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Paris High School
2255 South Collegiate Drive
Paris, Texas 75460

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

Phone: 903-737-7400
Fax: 903-737-7515
Campus Announcements

Campus Announcements (click to view list)

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.

Graduation DVDs

The 2018 Graduation/Senior DVD 2-disc set may be picked up in the office during summer hours.

PISD's Notification System

Paris ISD uses School Messenger to provide timely communications. If you have a child attending PISD, you are automatically in the database and will receive phone notifications. To enhance our ability to accurately deliver information on activities and emergencies, we kindly request that you create your own contact preference profile.

Text Messaging

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

PHS News
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January 12, 2016

MP Rallies Past Ladycats in Soccer, 2-1

Estephany Balderas fires from 8 yards out to net the lone Paris goal

The Paris Ladycats scored first, but the Mount Pleasant Lady Tigers rallied for a pair of goals to take a 2-1 decision Tuesday in varsity girls soccer at Wildcat Stadium

Paris, now 1-2-1 for the season, will host the R. K. Hall & Kings Classic tournament starting Thursday.  The Ladycats’ first match will be at 2:30 p.m. vs. Denison.

Tuesday’s pre-district match was a story of contrasting halves of play.  Paris dominated action in the first 40 minutes and took a 1-0 lead with 20:52 left in the half when sophomore Estephany Balderas struck a deep throw-in by Emily Williams off the bounce from 8 yards out that beat the MP goalie to the short side post.

Balderas almost netted a second goal just four minutes later on a missile from 20 yards out, but the Lady Tiger goalkeeper made a diving save.

Despite maintaining constant pressure on the MP defense most of the first half, the Lady Tigers suddenly knotted the score with 12:01 left until halftime on a breakaway down the left flank and crossing shot that found the far corner post.

It looked like the Ladycats would respond, but they misfired on several good chances before halftime.

Momentum changed drastically in the second half, and the Lady Tigers took the lead, 2-1, with 35:19 left on a counter-attack.  A long sweeping run down the right flank resulted in a shot from 10 yards out that traveled across the goalmouth and inside the far post.

MP controlled possession in the second half and had several more opportunities to add to the lead, but Paris goalie Lindi Hamner made a couple of nice stops, and deep defender Sarah Bloodworth swept away a pair of breakaways.

January 13, 2016

Paris JV Beats L-E Varsity in Soccer

The Paris Ladycats JV soccer team battled a physical Liberty-Eylau varsity to take a 5-1 decision Tuesday in Texarkana.

Ryan Bigler scored four goals and assisted on the other tally.  Her first goal was on a penalty kick, then she got the natural hat trick before halftime with assists recorded by Soyla Torres and Yenniger Fartan.

After L-E scored on a PK to trim the lead to 3-1, the Ladycats found the net twice in the second half on an Erica Cole goal (with Bigler assist) and  Bigler’s fourth goal (assisted by Ashley Wilson).

The next action for the Paris JV is scheduled for Jan. 29 at Kilgore.

January 12, 2016

Cats Seeking First Win in Soccer

The Paris Wildcats varsity boys soccer team will host the R.K. Hall & Kings Classic tournament Thursday through Saturday at Wildcat Stadium still seeking their first win of the young season.

The Cats are off to a 0-4-1 start after facing tough competition on the road during the opening week of the season.  Paris was 0-2-1 at the Hallsville Tournament last weekend, then took a long trip to Wichita Falls Monday where they fell to the Coyotes, 2-0.

“I was really pleased with our effort against Wichita Falls,” Paris coach Jeremy Beshirs said about the loss to the Class 5A regionally ranked opponent.  “They’re a really strong team, but we played well.”

Paris also lost to a trio of Class 5A teams at the Hallsville Tournament.  The Cats fell to host Hallsville, 2-1, in the opener despite scoring first on a goal by junior Stanley Watkins.  They finished with a 0-0 tie against Lindale, although Lindale won the shootout, 4-2.  In between was a 3-0 loss to tournament champion Palestine, the 2nd-ranked Class 4A team in Region 3.  They closed the tournament with a 4-1 loss to Marshall in another match where Watkins scored the game’s first goal.

