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.
The 2018 Graduation/Senior DVD 2-disc set may be picked up in the office during summer hours.
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The Paris Wildcats opened the 2016 baseball season Thursday with a pair of dominant wins in the Tournament of Champions in Fort Worth.
Junior Phillip Sikes was untouchable in a 5-inning no-hit win over Northside, 15-0. The junior righthander struck out 14 batters. Senior first baseman Philip Nance and senior catcher Tyler Sanders collected 3 RBI each, while senior outfielder Forest Whtie and senior second baseman Payton Barrios each drove in a pair of runs.
The Cats then beat co-host Castleberry, 11-0. Nance threw 5 innings of 2-hit ball in that game, and senior Cody Conway threw an inning in relief. Nance had 7 strikeouts and Conway 1. Nance and sophomore third baseman Zach Norris each produced 3 RBI in that game, while Allen had 2.
The Cats face South Hills Friday at 3 followed by Decatur at 5:30. The tournament wraps up on Saturday.
A select squad of powerlifters produced enough points to give Paris a third-place finish Thursday at the Meridian Last Chance Regional Qualifier. The girls regional meet will be March 5 in Canton, while the boys regionals are March 12 in Rusk.
Paris results (squat-bench press-deadlift – total):
Tenacious defense, such as the corner trap applied by Jared (left) and Jordan Embry, paves the way for 8 dunks including the one below by Jordan
The 5th-ranked Paris Wildcats recorded 18 steals and 7 blocks on the defensive end and cashed those opportunities into 8 dunks, 21 offensive rebounds, and 22 assists on the other end to thoroughly overwhelm the Spring Hill Panthers, 77-38, Tuesday night at Emory Rains in a Class 4A bi-district basketball playoff.
The Cats advance to the area round against the Canton Eagles, a mild upset winner over Crandall in their first-round match Tuesday. The Paris-Canton game will be played Saturday, 7 p.m., at Sulphur Springs HS.
It was apparent from the opening tip that the Panthers, who finished 4th in District 16-4A, could not match the District 15 champions in quickness and athletic ability. The Cats raced out to a 15-0 start and led by a 22-7 count after the first quarter. Paris had 5 dunks in the first period alone.
The Paris momentum was slowed, somewhat, in the second quarter as the Cats tried to play to the crowd with a series of spectacular passes and dunks that resulted in miscues instead of settling for more ordinary results. Still, it was over by halftime with Paris carrying a 38-13 lead into the locker room.
The small Spring Hill faithful, stunned by the mismatch in the first half, greeted their team’s late return to the court for the second half with their loudest outburst. The Panthers seemed re-energized briefly, and a defensive switch to a trapping style caught the Cats off-guard for the first couple of possessions.
It was a minor hurdle which the Cats tossed aside. By the end of the third quarter, the score was 62-23, and Paris coach Billy Mack Steed pulled his starters from the game with 6:25 remaining and the Cats holding a 65-23 lead. Spring Hill outscored the second team, 15-12, but the large Paris contingent of fans saved their most enthusiastic cheers for the play of the reserves, particiularly junior post Sam Hawkes who knocked down a pair of 3’s and scored 8 points off the bench.
The Embry twins dominated the smaller Spring Hill lineup. Jared had a game high 21 points to go with 11 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 blocks, and 4 assists. Jordan scored 20.
Jaylon Pipkins was the only other Wildcat in double figures with 11, while Josh Robinson had a good all-around game with 9 points, 7 assists, and 4 steals.
Paris is now 31-2 on the season and currently riding a 12-game winning streak.
In other playoff games of note, District 15-4A teams swept their bi-district matches against District 16. Pleasant Grove beat Chapel Hill, 68-60, in the closest game. North Lamar routed Gilmer, 74-50, while Liberty-Eylau whipped Gladewater, 66-47.
The Paris-Canton winner will face the winner of L-E vs. Van in a regional quarterfinal next week.
In weather not fit for man or duck, the two Paris varsity soccer teams split their District 11-4A showdown matches with Princeton Tuesday night. The Ladycats, AKA “QuackPack,” fell to the bitter elements and a tough Lady Panther team, 3-0, while the Wildcats prevailed with a 3-2 shootout win after regulation ended tied, 1-1.
The Ladycats couldn’t get it going at home against the region’s No. 1-ranked team and last year’s state finalists. The Paris girls, now 8-8-2 for the season and 1-1 in district, try to rebound Friday when they’re scheduled to play at North Lamar.
The Cats, meanwhile, grabbed a key road victory over their main district rivals despite the weather conditions.
“It was raining sideways and miserably cold,” Wildcat coach Jeremy Beshirs said.
It looked like Princeton would prevail after taking a 1-0 lead with 15 minutes remaining in the match. “We let a player turn the corner, and he split two defenders to get off the shot,” Beshirs said.
However, in the final minute of play Paris turned up the offensive heat despite facing a strong headwind. After keeping the ball alive near the Princeton goal, senior Justin Mitchell was able to get off a shot that deflected off the Panther goalie, and junior brother Christian Mitchell headed it into the goal for the equalizer with 54 seconds remaining.
