor had a pair of misses on the next SSHS possession, and Steed took a timeout with 1:18 to go. Pipkins tried to split a midcourt double-team, but had his pocket picked by Dunn for a layup to trim the margin to 64-62 with under a minute to play.
Instead of using the clock, Hawkes launched a 3 from the left corner to give Paris some breathing room at 67-62 with 38.8 to play (see photo below). Another SSHS freshman, Michael Jefferson, countered with a jump-step drive and layup to make it a 67-64 game when Cipoletta took his final timeout with 17.5 remaining.
Unfortunately for the visitors, SSHS only had 3 team fouls at that point, and could not manage to foul 4 more times to send Paris to the free throw line. Four straight successful in-bounds plays by Paris managed to exhaust the scoreboard clock.
Paris has another regional matchup on the horizon with a trip Friday to play Hugo, OK, then the Cats travel to Wylie next Tuesday before hosting the annual Guaranty Bank Paris Holiday Invitational, Dec. 28-30.
SSHS swept both sub-varsity games, winning the JV match, 56-46, and freshmen game, 58-45. Trea Johnson led the Paris freshmen with 14, while TJ Williams scored 15 and Jaylen Henderson 10 for the JV.
Sam Hawkes launches a corner 3 that proves to be the game-winner for Paris
The Paris Wildcats posted a rare tournament loss Thursday, falling by a 75-70 score to Class 6A Arkansas High in the opening round of the New Boston Gunslingers Tournament, but they rebounded with wins on Friday and Saturday to capture the cosolation trophy.
The opening clash turned out to be for the championship since Arkansas (7-1) swept past Hope, AK, and Idabel, OK, by margins of 29 and 37 points, respectively, to win the tournament.
The loss to the Razorbacks dropped the Cats into the consolation bracket, where they posted a 71-42 win over host New Boston on Friday and dropped Daingerfield, 62-36, on Saturday. The Cats, now 8-1 for the season and ranked 18th in Texas Class 4A, have an impressive 33-2 record in tournament action over the past 3 seasons and were the two-time defending champions at the New Boston tournament.
Arkansas (5-1) held Paris junior Josh Robinson to a season-low 29 points. Senior Jalon Pipkins scored 18 for Paris, which trailed the Razorbacks by 56-49 after 3 quarters before mounting a fourth-quarter rally. Taviron Oliver scored 22 and Kyndal Martin 20 for Arkansas, which already owns a 72-54 win this season at the Cats’ District 14-4A rival Pleasant Grove.
Robinson scored 37 points, 28 in the first half, to lead Paris past New Boston. Pipkins added 14, and sophomore Vershaud Richardson scored 8.
Pipkins, who was the lone Paris representative on the all-tournament team, scored 30 in the consolation finale against Daingerfield, which held a 12-11 lead after one period. After the Cats took a 30-23 halftime lead, they limited the Tigers to 13 points in the second half.
Senior 6-6 post Sam Hawkes nailed seven 3-pointers to finish with 21 points,
Paris hosts Sulphur Springs on Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym. The Hopkins County Wildcats are 12-1 for the season and come into the game off a win over Class 3A No. 5 Peaster to capture the Central Heights Tournament.
VFW essay winners (from left) Zach Lamb, Anthony Pierotti, Matthew Cochran
Paris High seniors swept this year’s VFW Voice of Democracy Essay Contest. Anthony Pierotti was first, Matthew Cochran second, and Zach Lamb third. All three students will be recognized at a dinner in their honor on Dec. 20, and Pierotti’s essay advances to regional competition.
Josh Robinson gets a floater over the Tigers’ James Moore to fall for 2 of his 40 points
Paris Wildcats head coach Billy Mack Steed thought his team’s unbeaten streak was over when he called his first timeout just three minutes into Tuesday’s clash of 18th-ranked basketball squads in the Wildcat Gym. Class 5A Mount Pleasant had just jumped out to a 9-0 lead over Class 4A Paris.
“We couldn’t hit anything and Number 44 (MP’s 6-5 senior James Moore) was hitting from everywhere.” Steed said
Fortunately, Steed has two of the state’s top offensive weapons in his arsenal and their teammates played major complementary roles to stem the Tiger tide and completely turn the game’s momentum. The Cats soon owned a double-digit lead which they maintained until the final 3 minutes when a furious finish created some anxious moments in an 83-76 Paris win.
Paris remained unbeaten at 6-0, while MP left town with a 5-2 mark.
The Wildcats’ 6-5 junior scoring machine, Josh Robinson, led the way with 40 points, his third 40-point game of the young season. Senior Jalon Pipkins, the 6-4 silky smooth senior, added 19 including a thundering breakaway slam and some clutch fourth-quarter foul shots.
Perhaps most satisfying to Steed was the performance of his role players, the guys who operate in the shadows of Robinson and Pipkins. The development of the supporting cast will ultimately decide the success of the 2016-17 season.
Senior Tavon Lawrence connected on a trio of 3-pointers among his 13 overall points, and sophomore junior Cameron Jones nailed a corner 3 just before the halftime buzzer to send the teams to intermission with Paris ahead, 39-28.
Meanwhile, inside starters Sam Hawkes and Vershaud Richardson along with reserves Jalen Easter, Perry Franklin, and Demetric Glover challenged Moore and his Tiger teammates and kept MP from completely dominating the paint.
Following Steed’s early timeout, the Cats began chipping away at the Tiger lead, which was just 17-13 after the first break. Paris started the second period on a 7-0 run punctuated by Pipkins’ dunk to take permanent command of the scoreboard at 20-17.