January 12, 2016

Cats Close Pre-District with Win

The Paris Wildcats, who dropped three notches to No. 5 in the weekly state coaches rankings following Saturday’s loss at Dallas Lincoln, closed out the pre-district portion of their basketball schedule Monday with a 68-31 win at Melissa.  In the process, they handed coach Billy Mack Steed his 9th straight 20-win season at the school.

Steed, who took over the PHS program in 2007-08, has compiled a record of 232 wins against 53 losses at the school, a 81.4% winning percentage.  For his 21-year coaching career he is 463-171.

As for Monday’s final pre-district tuneup, the Cats jumped out to a 15-8 lead after one quarter and led by a 34-18 count at halftime.  Josh Robinson was the top scorer with 16 points, Jared Embry had 14, Jalen Wallace 13, and Jordan Embry 10. 

Paris opens District 15-4A Friday by hosting Liberty-Eylau in the Wildcat Gym.  Both schools’ boys and girls teams will be in action.  In the main gym the girls JV tips off at 4:30 followed by girls varsity at 6 and boys varsity at 7:30.  The auxiliary gym will have the boys freshmen and JV games starting at 4:30.


January 9, 2016

No. 2 Cats Fall to No. 5 Lincoln, 70-60

Lincoln reserve guard Adrian Baker admires his 5th and final 3-point basket during his 19-point second quarter outburst which proved to be the big difference in the Tigers’ win over the Wildcats

For the second week in a row, the Paris Wildcats missed a golden opportunity to vault into the state’s No. 1 ranking among Class 4A boys basketball teams.   The 2nd-ranked Cats fell to No. 5 Dallas Lincoln, 70-60, Saturday, in a physical game played at P. C. Cobb Fieldhouse.

Despite the loss, Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed returned with some positive vibes about his team’s outlook for the remainder of the 2015-16 season.  First, and foremost, he returned with one of his mainstays, 6-5 senior Jared Embry, safely on the team bus.  Embry created some anxious moments for a large contingent of Paris fans who made the trip as he flipped over a Lincoln player while leaping to block a shot.  Instead, the Lincoln player drove the baseline and Embry tumbled backwards to hit the floor.

As teammates, coaches, Embry’s parents and medical staff rushed to his aid, play was stopped for several minutes before Jared finally rose to his feet and was ushered to the training room.  When he left the court, there was 6:32 left in the game and Lincoln led, 56-42, but the Cats were on a 9-0 run that had trimmed a 23-point Tiger cushion.

Playing without their leading scorer (Embry had 16 points), Paris cut the Lincoln lead to 8, 61-53, with 2 minutes remaining on a Josh Robinson 3-pointer when Embry returned to the bench holding an icepack to his head.  He told his coach he was ready to return to the lineup, but recently enacted concussion protocol requires otherwise.  He will have to be medically cleared to participate, and his immediate status for upcoming games is unknown.

Steed was pleased that his team, even without a key cog on the floor, “never quit.”  Earlier in the afternoon, the Cats were in prime position for a statement road victory when they closed out the first quarter and started the second on an 11-0 run to claim a 17-10 advantage.  That’s when 5-9 senior reserve gaurd Adrian Baker took over the spotlight.

Baker exploded for 19 points in a 6-minute stretch and drained five 3-pointers to realistically bury the Cats. Baker’s final trey (pictured above) drew vocal protests from the Wildcat bench and fans who thought he should have been whistled for carrying the ball on a high bounce dribble that preceded his launch.  He then spent several seconds admiring his handiwork and was joined by a teammate in a celebration hug while play continued and the Cats ironically scored on a fast break.

Nonethess, the damage had been done.  One week ago, the Cats saw their 51-game regular season unbeaten streak end along with a chance to jump to the top of the coaches poll when they fell to Hot Springs in the championship game of the Paris Holiday Invitational.  Their normally lethal outside shooting failed them in that game, too, and the athletic Trojans got some easy transition baskets as a result.

This time, with the No. 1 spot again on the line, it was turnovers created by the close-guarding Tigers that set the stage for the diminutive Baker, averaging 4.4 points per game, to step up big.

“We knew he could shoot the ball,” Steed said, “but we thought he was a a set-up shooter.”