That set up the overtime shootout. Paris scores were registered on PK kicks by both Mitchell brothers and junior Colin Harris. Junior goalie Cade Blackmon made 3 key stops for the win.
The Cats move to 7-8-2 for the season and 1-0-1 in distrct. Under the district’s point system (0 for a loss, 2 for shootout loss, 3 for shootout win, 4 for win in regulation), Paris now leads the district with 7 points to Princeton’s 6 points. The schools will meet again on Friday, March 4, at Wildcat Stadium.
“They’re a good team,” Beshirs said, “but I thought we outplayed them and I’m glad we came back with the shootout win, especially under those conditions.”
The Paris boys host North Lamar Friday night for a pair of matches starting with JV at 5:30.
In other district play, the NL girls beat Bonham in regulation and the Bonham boys beat NL in a shootout.
The Paris High Theater Department presents its UIL District 15-4A One Act Play entry, Dark Road, in a special community performance on Monday, Feb. 29, 7:30 p.m., at the Paris Junior High Weger Auditorium.
Admission is $5, and patrons are urged to arrive early for a good seat.
The cast and crew will perform for UIL judging later that week on Friday, March 4, 4 p.m., at Texarkana College. Those wishing to attend the district performance should plan to arrive no later than 3:30.
PHS theater sponsors are Amy Burrows and Jayna Shull. According to Burrows, who also serves as PHS UIL coordinator, this is the first time for the new show by playwright Laura Lundgren Smith to be brought to the stage. It is the story of the youngest female Nazi guard, age 20, who was convicted and hung for war atrocities after World War II.
The theme explores how even those who believe they are just in their actions can be caught up by the power they possess to abuse and kill others. As one of the characters states in her attempt to understand the nature of evil, "Evil becomes ordinary. It becomes routine. If you don't look it in the face every day, evil slips up beside you, puts its arm around you."
Burrows said the play “has been a great opportunity for the cast members to study the Holocaust and how good people in desperate situations motivated by fear, poverty, and a need for national pride felt compelled, even justified, in committing such horrible acts.
“It's a real lesson for us all for, unfortunately, history has a way of repeating itself.”
The Paris High Theater Department is honored to be one of the first schools to bring this approved manuscript to life onstage. The cast consist of :
Junior Matt Cochran won his third straight boys singles championship as the 2016 tennis season continued last Friday with a tournament in Atlanta. The girls doubles team of sophomore Reagan Benson and junior Soyla Torres also returned with a championship medal.
The varsity tennis team returns to action on Friday, March 4, at a tournament at Pleasant Grove. The JV team, meanwhile, has a couple of tournaments coming up: March 1 in Sulphur Springs and March 3 at PG.
Paris Ladycat freshman Peaches Jackson has been named Newcomer of the Year for the All-District girls basketball team as selected by 15-4A coaches.
Junior Dextiny Patrick was selected to the 10-person First Team, while sophomore Serenity Sanders made the Second Team. Earning honorable mention were juniors Drea Jenkins and Cap Johnson.
Zay Gray conquers a 500-pound deadlift to finish off his winning series of lifts in the 148-pound weight class to the delight of PHS students and coaches
For the second time this season, the Paris powerlifting team swept both boys and girls divisions of an invitational meet. On Thursday in the Wildcat Gym, the Ladycat lifters won the team title among a field of 63 entries, while the Wildcats finished first in the boys field which drew 155.
The Paris team also won both divisions of the North Lamar meet on Jan. 30.
The Paris boys tied Denison in team points but won the meet based on a tiebreaker. The Cats posted wins by junior Bryan Muse (superheavyweight) and seniors Zay Gray (148-pound weight class) and Dakota Helm (275s). Gray was the meet’s top lifter in the small weight classes (up to 165 pounds), while senior Quez Allen had the third best performance on the larger platforms (181-above).
The 6-lifter strong Ladycats team posted wins by sophomore Jayla Sims, junior Deja Sikes, and senior Madi Wear. Sikes turned in the third best lift totals among female entries 165-above.
The meet served as the final scheduled qualifier before regionals. The girls regional championship will be March 5 in Canton, while the boys regionals is March 12 at Rusk.
Paris Boys Results (squat-bench press-deadlift -- total)
Paris Girls Results (squat-bench press-deadlift -- total)
The Paris Wildcats exploded for a season-high five goals and defended their own net with just three shots recorded to open the District 11-4A soccer season with a 5-0 win at Bonham Friday.
The Cats face an early district showdown Tuesday when they travel to Princeton, a 4-0 winner over North Lamar in the other district match Friday.
Paris took a 2-0 halftime lead over the Purple Warriors. Junior Christian Mitchell scored the first goal off a pass from junior Seth Hudgins. Junior Colin Harris dribbled around two Bonham defenders to score the second goal.
Senior Justin Mitchell recorded his team-leading 4th goal of the season on a 35-yard strike to start the second half with an assist by sophomore Felix Vasquez. Junior Stanley Watkins picked up his first goal since Jan. 9 when he saved a ball headed for the end line, fired into the middle, then struck a return header into the net. Sophomore Cole Miller finished off the scoring with 45 seconds left in the match on his first goal of the season with Hudgins again providing the assist.