A NBA-range 3 by Robinson banked off the glass to give the Cats their first double-digit lead at 32-21. After back-to-back field goals by MP cut the lead to 36-28, Jones answered with his 3-pointer.
The advantage would grow to as many as 16 points in the third quarter, but Robinson picked up his fourth personal foul with just 0.3 left in the period and would sit out the first 1:28 of the final quarter. More importantly, his foul trouble weakened the Cats’ defense the rest of the way.
Outstanding MP point guard Josh McGill led a frantic Tiger rally, scoring 12 of his team-leading 22 points in the fourth quarter, but poor MP foul shooting (48% on 12 of 25 shots) hurt the visitors. By contrast, Pipkins (6 of 6) and Robinson (4 of 4) were perfect at the foul line for Paris in the final frame. For the game, the Cats shot a healthy 75% from the line (18 of 24), which proved to be the ultimate difference-maker.
Moore finished with 20 points for MP, and Kevin Savage added 11.
Paris won both sub-varsity games. The freshmen won, 50-42, while the JV score was 59-52.
The Cats’ next action will be at the New Boston Gunslingers Tournament where they open on Thursday with a 4:50 p.m. date against a tough Arkansas High team (4-1). If they win, they face a potential Friday match against Hope, AK, which already owns a win over the Hot Springs team that dominated the field at last year’s Paris Invitational.
The district champion Paris Wildcats dominated the 7-4A Division I honor roll as selected by league coaches. The Cats finished with a 9-4 season mark after completing a perfect 5-0 run through district.
Quarterback Ja’Kerion Brown was named District MVP after switching positions to quarterback for his senior season. He rushed for 1,130 yards and passed for another 1,177. Senior teammate TD Williams was the Defensive MVP after intercepting 7 passes, 5 during district play.
Junior running back Donovan Williams was tabbed as co-Offensive MVP. Williams rushed for 1,637 yards and 13 touchdowns, and he caught 5 passes for 81 yards and 2 more TDs. Senior offensive guard Mitchell Cole received co-Lineman MVP honors.
First team selections on offense went to junior tackle Ashton Savage and senior wide receiver Jalon Pipkins. Defensive first team picks were senior cornerback Jaylen Smith, sophomore end Vershaud Richardson, senior middle linebacker Dre McKinney, senior outside linebacker Tyrel McCalester, junior safety Jordan Furtch, and senior place kicker Zach Lamb.
All-District Selections (Position):
TAFE Regional Contestants (from left) Sponsor Emily Steele, Aislinn Taylor, Kaitlynn Hutchins, Carol Sanchez, Itzuri Ramirez, Bailey Bristow, Alexandra Hernandez, Malaree Wise, Alissa Penny, Maria Gonzalez
The Paris High chapter of TAFE (Texas Association of Future Educators) recently competed in their regional contest in Mount Pleasant with six students qualifying to advance to the state contest at UT-Arlington in February. Senior Malaree Wise qualified for state in three events: Impromptu Speaking, Job Interview, and Chapter Scrapbook (along with senior Bailey Bristow and sophomore Alissa Penny). Juniors Itzuri Ramirez and Alexandra Hernandez with sophomore Carol Sanchez qualified for Project Visualize. The chapter sponsor is Emily Steele.
Paris High senior Phillip Sikes signs a letter-of-intent to attend the University of New Mexico on a baseball scholarship to play for the Lobos. Sikes was the District 15-4A Co-Defensive MVP and All-Red River Valley Co-MVP last season playing shortstop and pitching for the Wildcats. He has been a starter for the Cats’ baseball team since his freshman season.
It’s been not quite a month into the new basketball season and the Paris Ladycats have already equalled last year’s win total. They’ve shown significant improvement in several areas, notably on defense and ball distribution on offense.
Still, flaws in other areas are leading to missed opportunities in crunch time as was evident in a 60-56 loss to Emory Rains Monday night in their Wildcat Gym home opener. Paris (4-9) held a 3-point lead on 3 separate occasions in the fourth period, the last time at 47-44, but ball-handing turnovers and numerous missed shots in the paint enabled Rains (5-7) to escape with a pre-district victory.
The Rains Lady Cats scored the first 7 points of the game and held a 12-2 lead when Paris coach Deanne Dial called her first timeout with 3:22 left in the opening quarter. Rains had hit on a trio of 3-point shots in the opening minutes and connected on 6 in the game.
Paris countered with some perimeter pressure with steals and fast-break layups by Serenity Sanders, Drea Jenkins, and Taj Reeves to trim the advantage to 18-12 heading into the second quarter. The home town Ladycats used a 6-0 burst to begin the second frame to tie the score at 18 on a 15-footer by Dextiny Patrick.
Sophomore post Peaches Jackson (pictured left) also dropped in 11 of her game-high 31 points in the second period, but Rains took a 30-27 lead into the locker room at halftime.
A Jackson breakaway layup gave Paris its first lead, 39-38, midway through the third quarter, and another fast-break finisher by Sanders had Paris up, 41-40, at the end of three periods.
Then the turnover bug and missed chances from the field and free throw line (where Paris converted 38% on 10 of 26 shots) proved fatal. A Jackson layup off a wrap-around feed by Sanders had Paris in front for the final time at 49-48 with four minutes remaining.