The Cats made defensive adjustments, and Baker was held to a single basket in the second half to finish with 21 points.  However, Lincoln’s leading scorer, 6-4 junior Kortrijk Miles, took over in the second half with 20 of his game-high 22 points to keep Paris at distance.  Back-to-back 3’s by Miles gave Lincoln a 20-point separation, 47-27, with 4:41 left in the third quarter.

The Tigers held their largest lead, 56-33 before a 3-pointer by Clint Franklin closed out the period.  Jared’s twin brother Jordan went on a personal 6-0 run to start the final period and trim the gap to 56-42 when his brother went down with the injury.

Despite some poor foul shooting (Paris was just 7 of 18 for the game) and the loss of Jared, the Cats continued to battle and had cut the deficit to single digits, 61-53, on another Robinson 3-pointer with 2 minutes remaining when Miles had a key steal and breakaway dunk to seal the victory.

In addition to Jared’s team-high 16 points, Jordan scored 14, Robinson 13, Jalen Wallace 7, Jalon Pipkins 5, and Franklin 5 while filling in admirably for Jared.  No other Wildcat saw action in the game.

The only other Tiger in double figures was 6-6 post Demarcus Randle with 10.

“They’re a good team,” Steed said about the Tigers, “but the fact we were able to stay with a good team like that makes me believe we can stay with any team we play (the rest of the season).” 

Lincoln is just 11-9 for the season, but their schedule is dotted with close losses to highly ranked 5A and 6A opponents.  Also, they face some stiff challenges ahead in their Dallas district that includes Carter (No. 7), Madison (No. 13), and Wilmer-Hutchins (No. 17).

If the two teams meet again, it will be at the Region 2 tournament in Commerce.  Paris is an overwhelming favorite to make the trip from their East Texas quarterfinal bracket.  Lincoln faces a much more daunting task from a quarterfinal bracket that also could include the likes of Triple A and Argyle.

Which made the bus ride home easier for Steed and his team after a disappointing loss.  Paris (19-2) looks to officially provide Steed with his 8th straight 20-win season at the school as the Cats close out the pre-district portion of their schedule Monday at Melissa.  They open District 15-4A play Friday by hosting Liberty-Eylau.

So another opportunity for No. 1 may be gone for the Cats, who will likely drop when the weekly coaches rankings are announced Monday.  But the next time the window opens again it may carry the ultimate prize of a state trophy with it.  That’s something Steed and the Cats can live, and work with, for now.

January 10, 2016

Ladycats Place 2nd in Kennedale Soccer

The Paris Ladycats soccer team returned from the Kennedale Ladykat Soccer Invitational with the runnerup trophy among a star-studded field of 12 teams, 6 of which are ranked in the regional preseason coaches rankings.

Although the tournament has a random matchup format that doesn’t include pool or bracket play, the Ladycats earned enough points from their preliminary matches on Thursday and Friday to make it into Saturday’s championship finale.

Paris started with a 1-1 tie with Class 5A North Forney.  The Ladycat goal was by junior Tieren Gates off a cross from senior Monica Silva.

Friday’s game was a 10-0 rout over Lake Worth.  Sophomore Estephany Balderas scored 4 of those goals, while other tallies were by sophomores Katy Hall and Emily Williams, juniors Gates and Janya Cook, and seniors Katie Chaix and Silva.  Assists were recorded by Balderas, sophomore Laney Madding (2), Williams (3), Chaix, and junior Ashley Wilson.

Unfortunately, Paris had to face the defending state champion and tournament hosts in the championship match.  Kennedale proved too powerful and came away with a 5-0 win, with all scoring in the first half.

The Ladycats (1-1-1) can take additional encouragement from Saturday’s 7th-place match which saw North Forney beat Princeton, the reigning District 19-4A champion.  Paris will host the R. K. Hall & Kings Classic boys and girls tournament starting Thursday at Wildcat Stadium.  The Ladycats open on Thursday with a 2:30 p.m. match against Crandall.

January 6, 2016

No. 2 Cats vs. No. 5 Dallas Lincoln Saturday

One week ago, the Paris Wildcats were on the verge of experiencing the rarified air of No. 1 status when the Hot Springs Trojans burst their balloon and a 51-game regular season unbeaten streak by beating the Cats in the finale of the Paris Holiday Invitational.