Paris coach Jeremy Beshirs credited Hudgins, junior Dakota Payne, sophomore Montana Payne, and senior Roberto Luna for providing shutdown defense.
Katy Hall’s 3-goal hat trick paced a 4-1 win by the Paris Ladycats soccer team Friday in the District 11-4A opener at Bonham. It was the fourth straight win by the surging Ladycats (8-7-2), who appear to be hitting stride in time for a strong district run.
The other Ladycat goal was scored by junior Tieren Gates, who also assisted on one of the sophomore Hall’s goals. Other assists were logged by sophomores Estephany Balderas and Emily Williams along with senior Monica Silva.
The Paris girls face a crucial test on Tuesday when they host defending district champion and 2015 state finalist Princeton at Wildcat Stadium. The JV match begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by varsity at 7:15.
The Detroit Lady Eagles found a way to silence the hot bat of Paris Ladycat senior Ezaria Harris and take an 8-1 win Friday at Ladycat Field on the Paris Junior High campus.
Harris, who had notched three home runs in the first two Paris games of the 2015 season (a 12-10 loss at Cooper and 11-1 loss at Prairiland), reached base on all five of her plate appearances Friday (2 hit by pitches, 2 walks, 1 error). Still, she wasn’t allowed to deliver a badly-needed clutch hit.
Paris left runners on second and third in the first and third innings and left the bases loaded in the sixth. The Ladycats finally broke up the shutout in the final inning on a 2-out single down the third base line by junior Taylor Helm to drive in senior BeBe Johnson. Johnson led the Paris attack with a double and single.
Meanwhile, Paris errors and some timely Detroit hitting helped the visitors build an 8-0 lead after six innings. Losing pitcher, sophomore Harmony Hamil, started the Ladycat 7th-inning rally with a double to center. It looked like the Lady Eagles would escape with the shutout when they threw out a pinch runner attempting to score on a shallow fly to right.
However, Helm delivered with two outs on a hard grounder that bounced over the third baseman’s glove and allowed Johnson to score.
The Ladycats will try again to notch their first win of the year on Tuesday when they visit nearby Chisum.
Pictured: Harmony Hamil scoots back to second base to beat the tag after leading off the 7th inning with a double. PHOTO by Joe Watson
The Paris Ladycats soccer team closed out the pre-district portion of the 2016 schedule with another win over a top 10 ranked regional opponent. The Ladycats (7-7-2) posted a 2-0 shutout Tuesday night over the Pleasant Grove Lady Hawks at Hawk Field.
Paris finished its pre-district schedule with wins over Region 2 powers Crandall (No. 2), Kaufman (No. 7), and PG (No. 3). The Ladycats open District 11-4A Friday at Bonham in a doubleheader with the Wildcat boys. The girls match starts at 5:30.
Senior Monica Silva scored one of the Ladycats goals Tuesday and assisted on the other goal by sophomore Estephany Balderas.
The Paris Wildcats closed out a perfect 10-0 run through District 15-4A with a 71-26 rout of the Atlanta Rabbits Tuesday night in Atlanta.
Paris held leads of 22-2, 41-12, and 61-17 after each quarter break.
The win pushed the season record for the 5th-ranked Cats to 30-2. Paris opens the Class 4A playoffs on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m., vs. the Spring Hill Panthers, the No. 4 seed from District 16. The bi-district game will be played at Emory Rains.
The Cats ran out to a 17-0 start against the Rabbits (1-9), whose only district win was by forfeit from North Lamar for using an ineligible player in their district opener. Every Paris player scored, led by Jordan Embry’s 21 points.
Jared Embry, Jalon Pipkins, and Josh Robinson each scored 12. Ty Clemmons scored 4, while Tavon Lawrence, Clint Franklin, and Sam Hawkes managed 3 apiece, and Jalen Wallace had 2.
The winner of the Paris-Spring Hill playoff advances to area to face the winner of Crandall-Canton. If the Cats advance to the regional quarterfinals they would face the survivor of the bracket containing Gladewater, Liberty-Eylau, Mabank, and Van. The quarterfinal winner earns a berth in the Region 2 tournament at Commerce March 4-5.
The Paris High golf teams competed in a tournament Tuesday at Mount Pleasant. North Lamar won the boys event by a combined 10 strokes over Paris and Pittsburg, while Sulphur Springs was the girls team winner.
The teams travel to Texarkana Northridge on Monday for a District 15-4A Preview tournament.
Jalon Pipkins draws the attention of the Pleasant Grove defense but has a behind-the-back dish to Clint Franklin (No. 22) for an easy lay-in basket
Before Friday night’s 60-41 win over the Pleasant Grove Hawks that locked up another District 15-4A title, the 5th-ranked Paris Wildcats honored five members from the Class of 2016 on Senior Night in the Wildcat Gym.
First-year varsity players Clint Franklin and Ty Clemons joined the core of the group, Jalen Wallace and twins Jared and Jordan Embry. That trio has been a key part of the most memorable era in Paris High basketball history and a big reason the Cats are currently 29-2 this year, 64-3 the past two seasons and 87-12 for the past three seasons.
Friday’s home finale should have served as a lovefest on the eve of the Class 4A playoffs, but there were a surprisingly high number of unclaimed seats, especially among the student body. Apparently, several chose to take their love elsewhere on this Valentines Day weekend.