A defensive breakdown on a layup by Rains’ Autumn Terry put the visitors back in front for good at 50-49 and a 3-pointer by Vivian Bradshaw proved to be the game-winner at 59-53.
Senior point guard Kenna Kellum led Rains with 22 points, while Terry scored 17. Jenkins was the only other Paris player in double figures with 10.
Paris won both sub-varsity games. The freshman claimed a 30-8 win, while the JV won, 41-23.
The Ladycats’ JV and varsity are back in action Friday when they travel to Cooper for a pair of games.
Josh Robinson drops in a floater in the paint vs. Crandall
The Paris Wildcats capped off a productive first week of boys basketball with four double-digit wins to reclaim the top hardware for the third straight year at the Van DQ Invitational, but the road ahead gets much bumpier.
It starts Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym when Paris, 5-0 and ranked 20th in Class 4A, hosts the Mount Pleasant Tigers, 5-1 and 20th-ranked in Class 5A. The Tigers feature a dominant inside game led by 6-5 senior James Moore and talented point guard Josh McGill.
“I never thought we’d be sitting at 5 and oh,” Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed said after watching his team win four games at Van against traditionally strong East Texas basketball programs by margins of 15, 35, 16, and 34 points. Paris has had just two full practices after welcoming 60% of the varsity squad from the football team, which just finished a 3-deep playoff run.
The basketball Wildcats are still very much a work in progress, but they feature two of the best court talents in the region in 6-5 junior Josh Robinson and 6-4, two-sport college Division 1 senior prospect Jalon Pipkins. While Pipkins is still getting his basketball legs under him, Robinson has carried the scoring load through the first week, averaging 36 points a game. Both players were selected to the Van all-tournament team.
Steed understands that opponents will be focused on stopping his dynamic duo by using a variety of hybrid defenses. Developing a supporting cast capable of doing things on offense that attack those defenses while rebuilding his own defense that’s missing the graduated Embry twins patrolling the paint remain his top two priorities.
Paris Wildcats head basketball coach Billy Mack Steed had one practice to incorporate five additions from the football squad before facing the Kaufman Lions in the Wildcat Gym Tuesday night for the Cats’ season opener.
“We tried to teach them two plays,” he said.
You can bet those two plays focused on getting the ball into the hands of the two holdover starters from last season’s regional semifinalists: Junior 6-5 guard Josh Robinson, one of a handful of players who concentrate on playing basketball year-round, and 6-4 senior Jalon Pipkins, one of the five imports from the area champion football team which just completed its season four days ago.
“Until Jalon gets his (basketball) legs under him,” Steed continued, “we’re going to need Josh to score for us to be successful.”
Mission accomplished Tuesday, as the Cats broke away from a 31-31 halftime tie with the hot-shooting Lions (2-2) to take an 86-65 win. Robinson (pictured left) had 28 of his game-high 43 points in that second-half blitz. Pipkins, as expected, didn’t have his best shooting night and finished with 15, but he did manage a trio of dunks and athletic plays including a crowd-pleasing 270-degree spin dunk in a third-quarter spurt that saw Paris outscore the visitors, 30-13.
The Lions’ outside shooting (they made eleven 3’s in the game) kept it from becoming more of a blowout. The lack of practice time was particularly noticeable early in the game as Kaufman jumped out to a 14-6 advantage before Steed called his first timeout with 3:03 remaining in the opening period.
The Cats finished the first quarter on an 11-0 run that included 7 points from Robinson. The lead changed hands three times in the second quarter, but a 5-0 run by Paris ended the first half and resulted in the 31-all halftime tie.
Paris scored the first 8 points of the second half to take the lead for good. When Robinson and Pipkins weren’t scoring themselves, they were distributing the ball to teammates, like Pipkins’ feed to Perry Franklin on a fast-break outlet to give the Cats a 20-point headway, 61-41.
A Lion 3-pointer ended the third quarter and another long 3 started the fourth to eke Kaufman within 14, 61-47. However, Robinson found Sam Hawkes for a layup, Pipkins followed with another dunk, and Robinson completed a traditional 3-point play to restore the 20-point advantage, 71-51.
Spencer Davis and Will Sisson topped Kaufman scoring with 14 each, while Andrew Rocha had 11, and Trey Collier 10.
The Cats will have one more practice session Wednesday before leaving for the DQ Tournament in Van, where Paris is the two-time defending champion. They open at 3 p.m. Thursday against Athens, then face Princeton at 9:20 a.m. Friday before starting bracket play. The tournament concludes on Saturday.
The Cats return home next Tuesday, Dec. 6, to host a tough Mount Pleasant team.
In Tuesday’s preliminary game, the Wildcat freshmen beat Kaufman, 70-38. Jameon Mitchell led with 19 points, while Zantavious Braxton scored 14 and Trae Johnson 10.
Donovan Williams cuts behind Gunner Vest block (left) to streak 42 yards for Cats’ second TD
The Paris Wildcats needed big plays on offense and turnovers on defense to have a chance to knock off the Van Vandals Friday afternoon in a Class 4A Region 2 semifinal at Allen Eagle Stadium. They got 4 big plays and 1 turnover. It wasn’t nearly enough.
Led by impressive junior quarterback Garrett Moseley, the Vandals rolled up 599 yards of offense and scored on 8 of their first 10 possessions in a 55-27 win that halted the Cats’ 7-game win streak. Van (12-1) moves on to next week’s regional final against Kennedale, while Paris (9-4) starts the task of rebuilding for next season.