Paris (19-1), currently No. 2 in the weekly coaches ranking, is back in position to move into the state’s top spot among Class 4A basketball schools by virtue of the Cats’ 85-50 rout Tuesday at Episcopal School of Dallas coupled with a loss by current No. 1 LaMarque to Angleton.

At any rate, their next game takes on even more epic protortions when No. 2 Paris faces No. 5 Dallas Lincoln on Saturday, 2:30 p.m., at P. C. Cobb Fieldhouse.  The Cats will be taking on an opponent they could very well see again in the playoffs at the Region 2 tournament in Commerce.

As for Tuesday’s pre-district road game, the Cats jumped out to a quick lead over the Eagles, who ended the first quarter on a 10-4 run to close the gap to 16-12.   Paris tightened its inside defense after that and took a 34-23 halftime lead.  The Cats got their running game going in the second half to blowout a team that lost by just 10 points to Wilmer-Hutchins and by 15 to Madison, a pair of state-ranked Dallas powerhouses.

Sophomore Josh Robinson scored 20 to top Paris, while senior Jalen Wallace had 19, senior Jordan Embry 18, and junior Jalon Pipkins 16.  Blake Morrison scored 20 for Episcopal.

January 9, 2016

PG Beat Ladycats Despite Big Comeback

The Pleasant Grove Lady Hawks started strong and finished strong to beat the Paris Ladycats, 73-54, Friday in the District 15-4A girls basketball opener in the Wildcat Gym, but not before the young Ladycat squad managed to throw a scare into the visitors.

PG overwhelmed Paris, 21-4, after one quarter before junior Cap Johnson, a recent callup to varsity from the JV squad, sparked a second-quarter comeback with 8 of her 16 game points to trim the lead to 38-24 by halftime.

In the second half, the Johnson energy buzz continued, and freshman Keunsha Jackson joined the rally to help fuel an 11-0 Paris run to start the third quarter and pull the Ladycats within 3 points, 38-35.  After the Lady Hawks finally score their first second-half bucket, a fast-break basket by junior Drea Jenkins returned the deficit to 3 again at 40-37.

Then an exhausted Johnson took a much-deserved rest on the bench.  In her absence, the Lady Hawks regained their composure with a 9-0 run.  By the time she returned to the court, PG was back in control and took a 56-40 lead into the fourth quarter.

Jackson topped the Ladycats in scoring with 19 points before fouling out.  The Lady Hawks were led by their veteran seniors Carley Barrett and Brette Wacha, who scored 23 and 22 points, respectively.

The Ladycats, now 4-19 overall, make the long trip to Atlanta on Tuesday in their next district action before returning home on Friday, Jan. 15, to host district favorite Liberty-Eylau.  The Lady Leopards routed defending champion North Lamar, 48-23, Friday and already own a blowout win over PG earlier in the season.

The Jan. 15 game will also mark the district debut of the Wildcat boys teams.  All girls and boys teams are scheduled to play on the same night (with the exception of the Paris-North Lamar contests).  For the first half of district play, the order of play should be JV girls, varsity girls, varsity boys in the main gym, with other sub-varsity games in the auxiliary gym.

December 30, 2015

Trojans Take Tourney Trophy, End Streak

Jalon Pipkins makes a no-look pass to Jared Embry to complete a Paris fast-break during the Cats’ surprising 12-0 start against Hot Springs in the championship game.

The Hot Springs Trojans ended the 51-game regular season win streak of the Paris Wildcats to take home the championship trophy of the sixth annual Guaranty Bank & Trust Paris Holiday Invitational Wednesday with a 53-45 decision in the Wildcat Gym.  Although school is closed for the Christmas Break, the basketball classroom was in session.

The tournament’s 44th  and final game of the 3-day run featured two highly-ranked teams with championship aspirations in neighboring states.  The host Wildcats, now 18-1, were 3rd in the latest Texas Class 4A rankings and figured to move into position to claim the No. 1 spot with a win Wednesday after both Nos. 1 (Silsbee) and 2 (Argyle) lost on Tuesday.

Although relatively unknown in Texas, the Trojans were Arkansas Class 5A state semifinalists in 2014 and return nearly intact for 2015-16 to rate as favorites for this season’s title in a classification comparable in school size to Texas Class 4A.  Hot Springs features at least three potential Division 1 recruits.