It probably didn’t help that the game didn’t have the high-stakes impact it might have had. The Hawks, ranked 24th in the state when the Cats knocked them off, 66-43, in Texarkana two weeks ago, lost their second district game Tuesday at North Lamar. Even had the Hawks upset the Cats on Friday, Paris could have officially wrapped up the district title on Tuesday when they close out the regular season at Atlanta, whose only district win was by forfeit.
Paris took control of the game early, knocking down four 3’s in the first quarter en route to a 19-11 start. The Cats took a 34-18 halftime lead but they lacked their normal defensive intensity as they began settling for unsuccessful long-range bombs which led to an alarming number of Hawk fast-break opportunities.
The Hawks (21-8) took advantage of the Cats’ lack of energy to close within 10 points, 38-28, in the third quarter, but Paris had a 9-1 response culminating with a Tavon Lawrence 3 that ended the intrigue, 47-29.
it was a strange victory, one which the Cats might have won by 40 points if they hadn’t misfired on numerous fast-break outlets and showed a better outside shooting touch. It could easily have been a much closer game, too, if the normally sharp-shooting Hawks had connected on several open looks from 3-point range.
All of which had Paris coach Billy Mack Steed concerned as the playoffs loom. One bad night could end a dream era.
The playoffs will began on Tuesday, Feb. 23, with a bi-district matchup against Spring Hill, the 4th-place finisher from District 16. That game will be hosted by Emory Rains with a 7:30 p.m. tipoff. The Hawks, meanwhile, need a win at home Tuesday against Liberty-Eylau (3-6) to avoid a tie for second place with North Lamar (5-4), which beat L-E, 68-55, Friday.
Jared Embry led the Cats in scoring Friday with 15 points, while Jalon Pipkins had 14, Josh Robinson 10, Jordan Embry 7, Wallace 7, Franklin 4, and Lawrence 3. Connor Ouellette was the only Hawk in double figures with 12.
Paris won both sub-varsity games Friday. The freshmen score was 51-48, as T.J. Williams and Ty Garvin had 13 each and Vershaud Richardson added 10. The JV final was 63-53 as Jaylen Smith scored 11 and Jalen Easter 10.
Paris High choir students brought home 19 medals from the recent regional UIL Choir Solo & Ensemble Contest at Texas A&M-Commerce. Nine of those students received gold medals which qualify them for the State Solo & Ensemble Contest during the Memorial Day weekend in the Austin area.
Students are awarded medals for receiving a superior rating on a beginning level (bronze), intermediate (silver) or advanced (gold) selection of music.
The PHS choir director is Jan Blize, assisted by Richard Gray and accompanist Dottie Billman
Paris High results:
Paris High junior Matt Cochran is 2-for-2 in tournament titles so far for the 2016 tennis season. He secured the boys singles championship at a tournament in Mount Pleasant Friday to go with his title won the previous week at Texarkana College.
The girls doubles team of sophomore Reagan Benson and junior Soyla Torres finished third at the varsity meet in Mount Pleasant. Meanwhile, at the JV tournament on Thursday, Ramiro Ramirez was the boys consolation singles winner, and Arleigh White finished second in girls singles.
The 5th-ranked Paris Wildcats exploded for a 15-0 lead at Pittsburg Tuesday night before the Pirates finally found their side of the scoreboard with their first points midway through the first quarter. Unfazed, the Cats responded with a 3-point play and 18-2 lead when a lone Pirate fan urged on his team with a shout of “Hey, we’re still in this game.”
He was wrong. Completely wrong. It was over. By the end of the first period the Cats were on cruise control at 32-3.
Paris would stretch the margin to 39-3 before Pitt showed some sign of offensive life with a trio of 3’s on a 12-0 run to get within 39-15, but by halftime, the Cats were in total command at 48-17 en route to a 78-35 District 15-4A rout.
The win virtually locked up another district title for Paris, now 28-2 overall and a perfect 8-0 in district. North Lamar (4-4) knocked off Pleasant Grove (6-2), 63-51, to give Paris some breathing room in the trophy chase. PG visits the Wildcat Gym for Senior Night Friday, but even if the Hawks could upset the Paris playoff train, the Cats would have to lose their regular season finale at Atlanta (1-7) to generate a tie at the top.
That’s not happening, as Pitt (2-6) fans would attest after watching Tuesday’s display in the dimly-lit, close-quarters Panther Gym. Paris put on its typical display of high school basketball prowess with stifling defense, deadly outside shooting, dunks, and a couple of well-timed alley-oop passes.
Jordan Embry (pictured above) was unmatched in the paint and led all five Paris starters in double figures with 21. Josh Robinson scored 14, Jared Embry 11, Jalon Pipkins 11, and Jalen Wallace 10.
Paris coach Billy Mack Steed’s normally short bench was a man shorter Tuesday due to the illness of Tavon Lawrence, but the reserves saw plenty of action. Clint Franklin managed 8 points and Sam Hawkes scored 4.