Throughout the 7-game streak the Cats relied on their defense to stop opponents in their tracks, but none of those 7 victims possessed a strong balanced offense with a dual threat QB the likes of the Van signal-caller.
Moseley rushed for 201 yards and 4 scores while passing for 228 yards and 2 TDs behind a dominant offensive line. His complementary weapons were senior two-way standout Cooper Bledsoe (8 rushes for 97 yards, 1 TD), 6-4 senior wide receiver Isaiah Allred (4 catches for 88 yards, 1 TD), and senior Tre Lovett (3 catches for 58 yards, 1 TD).
Even poor starting field position could not deter the Van scoring machine. Outstanding punting by junior Montana Payne backed the Vandals to the shadow of their own end zone at the Van 6, 13, and 6, but the Vandals drove the length of the field in 10 plays or less on each series.
Paris appeared primed for an offensive shootout after speedy junior RB Donovan Williams sprinted for breakaway TD runs of 53 and 42 yards on the Wildcats’ first two possessions. Williams rushed 12 times for 137 yards, but the Vandals closed ranks after an early 13-7 Paris lead to completely shut down the Cats’ running game.
The Vandals were especially effective in denying Wildcat QB Ja”Kerion Brown any running lanes. Brown was held to 31 yards on 9 rushes although he did manage to complete 11 of 20 passes for 125 yards and 2 TDs.
The first touchdown pass was set up by Van’s only turnover when a blindside hit by Perry Franklin caused a Moseley fumble that was recovered by Demetric Glover at the Vandal 33. Van was caught in single coverage of 6-3 receiver Jalon Pipkins, who out-leaped his shorter defender to haul in an 18-yard fade from Brown in the first half’s final 6 seconds (see picture left).
The score closed Van’s lead to 35-20 and gave Paris fans a glimmer of hope at halftime. The home side was further boosted when Van was stopped on downs on the Vandals’ opening possession of the second half. A 94-yard scoring march on the Van’s second series of the third quarter proved to be a back-breaker, pushing the Van advantage to 42-20.
The last Paris flicker of hope came on a 54-yard screen pass from Brown to junior Montavius McCarty that closed the gap to 42-27 with 3:16 left in the third quarter (see picture right). The Cats’ offense never seriously threatened the rest of the way while Van ground out another couple of TD drives to provide the final margin of separation.
Post-season awards were recently announced in volleyball.
Junior libero Katy Hall was the lone Paris Ladycat to earn a first team selection to the All-Red River Valley volleyball team as chosen by The Paris News. Senior middle blockers Dextiny Patrick and Lindi Hamner along with junior setter Deagan Dingman made the second team, while senior Anahdian Mitchell and junior Zanesha Dangerfield received honorable mention.
For the All-District 14-4A Team as selected by coaches, Grace Woodby was named co-Newcomer of the Year. First team spots went to Dingman, Hall, Hamner, and Patrick. Second team berths were taken by Dangerfeild and junior defensive specialist Emily Williams. Mitchell, senior Drea Jenkins, junior Sarah Bloodworth, and sophomore Peaches Jackson received honorable mention.
The Ladycats finished third in 14-4A with a 6-4 record. They were 20-19 overall.
Paris High is the only high school in Region 8 (northeast Texas) to earn a perfect 7 of a possible 7 distinctions on 2016 campus accountability ratings recently by the Texas Education Agency.
PHS was 1 of 77 high schools statewide to gather a perfect 7 of 7 distinctions, which places the school in the top 6% of high school campuses. Also, 38 of those 77 high schools are either magnet or early college high schools, which further distinguishes PHS as 1 of 39 traditional public high schools in Texas to achieve the feat.
PHS received an accountability rating of Met Standard. Campuses that receive an accountability rating of Met Standard are also eligible for distinction designations based on achievement in performance indicators relative to a group of 40 campuses of similar type, size and student demographics. Distinctions can be earned for academic achievement in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Student Progress, Closing Performance Gaps, and Postsecondary Readiness.
Statewide, more than 400 campuses, including PHS, earned all distinction designations applicable to their individual school.
“Earning one or more campus distinctions is noteworthy and should be a source of pride in a community,” said Commissioner of Education Mike Morath. “Earning all possible distinctions is a significant accomplishment and should signal to parents that there is extraordinary work taking place on that campus.”
The state changed its accountability rating system four years ago to one based on STAAR end of course testing (from the previous TAKS testing system). Over those four years, PHS has earned a total of 19 distinctions of a total possible 24 which ranks first among Region 8 high schools.
Texas High, Mount Pleasant, and Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill are tied for second with 16 apiece. Sulphur Springs has collected 14, and Avery has 11. Mount Pleasant and Pewitt each received 6 distinctions on this year’s rating system.
For more information on accountability ratings, visit the TEA website.
Paris bench erupts as Deshia Runnels (22) flies upcourt after making her second 3-pointer
Poor shooting, turnovers, and foul problems were three major reasons the Paris Ladycats finished with a 4-28 record on the basketball court last season. Field goal shooting was not a big issue Tuesday afternoon in a pre-district game at Sulphur Springs, but turnovers and foul trouble played a major role in a 53-43 loss.
The strength of this year’s Ladycats should focus on posts Dextiny Patrick, a 4-year starter, and sophomore Peaches Jackson, last season’s district newcomer of the year. But Jackson picked up her fourth personal foul with 4:44 left in the third quarter and Patrick soon joined her on the bench when she collected No. 4 with 1:42 remaining in the period.