The Trojans were the talk of the tournament as they breezed through pool and bracket play the first two days.  They turned back district rival Hope in an all-Arkansas semifinal, 63-55, in a game earlier Wednesday where their starters rested on the bench in the fourth quarter. 

Put a set of Dallas Madison uniforms on their backs and they could be easily mistaken for the Metroplex powerhouse that has ruled Region 2 in recent years and dealt Paris its last defeat in basketball.  Strangely enough, both Madison and Hot Springs share the Trojans mascot name.

Both squads were feeling the effects from playing 6 games in 3 days, and Hot Springs’ deeper bench played a factor in the outcome.  Still, the Trojans provided the upstart Cats a few lessons in championship basketball, notably:

It’s a 32-minute game.  Hot Springs found itself down, 0-12, before a putback by the ironically named 6-5 junior Paris Harris finally dented the scoreboard with 3:20 left in the first quarter.  Despite being in a hostile enironment in front of a packed crowd, the visitors never lost their poise and consistently worked their way into the lead, 16-15, with 4:05 remaining until halftime.

When your shot’s not falling, take it to the rim.  Hot Springs won despite not making a single 3-pointer.  The Trojans’ outside shooting contributed to their miserable start, so they did what good teams do: Win games in the paint.  They used their speed and athletic quickness to score 48 of their 53 points on a series of putbacks, layups, tip-ins, and dunks.  The Cats, meanwhile, never got the message.  They seldom challenged the Trojans inside and when their outside shots failed, it set the table for the Trojans’ deadly fast break.  Paris shot just 33% from the field (16 of 48) and was just 7 of 25 (28%) from the 3-point line.

Oncourt communication.  The Trojans are a veteran team that works well together.  They talk to each other and make in-game adjustments.  It’s a team game, after all.

There’s no substitute for confidence and patience.  Hot Springs has it.  Paris didn’t, at least not in this game, and it was painfully noticeable on several forced shots that were well off-mark.  The Trojans, meanwhile, showed patience on offense and waited for an open lane to the basket.

As for the game flow itself, Paris was still in good shape after one period with a 15-6 edge, but the Cats clearly hit the wall after a rare 3-point make gave them a 15-4 advantage.  They would not score again for 8-plus agonizing minutes before a Jared Embry dunk off a Clint Franklin feed finally stopped the bleeding with 1:35 left in the first half.  By then, Hot Springs led, 18-17, and the Trojans closed on a 5-0 run to lead at halftime, 23-17.

The Cats emerged from the locker room with renewed energy, and a Jared Embry 5-foot baseline jumper and Jalon Pipkins 3-point play drew them within a single point at 22-23.  But the Trojans didn’t falter.  After a Jordan Embry putback dunk made it 26-28, Hot Springs took advantage of the Cats’ cold shooting to go on a 10-3 scoring spree before a short hook by Jordan closed the third quarter with the Trojans showing a 38-31 lead.

The Hot Springs momentum continued into the fourth quarter, and a fast break dunk by Harris extended the lead to 48-37 with 4 minutes left in the game.  Paris managed to close within 48-42 on a Pipkins’ 3 and a feed to Jared Embry, but the Trojans converted 5 of 7 foul shots to cement the win and trophy.

Harris finished with a game-high 16 points, and 6-4 junior Exavian Christon scored 12 for Hot Springs.  Pipkins scored 15, Jalen Wallace and Josh Robinson 9 each, Jared 8, and Jordan Embry 4 with 12 rebounds for Paris, which continues pre-district play on Tuesday with a trip to Dallas Episcopal.

While the loss hurt, it was not the season-ender like the 55-50 defeat to Madison in last season’s regional semifinals.  The season is far from over, and more championships are still to be won.

The Cats return to Dallas next Saturday, Jan. 9, for another top test against 19th-ranked Lincoln.  It will be a good opportunity to see if the Trojans’ lessons have been taken to heart.