The Embry twins, Wallace, Franklin, and Ty Clemmons will be honored in pre-game ceremonies Friday as they make their final scheduled home appearance. With the Embrys and Wallace in the starting lineup, Paris has enjoyed its greatest era in basketball school history with an overall mark of 63-3 the past two seasons. Counting their sophomore years when they were key contributors on varsity, they’ve helped Paris compile a 86-12 (.877 winning percentage) the past three seasons.
They’re not through, however.
Following the final two district games, Steed plans to schedule a warmup game next weekend (Feb. 19-20) before opening the playoffs on Tuesday, Feb. 23, against the District 16 No. 4 seed (probably Spring Hill). Three playoff wins would return the Cats to Texas A&M-Commerce March 4 for the Region 2 tournament.
It’s a fun time of year to be a Wildcat basketball fan. The Cats are still in the game.
The Paris Ladycats took Pittsburg to overtime Tuesday on the Lady Pirates’ Senior Night, but a season-long habit of poor ball-handling and excessive fouls derailed their chances of ending the 2015-16 season on a winning note. Pittsburg (2-8 in District 15-4A) beat Paris (0-10), 66-63, which means the Ladycats will carryover a 17-game losing streak into next season.
Paris started well and held at 12-8 lead at the first break and 26-21 advantage at halftime. Junior post Dextiny Patrick led the way with 9 points, but she picked up two quick fouls to start the third quarter and had to sit out the rest of the frame.
Pittsburg went on an 8-0 run to take the lead at 29-26, and the Lady Pirates took a 41-38 advantage into the fourth quarter when freshman Peaches Jackson and junior Cap Johnson sparked a Ladycat rally with 6 points each.
A 3-point play by Jackson tied the score at 53-all with 44.6 seconds left in regulation, and the Ladycats had a chance to take the lead with 14.8 to go but missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Pittsburg worked for the final shot but missed, forcing the overtime.
Jackson scored 6 of her game-high 21 points in OT and had the Ladycats in front, 57-54, when Lady Pirate junior Astaria Smith took over the game. Smith scored 8 points in OT to give Pitt a 64-61 lead.
Zamondeshia Runnels sank a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to a single point, 63-64, but Pitt senior Taylor Leonard sealed the Ladycats’ fate with two foul shots with 17.1 left for the final margin. Paris missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer that would have forced a second OT.
In addition to Jackson’s 21, Johnson and Patrick each scored 11 for the Ladycats. Freshman Irone Franklin added 8 off the bench.
All should return for coach Deanne Dial’s second season in 2016-17. With two freshmen and two sophomores with varsity experience along with a host of juniors returning, Paris should be able to quickly put behind the string from a 4-28 season mark.
Jalen Wallace flies out to defend another 3-point attempt by Versache Buchanan, who knocked down seven 3’s among his game-high 28 points, but Wallace’s late defense on the Panther sharp-shooter proved decisive in the 71-59 Paris overtime win.
Just before the start of Saturday’s 71-59 overtime win over crosstown rival North Lamar in the Wildcat Gym, a Paris High student waving a homemade sign tried to get the home crowd to join him in a chant of “J-Squad.”
He was referencing, of course, the starting five of the 8th-ranked Cats whose first names all begin with the letter “J.” The chant never caught on, perhaps partially because the expectations are routinely high for the 27-2 Cats.
Despite the overtime, the J-Squad ultimately protected their perfect 7-0 District 15-4A record when they exploded for a 17-5 advantage over the Panthers during the extra 4-minute frame.
So why did Paris coach Billy Mack Steed save his biggest post-game bear hug for the littlest “J”, the often-forgotten “J”, 5-10 senior guard Jalen Wallace, who scored just 4 points and had the only free throw miss among the Cats’ 14 of 15 foul shooting totals?
Because it was Wallace’s defense that finally brought Versache Buchanan’s other-worldly 3-point barrage crashing down to earth in the closing moments of regulation and overtime to facilitate the win.
After Buchanan’s sixth 3-pointer of the game gave the senior sharp-shooter 24 points and, more importantly, gave the Panthers a 43-42 lead to start the fourth quarter, Steed had seen enough. Wallace had held the Panthers’ other dangerous senior guard, Levi Porter, in check during the first three quarters, but was switched to the defensive challenge of guarding Buchanan the rest of the way.
With Buchanan lugging around Wallace’s shadowy defense, he managed just one more 3 and could only add 4 more points to his game-high 28 total. He was shut out in overtime and his rushed misses helped spark the Wildcats’ explosive running game.
Defense and a slow shooting start by both teams contributed to an 11-8 first-quarter lead by NL. The teams know each other well, and Panther coach Homer Garner always has his squad prepared to play the Cats, even in years, like 2016, when Paris has a sizable advantage in basketball talent.
Paris started the second quarter on an 8-0 run to surge ahead, 16-11, and the Cats took a 22-16 halftime lead.
A 3-pointer by Jared Embry and conventional 3-point play by Pipkins extended the edge to 28-16.
Cue Buchanan. Paris turnovers, some determined Panther rebounding, and 4 Buchanan 3’s eroded the Wildcat lead. Porter also joined the NL bombing run when his corner 3 ended the third quarter with the Cats nursing a 42-40 margin.