Ironically, the smaller Paris lineup responded with tight defense and some sharp shooting to break from a 25-25 tie to take a 37-29 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Senior guard Drea Jenkins hit a 3-pointer to give the Ladycats a 28-27 lead heading into the final period then fed senior Taj Reeves on a fast-break finisher to keep the momentum going in the final frame.
Backup senior post Deshia Runnels canned her second 3-pointer of the afternoon, and junior Nautica Harris hit a pair of short-range jumpers to complete the 12-4 run.
The turnover bug started to bite at that point, and Paris head coach Deanne Dial sent both Patrick and Jackson back on the court to protect a 39-34 cushion with 3:43 remaining on the clock.
Jackson drew her fifth foul at the 2:38 mark with Paris still clinging to a 41-39 edge, but the hosts started pushing play in the paint and creating havoc with a mid-court trap.
Reeves dropped in a pair of free throws to raise the Ladycats’ lead to 43-39 with 2:01 to play, but that would end the Paris scoring for the game as SSHS finished on a 14-0 run. A series of 4 turnovers led to easy points for the hosts, who are now 4-1 for the season.
Runnels topped Paris in scoring with 10 points, while Patrick scored 9, Jenkins 8, Jackson 6, and 4 each for Harris, Reeves, and junior Serenity Sanders, who had several nice assists.
Sadavia Porter and Kaylee Jefferson each scored 14 for SSHS, which was plagued by poor shooting until finishing with a 26-point fourth quarter. The home team made 15 of 23 free throws. Paris was only 6 of 17 at the foul line.
The Ladycats are off for the remainder of the Thanksgiving break. They travel to Mount Vernon next Tuesday, Nov. 29, for a pair of games.
Dre McKinney (9) closes in to deliver another big hit on RB Blake Henderson
Friday’s Area Round football game at Longview Lobo Stadium had the antique feel of a classic 15-round heavyweight boxing match. While the Paris defense kept a powerful Alvarado offense off-stride with body blow upon body blow, the Wildcat offense finally delivered a couple of fourth quarter haymakers that knocked the Indians out of this year’s state playoffs by a 14-10 unanimous decision.
For the second time in Steven Hohenberger’s three-year tenure as head coach, the Cats (9-3) have advanced three rounds deep into the Class 4A Division I bracket. Their next opponent will be a familiar one, the 11-1 Van Vandals, in a Friday, 1 p.m., Region 2 Semifinal to be played back at Allen’s Eagle Stadium.
Advance tickets to the game will be on sale Monday thru Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily, at the Wildcat Stadium fieldhouse athletic office and on Friday, 8 to 9:30 a.m. Advance tickets are $4 student and $6 adult. All tickets at the gate are $7, and parking is $5.
The 2014 Wildcats upset an unbeaten and state-ranked Vandals team in Hohenberger’s first season, 30-23, en route to a regional semifinals appearance. A repeat win over Van would advance Paris to the Region 2 finals against the winner of Kennedale vs. Midlothian Heritage.
None of which seemed likely at halftime to the casual fan at Lobo. After all, they had seen Alvarado (9-3) roll up big chunks of yardage on the ground to outgain Paris in total offense and time of possession by a 2-to-1 margin. The Wildcat offense, meanwhile, was hamstrung by 4 fumbles (although none lost), blocking breakdowns, and errant passing.
To make matters worse, the Cats’ best first half drive was stopped on downs at the Alvarado 3. When Paris was gifted new life on a fumbled snap recovered by Tyrel McCalester at the Alvarado 10, the Cats had 6 snaps to dent the goalline before settling on a field goal attempt.
The 27-yard try by normally dead-solid-perfect kicker Zach Lamb was pushed wide right by the swirling winds in the south end zone.
The Indians still had 2:35 left on the second quarter clock, and they assembled a 14-play march to pad their halftime lead to 10-0 with a 36-yard Trevor Stovall field goal. Momentum seemed to favor Alvarado, but in the Paris locker room under the massive concrete bowl, Wildcat coaches convinced their players they had the Indians right where they wanted them: Against the ropes.
“We told the team they (the Indians) weren’t going to score again,” said defensive coordinator Larry McFarlin, “and that our offense was going to turn it around and score twice.
“Just keep boxing, just keep punching away.”
McFarlin wasn’t advocating fisticuffs but was talking metaphorically about the cumulative effects of continual hard hits by the Wildcat defense, led by senior middle linebacker Dre McKinney, who inflicted 16 jarring solo tackles along with 10 assists.
Starting Indian RB Alonzo Shaw did not return to the field following a collision with safety Jordan Furtch on Shaw’s third carry of the night.
“That was a big break for us,” Hohenberger would say later.
Backup Blake Henderson, a 1,000-yard rusher, took over and led Alvarado with 27 carries for 124 yards, but after a series of big hits by McKinney and Friends, he only had one rush in the final three Alvarado series. By the end of the night, the Indians were down to their third and fourth options at tailback.
McKinney had plenty of help from defensive teammates. Most notably, linebackers Tyrel McCalester and Michael Godwin along with safety Furtch were in on 12 tackles each. Paris forced three key turnovers in the second half. On one play (see photo left), Furtch (No. 5) hurdled blockers and wound up kicking the ball out of the runner’s grasp into the hands of teammate Jaylen Smith. Senior safety TD Williams had a more convention ball strip on another play that was good for McCalester’s second fumble recovery of the game.