Wednesday’s Other Results:

  • Championship Semifinal: Paris 74, Lufkin Hudson 51.  The Cats pushed their regular season unbeaten string to 51 games with a relatively easy semifinal win over the state's 23rd-ranked Class 4A team.  A Jalon Pipkins' 4-point play helped the Cats close out the half on a 11-5 run and take a 41-22 lead into the locker room.  The second half included some showtime dunks before the starters exited to the bench with a 30-point lead.  Jordan Embry topped Paris scoring with 18, Pipkins had 15, and Jared Embry 14.  Jacob Pierce scored 12 for the Hornets (18-4)
  • Championship Semifinal: Hot Springs 63, Hope 55.  The Bobcats played a strong game against their district rivals, but Hot Springs built a 51-35 lead after three quarters before the Trojans rested their starters during the final period in an effort to conserve their legs for tonight's tournament final.  Exavian Christon scored 21 to lead the Trojans, and Kajuan Christon added 13.  Hope was led by Markel Haynes and Erin Johnson with 11 each.
  • Third Place: Lufkin Hudson 81, Hope 78.  The Hornets were down, 14-27, after one quarter before tying the game at the half, 42-all.  Then, Hudson took control in the second half and had a comfortable lead until the final 3 minutes when Bobcat pressure forced several Hudson turnovers. Hudson missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.  For Hope: Markel Haynes 22, Jacobie Brown 19, Erin Johnson 14, Clyde Ricks 11.  For Hudson: Josiah Garges 20, LaJavion Randle 16, Zach Pierce 12.
  • Championship Consolation Final: Clarksville 56, North Lamar 50.  The Panthers made a late rally and trimmed the BlueTigers' lead to 45-43 on a Levi Porter 3 in the final two minutes, but the state's 5th-ranked Class 2A team held on to take the consolation trophy.  Both Clarksville big men (Clashon Gaffney and Quintin Wallace) scored 18 to lead the Blue Tigers.  Porter finished with 23, and Versache Buchanan had 11 before fouling out.
  • 5th Place Game: Waxahachie Life 52, Waskom 51.  Justin Nimmer sank a pair of foul shots with 15.3 remaining to give Life a 52-49 lead, and Waskom drove for a layup with .5 left to end the game.  Nimmer and Joshua Sanders had 10 each for Life.  Eric Stephens led Waskom with 16, Chad Amie had 14 and Kaleb Haynes 11.
  • Championship Consolation Semifinal: North Lamar 65, Waskom 36.  The Panthers jumped out to an 8-0 lead and never looked back en route to a berth in the consolation final vs. Clarksville.  Levi Porter led NL with 18 and Jake Stewart added 10.  Eric Stephens and Chan Amie each scored 11 for the Wildcats.
  • Championship Consolation Semifinal: Clarksville 44, Waxahachie Life 40.  After trailing most of the way, Keyshon Moore hit a 3-pointer with 1:15 left to give the Blue Tigers a 40-39 lead.  Clarksville hit 4 of 6 free throws in the closing stretch, including 2 crucial foul shots by Detravion Lewis with 33.7 remaining, to ice the win.  Quintin Wallace scored 11 for the Tigers and Rayzon Allen 10.  Joshua Sanders scored 11 for Life. 
  • Gold Bracket Championship: Willis 84, Dallas Gateway 51.  For Willis: Nick McHenry 17, Darius Mickens 15, Justin Mays 14.  For Gateway: Mercury Woods 12, Kameron Scott 10.
  • Gold Bracket Consolation Game: Daingerfield 37, Henderson 29.  For Daingerfield: Mims 13.  For Henderson: Vanzandt 10.
  • Silver Bracket Championship: Teague 61, Mabank 44.  For Teague: Mylan Shed 10.  For Mabank: Jordan Thomas 15.
  • Silver Bracket Consolation Game: Ferris 67, New Boston 54.  For Ferris: Arguminiz 17, Steinbeck 15, Powell 14.  For NB: Copeland 17, Rigsby 14.

December 29, 2015

Unbeaten Cats Face Stern Challenge

The sixth annual Guaranty Bank & Trust Paris Holiday Invitational ends another successful three-day run Wednesday with trophy hardware on the line in all three brackets.  It starts at 8 a.m. with games in both Wildcat gyms and winds up with the 5 p.m. championship game. 

Four teams remain in the hunt for the tournament’s top prize.  At 11 a.m., Hope faces an impressive Hot Springs team in one all-Arkansas semifinal, then at 12:30 it’s a battle of Class 4A ranked teams when the No. 3 Paris Wildcats try to stay unbeaten in a matchup with No. 23 Lufkin Hudson.