Another Buchanan 3 pushed NL ahead, 43-42, as the fourth quarter got underway. Poor shot selection by the Cats and a steal and fast-break bucket by Panther junior Menderiz Gray gave NL its biggest lead of 3 points, 45-42.
Enter Paris’ defensive wizard Wallace.
Meanwhile, freed of defensive responsibility for watching Buchanan, Pipkins and Robinson came alive on the offensive end. A Robinson 3 regained the lead at 47-45 for Paris before Buchanan used a push-off and teammate screen to free himself for his last 3 of the night and the Panthers’ last lead at 53-52.
Pipkins sank two foul shots to send Paris back up, 54-53, with 1:03 left.
Wallace and Robinson trapped Buchanan and stole the ball, but Wallace was whistled for his fourth personal foul.
Steed didn’t think twice about pulling Wallace from the game or switching defensive assignments.
“I didn’t have a choice at that point,” he said.
Buchanan made 1 of 2 foul shots to tie the score at 54 and set the stage for a wild final 50.8 seconds.
Wallace took an off-balance shot from the top of the key and missed, but Jared Embry chased down the long rebound and Paris got another chance following a timeout with 25.3 left.
With about 12 seconds remaining, Robinson drove the paint and missed a short runner. What ensued was a bizarre melee with the ball bouncing into three separate piles of humanity until Panther senior Julique Franklin drove and gained momentary control just on the NL side of midcourt.
As Garner and Porter desperately signaled for a timeout, Buchanan quickly took a handoff from Franklin and heaved a 25-foot shot that missed the rim and bounced off the glass as time expired.
Officials didn’t allow the timeout, and the teams headed to overtime tied at 54.
The Cats showed why they’ve been a fixture in the state’s top 10 all season from the overtime tip. Pipkins dropped in a 17-footer, Jared Embry made a 12-foot jumper, and Robinson alertly tipped a long rebound off a Buchanan missfire to a streaking Jared for a layup and 60-54 start midway through the extra frame.
A 3-pointer by Porter, who finished with 13 points, momentarily slowed the charge, but two more classic Pipkins pull-up jumpers reasserted the Cats’ control. Robinson scored the final 7 Paris points, punctuated by a dunk, and Paris was finally home free.
Paris will visit Pittsburg (2-5) on Tuesday before hosting Pleasant Grove (6-1) next Friday, Feb. 12, with the district title on the line for Senior Night.
NL, now 16-14 overall and 3-4 in district, faces two key matchups next week. The Panthers host PG Tuesday before traveling to Liberty-Eylau (2-5) on Friday.
You can bet that Steed will be pulling for the Panthers to win those games to avoid a potential third meeting with the pesky Panthers in the regional quarterfinals. The district’s No. 1 and 4 seeds share a quarterfinal bracket, while Nos. 2 and 3 are placed in the other bracket.
“No, I don’t want to see them again this year,” Steed said of a potential third meeting.
Paris also won both warmup games Saturday. The Cats freshmen won, 49-43, in a game that saw tempers flare at the end when a hard NL foul preceded a brief on-court fight and double player ejections. T.J. Williams scored 19, Vershaud Richardson 14, and Jaylen Henderson 12 for Paris, while Jay Walters had 13 and Alec Asay 10 for NL.
The JV score was a more calm 67-44 result. Kelo Scott scored 10 and Jordan Mitchell 10 for Paris. Finch led NL with 19.
Paris Ladycats salute their loyal family and fans after another one-goal win at home
Slowly, but surely, the Paris Ladycats soccer team is learning to win the close matches against quality opponents as last week’s results indicate.
On Tuesday, sophomore Katy Hall’s header with five minutes remaining proved the decisive difference in a 1-0 win over 2015 regional semifinalist Crandall. The Ladycats ended the week at Wildcat Stadium on Friday with a 2-1 win over 2015 regional quarterfinalist Kaufman. This time Paris needed some defensive plays to secure the win after the Lady Lions scored their lone goal with 5:31 left in the match.
Goals by Hall (assisted by sophomore Estephany Balderas) and junior Tieren Gates had given Paris a 2-0 advantage when Kaufman’s Perla Figuero cracked the Ladycats defense by turning the left flank and passing to a wide open Vanessa Montes, whose left-footed kick from 10 yards out crossed the goalmouth and bounced off the right post into the net.
The Lady Lions stayed agressive trying for the equalizer. Paris sophomore sweeper Sarah Bloodworth made a nice clear on one attempt, junior goalie Lindi Hamner was able to control a direct shot from 15 yards out on another scoring chance, and Hamner ran down and secured a loose ball following a free kick from 40 yards out on a third opportunity.
After those scary moments, the Ladycats offense took over and just missed insurance goals on kicks from 20 yards out by senior Monica Silva and sophomore Laney Madding that just missed wide right. The referees also missed an obvious handball violation against Kaufman when a ball hit a Lady Lion on the elbow of a raised arm.
Paris, now 6-7-2, has a bye week before finishing out pre-district play on Feb. 16 at another quality opponent, 2015 regional finalist Pleasant Grove.