While the defense was pitching the second half shutout, the offense came alive in the fourth quarter, keyed by, undoubtedly, the play of the year. Needing a kickstart, the Cats got one in the form of an acrobatic, one-handed grab by 6-3 Jalon Pipkins, despite tight coverage by 5-5 defender Blake Boyd. Pipkins hauled in Ja’Kerion Brown’s pass at the Indians’ 15, landed on one leg, kept his balance, and cruised the rest of the way for a 47-yard score to make it a 10-7 game.
Pipkins, Brown, & Co. weren’t through. The Wildcat offense got the ball back at the Paris 39 with 3:08 left in the game. It took them just 5 plays to go 61 yards for the winning score.
Brown picked up 37 of his 61 rushing yards on an option keeper to the Alvarado 19. Two plays later, the diminutive Paris quarterback, who couldn’t hit the proverbial broadside of a barn passing in a frustrating first half, was right on target in connecting with Pipkins again on a 14-yard out pattern to beat standout cornerback Antwain Bates in the right end zone.
The home sidelines and stands erupted as Lamb added his second extra point to give Paris its first lead, 14-10, with just 1:34 left to play.
Fittingly, there was one remaining challenge for the Cat defense. Hearts sank as 48-yard kickoff return by Bates plus a personal foul penalty had Alvarado perched on the Paris doorstep at the Cats’ 16.
However, with the Indian backfield riddled by repeated shots from the Wildcat defense, Alvarado QB Brayden Ramsey was the last best hope. He scrambled on fourth-and-4 to move the chains to the Paris 5.
Out of timeouts, Alvarado rushed to save the final few seconds on the clock. Instead, the Indians drew two false starts in the process. Ramsey was called for intentional grounding at the Paris 18 while trying to avoid a game-ending sack by McCalester.
The final gasp came on a “Hail, Mary” lob to the end zone that saw Williams outjump the pile for his seventh interception of the year, all coming in the Cats’ current 7-game winning streak.
It was over.
As pandemonium ensued among Wildcat players, coaches, and entourage with victory dog-piles scattered across the field, a water-drenched Hohenberger and McFarlin met, hugged, and playfully sparred. (see photo right) As Hohenberger walked away to greet the next well-wisher, he yelled, “Let’s keep boxing!”
In workmanlike, if unspectacular, manner, the Paris Wildcats overwhelmed an outmanned Crandall Pirates team Thursday night at a Class 4A-I bi-district game played at Allen Eagle Stadium, 21-0.
The Cats, who won their sixth straight game, move to 8-3 for the season and will play the 9-2 Alvarado Indians in next week’s Area Round. That game will be played Friday, Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m., at Longview Lobo Stadium.
The Pirates finished their season at 4-7.
While comparisons to the 1988 state championship football run would be very premature at this point, the 2016 Cats accomplished something no PHS team has done since the 1988 title holders: They posted a rare playoff shutout, the first since a 40-0 win over Cleburne in the state semifinals. It was also the second shutout in three games for Paris, who also blanked Anna, 41-0, two weeks ago.
The Pirates limped into the matchup as the District 8 No. 4 seed missing their top offensive threat: Senior quarterback Michael Dearman, who stood on crutches on the Crandall sidelines. Dearman was injured in last week’s regular season finale.
In Dearman’s absence, the Pirates turned to sophomore Josh Redding and a heavy reliance on a “Wildcat” formation ground game with running back Tyson Gatewood taking a direct snap from center. Crandall gained just 132 total yards against the Paris defense and a paltry 1.5 yards per rush.
The Pirates were also restricted by field position. Paris place kicker Zach Lamb, punter Montana Payne, and the Cats’ special teams pinned Crandall to an average start at the Pirate 28 compared the Cats average start at the Paris 40.
The Crandall offense crossed midfield just twice. A 14-play march on the Pirates’ second series reached the Paris 9 before an errant pass by Redding was picked off by senior TD Williams in the end zone (see photo left). It was Williams’ sixth interception of the season, all coming in the past six games.
In the second half a promising Crandall drive engineered by Doneric Rivers running the Wildcat was stopped on downs at the Paris 35 when, on fourth-and-2, KJ Tyler blew up the play in the backfield and linebackers Dre McKinney and Perry Franklin combined to stop Gatewood for a loss.
Offensively, the Cats scored easily on the initial drive of the game to take a 7-0 lead, then tried, without success, to get the passing game in gear. They finished with just 23 yards on 2 of 14 attempts.
That contributed to four wasted opportunities to finish out the first half and keep it a 7-0 game at halftime. The Cats returned to the running attack in the second half to score on a typical Ja’Kerion Brown jukefest scramble of 44 yards on their first series after halftime to make it a more secure 14-0 lead (see photo right).
Then, three series later, they pounded a fatigued Crandall defense with 8 straight helpings of Donovan Williams on a 70-yard march to virtually put the game on ice, 21-0, with 8:24 remaining on the clock. Williams finished with a hard-earned 189 yards rushing on 29 carries and 2 TDs.
Brown added 58 rushing yards on 7 carries, and Tre Perry rushed 4 times for 32 yards as Paris rolled up 289 yards on the ground among its 312 total yards offense.
The Paris defense held Crandall to 131 total yards. McKinney was credited with 13 solo tackles among his 18 total. Outside LB Tyrel McCalester had 8 solo and 13 total. Linemen Vershaud Richardson (9 tackles) and Jawun Sims (7 solo, 8 total) were also active.
Donovan Williams out-sprints the Panther defense for a 64-yard score that gives Paris a 35-21 lead
The 2016 Crosstown Showdown had something that had been missing in recent years: Drama. Lots of it.