The Cats, now 17-0 and winners of 50 straight regular season games, closed out a perfect Pool A showing with a lackluster 56-26 win  over New Boston earlier Tuesday, then heated up the offense later that night in an 85-46 blowout of Waskom in a championship bracket quarterfinal.

Championship Bracket Quarterfinals:

  • Hope 46, Clarksville 39.  Clarksville still couldn’t shake off the after-effects of Monday’s loss to Paris and dropped into the consolation bracket where the Blue Tigers will play Waxahachie Life in an 8 a.m. start Wednesday.  Clyde Ricks led Hope with 18 and Jacobie Brown had 12. Clarksville was led by Rayzon Allen’s 11).  Hope advances to Tuesday's 11 am all-Arkansas semifinal vs. Hot Springs
  • Hot Springs 53, Waxahachie Life 39.  The Mustangs did a marvelous job of keeping the pace at a win-able distance against the Arkansas Class 5A power but just couldn't convert enough good looks to pull off the upset.   Paris Harris topped the Trojans with 17 and Kajuan Christon added 11.  For Life, it was Justin Nimmer 13 and Joshua Sanders 10.
  • Lufkin Hudson 54, North Lamar 50.  This was one of the closest games of the tournament. Things got a big testy at the end with a technical foul and fan ejection.  NL's Julique Franklin hit a 3-pointer to pull NL within 52-50, but Lufkin converted a couple of free throws to cement the win and advance to Wednesday's semifinal vs. Paris.  Levi Porter scored 23 for the Panthers and Versache Buchanan added13.  Hudson was led by Josiah Garges’ 20, including 17 in second half, while LaJavion Randle had 11 (all in the first half). 
  • Paris 85, Waskom 46.  It was a good omen for the Cats when Jalon Pipkens connected on the first shot of the game, a 3-pointer.  While Paris wasn’t at top form, the Cats got their running game going early to take a 25-10 lead after one quarter.  Although Waskom pulled within 10 points in the second period, Paris took a 42-27 advantage to the locker room and outscored Waskom, 25-4, in the third quarter to put it away.  Sophomore Josh Robinson exploded for 21 points, and all five J squad starters reached double figures: Pipkens 18, Jalen Wallace and Jared Embry 12 each, Jordan Embry 10.  Eric Stephens managed 10 for Waskom.

Gold Bracket Semifinals:

  • Dallas Gateway 65, Henderson 57 For Gateway, it was Mercury Woods 17, Anthony Brown 16, Matrix Woods 14, and Isaac White 12. For Henderson, Tristan Edner and Tre Boone each scored16 and Lakendrick Vanzandt had 11.
  • Willis 63, Daingerfield 43Willis was topped in scoring by Darius Mickens’ 20 and Nick McHenry added13.  For Daingerfield, Keke Chism scored 12 while Mikal Reeves and Rickey Lee had 11 each.

Silver Bracket Semifinals:

  • Teague 65, New Boston 57For Teague: Mylan Shed 15, Mikkail Shepherd 13.  For NB: Shanoaha Bridges 15.
  • Mabank 54, Ferris 37.  For Mabank: Jordan Thomas 20, Blayne Rowe 13, Mark Driskell 11.  For Ferris: Quinterious Powell 11.

Tuesday’s pool play results:

Pool A

  • Clarksville 46, Henderson 41.  Clashon Gaffney scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half to help the Blue Tigers avoid the upset.  Henderson led at halftime, 27-23, and was in position for the tying points with a minute remaining in the game, but the Lions missed two open jumpers and Gaffney provided a key layin off a feed from Rayzon Allen to give the Tigers a 4-point cushion with 42.5 left.  Detravion Lewis finished with 11 and kept Clarksville within reach with 9 of those points in the first half.  LaKendrick Vanzandt topped Henderson with 13.   Clarksville plays Hope in the first quarterfinal at 3 today, while Henderson goes to the Gold Bracket to play the loser of Gateway-Waskom.
  • Paris 56, New Boston 26.  The Cats’ shooting miseries continued from Monday night’s close win over Clarksville with the except of Jared Embry, who managed 21.  Brother Jordan Embry added 11.  D. Copeland led the Lions with 9.  Paris plays the winner of Gateway-Waskom at 7:30 today in the quarters.  New Boston gets Teague in a 3 p.m. Silver Bracket semifinal.