As Pantherettes celebrate last-second win in the background, Lady Cats Cap Johnson, Drea Jenkins, and Peaches Jackson exit the court following heart-breaking loss
With 2.4 seconds left in a tie game, North Lamar senior Sydney Chadwick inbounded the ball to senior Bailey Jones. Paris freshman Peaches Jackson tipped the pass into the left corner and into the hands of NL senior Michaela Smith, who quickly flipped the ball over the heads of three collapsing Paris defenders back into the arms of Jones who slipped free down the baseline for a layup that just beat the final buzzer in a 51-49 win by the Pantherettes over the Ladycats Friday night in the Wildcat Gym.
On a night normally reserved for Senior Night, the Ladycats played their final home game of a dismal 4-27 season before a half-vacant homeside bleachers in the Wildcat Gym Friday night. Barring an upset win Tuesday at Pittsburg in the season finale, Paris will carryover a 17-game winless streak into the 2016-17 season.
The Pantherettes, meanwhile, with a roster that features six seniors, will host Pleasant Grove on Tuesday. A win by NL (6-3 in District 15-4A) would create a tie for second place with PG (7-2).
Paris, which includes two prominent freshman posts and two sophomore guards on an otherwise all-junior roster, will watch the upcoming playoffs from home. But the Ladycats may have matured by leaps and bounds Friday night by challenging their county rivals to the final microseconds.
Coming into Friday’s game, the Ladycats had lost 8 district contests by an average margin of 25.6 points. Their closest loss was by 10 to Pittsburg, 66-56. It was the lone district win for the Lady Pirates (1-8). Although the young Paris squad has shown moments of potential, they haven’t been able to put a full 32-minute effort together.
That wasn’t the case Friday night.
On four occasions, the Pantherettes looked like they would run away from the Ladycats, much to the delight of their fans who packed the visitors’ side. NL had leads of 8, 6, 6, and 10 points. Still, Paris reeled in the Pantherettes each time to tie or take brief leads.
NL jumped out to a 10-2 start, but Paris freshman Irone Franklin came off the bench and the Ladycats created turnovers off the press to pull within 11-10 at the end of the first quarter.
Paris took its first lead, 12-11, on a 10-foot baseline jumper by Jackson before NL retook the lead, 18-12. A 3-point play by Jackson and four Paris free throws had the Ladycats back in front, 19-18, and the teams went into the locker rooms tied at 21-all.
The Pantherettes went back on top, 27-21, to start the third period when Paris coach Deanne Dial reinserted Franklin into the lineup and she helped spark another Paris comeback to gain a 30-all tie. Paris turnovers created an opening for NL, which took a 40-32 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Pantherettes increased the margin to 10, 42-32, before Paris started another comeback. The Ladycats went on a 12-0 run to take a 44-42 lead on a 3-point play by junior Dextiny Patrick with 2:30 remaining.
The foul-riddled contest shifted to the free throw line with both teams missing numerous chances to create separation. A foul shot by sophomore Serenity Sanders gave Paris its biggest lead at 48-45 just under a minute left.
A weakside putback by Chadwick off a bad 3-point miss pulled NL within 48-47. NL sent Sanders back to the foul line with 33.5 remaining, and she sank 1 of 2 attempts to push the lead to 49-47. Two free throws by junior point guard Madison Morrison tied the game at 49 with 21.2 showing to set up the final drama.
The Ladycats worked the clock down to 10 seconds and got off a 3-point attempt by Jenkins which was missed and rebounded by Jones. The Pantherettes pushed the ball upcourt and called time with 2.4 remaining.
Just enough time left for a trio of NL seniors to combine, with a bit of luck, for a last-second victory.
Jackson finished with 16 points to lead all scorers, while Franklin had 10, and Patrick 8. Morrison topped NL with 14.
NL also won the JV game, 30-24. Paris held a 22-15 lead with 4 minutes left before the junior Pantherettes finished on a 15-2 spree. Paris' Elayah Runnels was the only player in double figures with 12.
Moving Jalon Pipkins to point guard, like in this earlier game vs. Pittsburg, proved to be a winning strategy Tuesday as the Cats finished off a win at Liberty-Eylau. Photo by Joe Watson
For three quarters the Liberty-Eylau Leopards had the 8th-ranked Paris Wildcats right where they wanted them, but the Cats finished the District 15-4A game in championship form, 63-45, to move one step closer to defending their district title.
The athletic Leopards pulled back from their normal aggressive pressing tactics that cost them in a 82-54 drubbing by Paris in the district opener and chose, instead, to pack the paint with a zone defense most of the game. The strategy was an open invitation to the Cats to fire away from outside, which they did unsuccessfully.
Although Paris finished the first quarter on a 13-0 run to grab a 20-10 lead at the first break, the Cats struggled all night to find their shooting touch from outside. Meanwhile, the clogged lane led to a series of Paris turnovers and second-chance points for the Leopards, who closed within 27-21 by halftime.
L-E trimmed the Cat lead to 4 points, 45-41, in the third quarter, when Paris changed gears on the offensive front.
“We decided to put Jalon (PIpkins) out front,” Paris coach Billy Mack Steed said. “That forced them to come out to defend and spread the zone to create all kinds of room.”
Pipkins scored 12 of his game-high 20 points as the Cats closed out the win on a 18-4 run.