After watching his team march for the winning score in Friday’s final two minutes and exchanging pleasantries with an endless array of players, coaches, family and friends and nameless hangers-on, an emotionally spent Paris head coach Steven Hohenberger inspected the rivalry trophy in the driveway behind the R. L. Maddox Stadium visiting bleachers.
“I wonder how long it’s been,” he said, then started silently reading off recent scores, all Paris wins.
2015: 48-10, 2014: 51-23, 2013: 41-7, 2012: 49-7.
He looked up after finding his answer. “2011: 42-35.”
He seemed a bit stunned at the measure of deja vu.
The 2016 version had become an instant classic in this rivalry series, as the Paris Wildcats put the wraps on their sixth straight win over the North Lamar Panthers by that identical score of 42-35.
Although he didn’t say so and while Hohenberger, the Paris coach, might prefer the more comfortable margins of victory, Hohenberger, the North Lamar graduate and Lamar County native, had to be pleased by the series’ resurgence on display in this year’s regular season finale.
It had everything a high school rivalry should have: Two well-prepared squads giving top efforts on the field before a packed house in a hard-hitting, but cleanly played game. It had some incredible individual efforts, especially on offense.
North Lamar did something no other District 7-4A-I opponent could manage. The Panthers made the Paris defense look vulnerable. Behind a running attack that featured pulling linemen on almost every play, NL backs consistently found gaps and cutback lanes to counteract the Cats’ speedy pursuit.
Quarterback Sam Cowling darted his way to 173 yards on 25 carries and 3 TDs. Running back Javon Franklin managed 24 carries for 76 yards and a score, and backup RB Tyler Hill added 8 runs for 37 yards.
The Panthers controlled time of possession, but the Paris offense made up for lost time with some big plays. Junior RB Donovan Williams broke his week-old career rushing mark with 244 yards on just 15 rushes (a whopping 16.3 yards per carry) He scored on breakaways of 74 and 64 yards.
Quarterback Ja’Kerion Brown almost gave the Cats a pair of 200-yard rushers. He ran for 181 on 16 carries (11.3 average) with scoring runs of 27 and 14. He also passed for 42 yards on just 3 completions and 1 TD, all to favorite receiver Jalon Pipkins.
Senior RB Tre Perry had 5 rushes for 27 yards and a touchdown.
Although the defenses took a backseat to the offensive display, each team’s D had their moment in the spotlight.
Just when it looked like Paris was about to score before halftime and take a two-possession lead to the locker room, the Panthers’ Menderez Gray intercepted a Brown pass for a 97-yard pick-6 that left the score deadlocked at 21-21 at the half.
The pace slowed in a scoreless third quarter, but a furious finish was still in store for the sellout crowd which decided to remain in their seats after watching both state-band bands perform at halftime.
The fourth quarter would see an explosion of 35 points as Paris would take a 14-point lead only to have NL charge back thanks to a successful onside kick, the Panthers’ second in two weeks.
After Cowling scored for the third time and Travis Coston tied the game at 35-all, the Cats showed their district championship mettle by driving 58 yards on 5 running plays for the winning points in the final two minutes. Zach Lamb completed a perfect night for the kickers with his sixth point-after.
Just one more dramatic encore remained. Cowling rolled out to his left but was chased down by sophomore end Vershaud Richardson (see photo left). The sack dislodged the ball and nose tackle Zanderius Hearn fell on the fumble to ensure the victory.
The win completed a perfect 5-0 run for the district champion Wildcats, who take their 7-3 season record into a bi-district playoff match vs. the Crandall Pirates (4-6) Thursday at Allen’s Eagle Stadium. Paris will be hoping to avoid some bad karma from three seasons ago when the 2013 Cats also took a 5-0 district into a first-round pairing against a 4-5 Crandall team. The Pirates administered a 22-7 whipping in Hohenberger’s first season at the helm of the Cats.
The Panthers, meanwhile, finish the regular season at 5-5 and are the No. 3 district seed. They face the Terrell Tigers (8-2) on Friday at Terrell’s Memorial Stadium.
More drama awaits both Lamar County schools.
How Wildcat Opponents Fared:
PHS Student Congress Team (from left) Codi Clark, Shelby Wilson, Reagan Stone, sponsor Tracy Roden, Brendan Henry, Graham Bain, Anthony Pierotti
Paris High finished as runnersup to North Lamar at the recent UIL Region 8 Student Congress in Pittsburg, and senior Shelby Wilson was named an alternate to Class 4A State Congress to be held in Janary 2017.
Congress is an individual contest modeled after the U.S. Congress. Students research bills and resolutions, prepare speeches, caucus in committees, debate legislation, and vote on measures they have examined. Parliamentary procedure is followed.
Zantavious Braxton finds a seam in the NL defense to score the second of his three touchdowns for Paris freshmen
The Paris Wildcats freshman football team scored 20 points in the final five minutes to take a 36-16 win over North Lamar, while the Paris JV pitched a 19-0 shutout of the Panthers to sweep a sub-varsity doubleheader Thursday night at Wildcat Stadium.
The schools’ varsity squads take center stage Friday night in the annual Crosstown Showdown at R. L. Maddox Stadium.
The freshman game was a roller-coaster of momentum changes. After a scoreless opening quarter, the Cats broke through on a 65-yard drive finished off by an 18-yard TD pass from Jameon Mitchell to Zantavious Braxton. On the next Paris possession Braxton also scored on a 38-yard run.