It moved Paris’ season mark to 26-2 and kept them perfect atop the district standings at 6-0. Pleasant Grove remains in second place at 5-1 after a close, 59-52 win at Pittsburg (2-4), while North Lamar (3-3) moved into third place with a 60-40 rout of Atlanta (1-5).
Although L-E is tied for the district cellar with Atlanta, the Leopards still have a good shot at the playoffs, especially if they can play like they did against the Cats.
“It was pretty physical in the paint,” Steed said. “Jordan (Embry, the Cats’ 6-6 post) was getting hammered all night,” but still managed to pull down 17 rebounds to go with his 10 points.
Sophomore Josh Robinson scored 11 of his 13 points in the first quarter as the Cats jumped out to a 20-10 lead. Robinson injured an ankle at the start of the second period and sat out most of the remainder of the game, which forced Steed to turn to his main reserves, senior Clint Franklin and junior Tavon Lawrence for significant minutes off the bench.
Lawrence knocked down a 3-pointer and Franklin had a key tip-in, while Jalen Wallace scored 8 and Jared Embry 7.
Decorian Meadows led L-E (12-11) with 14 points.
The next challenge for Paris will be a rare Saturday afternoon game in the Wildcat Gym against crosstown rival North Lamar. Freshmen squads tip at 2 p.m. followed by JV, then varsity around 5.
The PHS baseball team will be holding its annual chili supper fundraiser for the games.
Katy Hall’s header finds the Crandall net with 5:04 remaining in Tuesday's 1-0 win by the Ladycats. Teammates Tieren Gates and Estephany Balderas sandwich the sophomore in a celebratory hug below.
The third time proved charming for the Paris Ladycats who finally subdued their 2015 season-ending adversary, the Crandall Lady Pirates, 1-0, on a goal by sophomore Katy Hall with just 5:04 remaining in their pre-district soccer match Tuesday night at Wildcat Stadium.
Crandall eliminated a young, upstart Ladycat squad from the 2015 playoffs in the area round on a late goal by prolific freshman Madison Pottorff to win, 1-0. The Ladycats thought they avenged that setback two weeks ago when they held a 1-0 advantage over the Lady Pirates with under two minutes to play in a match during the R. K. Hall & Kings Classic tournament at Wildcat Stadium. However, a midfield turnover and quick counterstrike to Pottorff, now a sophomore, led to the tying goal.
The 1-1 tie felt like a loss to Paris, which faced Crandall in a rematch just 24 hours later in the third place game. A tired Ladycat squad, playing on a nearby practice field in miserable cold, rainy conditions, lost to the Lady Pirates, 3-2.
The Lady Pirates made the long trip back to Paris for Tuesday’s third meeting with the Ladycats for 2016. It looked like the teams would settle for a scoreless decision played with a blustery north wind.
Paris had the wind at its back in the first half and controlled play but couldn’t convert. Hall had the two best scoring chances, but was unable to settle the ball for solid shots on goal.
The Ladycat midfield and defense performed well in shadowing the dangerous Porttorff, even though they had to work against the breeze in the second half. A quick counter-attack produced a 40-yard run upfield by junior Tieren Gates before Crandall managed to clear the ball to the left sidelines near the 15-yard line.
Senior Katie Chaix then sailed a throw-in over Gates’ head that bounced and was kicked backwards by a Lady Pirate attempting to clear. Hall slipped though a pair of defenders and quickly headed the ball just inside the left post into the goal.
It was sweet redemption for Hall, who ironically created the turnover in the previous tie when she slipped and fell while dribbling at midfield.
Despite having the 1-0 lead with just 5:04 left to play, the Ladycats still had to overcome an anxious final push by the Lady Pirates. Pottorf was racing down the middle of the Paris defense when an attempted tackle bounced off Pottorff’s legs and was redirected to a wide-open teammate who rushed a clear shot from 10 yards out that missed badly wide right.
Paris, now 5-7-2, is back at Wildcat Stadium Friday to host Kaufman in a pair of matches. JV starts at 5:30 followed by varsity.
The Paris JV took a 2-0 win over Crandall in Tuesday's early match.
One of these nights, the Paris Ladycats will put four solid quarters on the court and finally put a lingering losing streak behind them. Tuesday wasn’t the night, however, as the District 15-4A leading Liberty-Eylau Lady Leopards went on a 34-8 run over the final 11 minutes to streak past Paris, 64-44.
The Ladycats (4-26, 0-8) held a 36-30 lead over L-E (19-6, 7-1) with 3:09 remaining in the third quarter before the Lady Leopards finally hit their stride. They tied Paris, 40-40, heading into the final period and put the game away with a 24-4 finishing flourish.
Paris has two more opportunities to break its current 15-game winless skid. The Ladycats host North Lamar in the Wildcat Gym on Friday, then close out the season next Tuesday at Pittsburg.
Excessive fouls again were an issue for the Ladycats, who held a 26-20 halftime lead, as they collected 29 personals vs. 14 for L-E. Freshman Peaches Jackson led Paris in scoring with 15 points before fouling out. Junior guard Serenity Sanders was also in double figures at 13.
Four Lady Leopards finished in double figures topped by Maya Polley’s 15.
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.