The Wildcats gambled on the conversion when they lined up for an extra point kick, but ran a fake. The play backfired, however, when NL’s Cade Conway intercepted an errant lateral and ran it back for a rare defensive conversion to cut the Paris lead to 13-2.
Paris tacked on a 31-yard field goal by Bryan Ramirez 10 seconds before halftime to pad the lead to 16-2, but the Panthers stormed back after halftime to tie the game, 16-16, on short TD runs by Trenton Smith and Cameron Clark plus a 2-point conversion run by Kobey Emmeyabbi.
The Cats immediately responded with a 65-yard run by Do’Rian Williams (see photo on the left) to regain the lead, 23-16, with 5:10 left to play. After holding the Panthers on downs at midfield, Williams scored again from 10 yards out to make it 29-16 with 1:16 remaining.
Paris then recovered a fumble on the kickoff return, and Braxton added his third TD of the evening on a 7-yard run to complete the scoring.
The Cats freshmen finished the season with a 3-7 mark and were 2-3 in district games.
The Paris JV evened its record to 5-5 overall, 3-2 in district, with the win in a game that featured defense and special teams. Anqurrus Harris started the scoring with a 20-yard interception return, and Alan Garcia added the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 3:02 left in the first quarter.
After forcing a Panther punt on NL’s next possession, Cameron Jones fielded a bizarre line-drive kick at the line of scrimmage and returned it 50 yards to increase the lead to 13-0 with still 1:02 remaining in the first quarter.
The only offensive scoring drive of the night occurred on the next Paris possession when Kobe Savage capped a 70-yard march with a 25-yard run midway through the second quarter.
The Paris Ladycats needed all hands on deck to have a chance to break a five-year drought of playoff wins, but their fate in Tuesday’s bi-district match was realistically decided on a soccer field Sunday.
That’s when senior middle blocker Lindi Hamner, a three-year starter in volleyball and all-district goalie on the Paris soccer team, turned an ankle playing soccer in a club match. The injury kept Hamner off the court for all but three points of Mabank’s 25-19, 25-19, 25-27, 25-17 win at Greenville High School.
The Panthers (one of a few girls teams that don’t use the term “Lady” in their mascot name), take their 22-15 season record into the Class 4A Area Round against seventh-ranked Carthage. The Ladycats finish their first season under head coach Britney Humphrey with a 20-19 mark. They’ll have to wait another year to notch the first Paris playoff victory since 2011, all-state middle blocker Andi Bawcum’s senior season.
Hamner’s absence put Paris on the defensive most of the night. Mabank’s 5-10 junior outside hitter Kailey Currington took advantage with 20 kills that kept the Panthers in front most of the way.
The Ladycats never led in Game 1 as the Panthers broke out from a 4-4 tie to stretch their lead to 20-12. Paris then produced a 7-1 run capped by an Emily Williams ace to trim the deficit to 21-19, but following a Mabank timeout the Panthers took the final 4 points for a 1-0 match lead.
Game 2 was nearly a carbon copy. Mabank broke from a 2-2 tie, led by as many as 5 points, but saw Paris rally to within 18-20. Three unforced Ladycats errors contributed to a 5-1 Panther scoring streak to finish the game and lead the match, 2-0.
Mabank was on the way to a sweep in Game 3 as the Panthers had Paris down by a 12-7 count when 4 straight Mabank errors closed the gap to 11-12. The Panthers then rebuilt a 18-13 advantage when Paris enjoyed its best streak of the evening.
With senior Dextiny Patrick at the service line, the Ladycats soared to a 9-0 rally keyed by 3 Grace Woodby kills, blocks by Peaches Jackson and Anahdian Mitchell, and a Patrick ace. Paris had 3 game points at 24-21 following a kill by Zanesha Dangerfield, but Mabank fought off 2 of those points before Humphrey sent Hamner into the frontline for an emotional, if not physical, stabilizing presence.
Instead, Hamner’s first spike attempt was blocked by 5-11 Dannielle Sinclair to knot the score at 24-all. A net violation on Paris when a Ladycat barely slid under the cords during a dig suddenly gave the Panthers match point at 25-24. However, Hamner had another spike that was mishandled by the Mabank back line to even the score at 25-25.
Hamner then limped off the court and was a spectator as an errant Mabank kill set up a game win off a Jackson spike.
Unfortunately, the momentum didn’t carry over into Game 4 for Paris, whose 7 straight errors gave Mabank a 13-8 lead. The Ladycats pulled within 13-15 thanks to 3 Patrick kills and a block, but the Panthers finished off the match in quick order with a 10-4 flurry.
Patrick (pictured with one of her spikes in the match) had 15 kills, 3 blocks, and 3 aces in her final volleyball appearance for Paris. Mitchell, who had 2 kills and a block, and Drea Jenkins also closed out their senior seasons.
Freshman Woodby notched 8 kills, while sophomore Jackson had 5 kills and 4 blocks, and junior Zanesha Dangerfield had 3 kills. They could return for next year’s attempt to break through the bi-district hurdle along with junior hitter Atajeni Barry, junior setter Deagan Dingman, junior libero Katy Hall, and junior defensive specialists Emily Williams and Sarah Bloodworth.
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.
Paris High students were recognized for their athletic accomplishments at the recent Athletic Awards Banquet. Read more.
Summer Athletic Camps. PHS athletic staff will be offering summer camps for multiple age groups this summer. Click on each sport for more information.