Pool B                                                          

  • North Lamar 64, Mabank 52.  The Panthers started slowly (20-14 after one and 36-34 at halftime before putting Mabank away in the second half.  Levi Porter led the way with 27 points, while teammates Menderiz Gray and Versache Buchanan each scored 11.  Cole Smith led Mabank with 15 and Jordan Thomas had 12.  NL wins Pool B with a 3-0 mark and plays at 6 pm today vs. the loser of Hot Springs-Hudson.  Mabank goes into the Silver Bracket and plays at 4:30 today vs. Ferris.
  • Waxahachie Life 59, Daingerfield 45.  Life clinched a spot in the Championship Bracket with the win.  Kenson Vaughan hit five 3’s to score 17 for Life, and Joshua Sanders added 14.  Daingerfield’s Mikal Reeves and Rickey Lee score 10 each.  Life plays at 4:30 today vs. the winner of Hudson-Hot Springs, while Daingerfield plays at 7:30 in the Gold Bracket vs. Willis.

Pool C

  • Hope 69, Teague 41.  Hope wrapped up a perfect 3-0 pool showing with a decisive 18-6 advantage in the third quarter.  Erin Johnson led the way with 18, followed by Markel Haynes 14, and Jacobie Brown and Cameron Mitchell 11 each.  For Teague, Mylan Shed scored 16 and AJ Weathers 11.  Teague moves into the Silver Bracket and plays at 3 pm today vs. New Boston, while Hope plays in the championship quarterfinals at 3 pm today vs. the winner  of Clarksville-Henderson.
  • Waskom 65, Dallas Gateway 49.  Waskom prevailed in a mild upset over the state’s 16th-ranked Class 2A team.  Chan Amie scored 20, Kaleb Haynes 17, and Mike Reason 10.  For Gateway Matrix Woods and Mercury Woods had 15 each and Anthony Brown added 10.

Pool D

  • Willis 65, Ferris 34. Willis won its first game of the tournament behind Mark Hector’s 17 and Malik Hadnot’s 10.  Ferris was topped by  Daylon Taylor’s 8. 
  • Hot Springs 78, Lufkin Hudson 39.  The Hornets hung close for about 10 minutes before the Trojan destruction ensued.  Cleo Floyd topped Hot Springs scoring with 24, Exavian Christon had 14, and Anthony Tate 11.  Jevarius Cooper scored 12 for Hudson.  Both teams move into the Championship quarters, but can anyone stay close to Hot Springs?

December 26, 2015

Paris-Clarksville Tops Day 1 Tourney Lineup

Sometimes a game can be just too big for its own good.

That was the case Monday night as the 6th annual Guaranty Bank Paris Holiday Invitational capped off Day 1 of its three-day run with a 60-51 win by the host Paris Wildcats over their regional rival Clarksville Blue Tigers in a game that exceeded capacity, if not anticipation, in the Wildcat Gym.

The Cats, 15-0 and ranked 3rd in Class 4A, and Tigers, 12-2 and ranked 5th in 2A, played before a packed house estimated to be about 2,000 rabid fans.  Officials declared a sellout almost one hour prior to tipoff and closed further entry to the building.

Paris and Clarksville are grouped in Pool A of the tournament and had easy first-round wins earlier in the day.  Paris routed Henderson, 82-36, while Clarksville demolished New Boston, 70-25.

Bracket play begins at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.  The top two finishers in each pool advance to the Championship Bracket, while 3rd-place teams compete in the Gold Bracket and 4th-place teams play in the Silver Bracket.

Paris is the tournament’s defending champion.  The Cats won the 2014 title with a come-from-behind, 54-49 win over Lufkin Hudson.  Other trophy winners return from the 2014 field.  North Lamar won 3rd place, Red Oak (now Waxahachie) Life took consolation, Class 5A Willis was the Gold winner, and Henderson took Silver.

The tournament field includes 5 ranked teams, according to the Texas state coaches weekly poll.  No. 3 Paris and Hudson (23rd) represent Class 4A, Waxahachie Life is 13th in Class 3A, while Class 2A is represented by No. 5 Clarksville and No. 16 Dallas Gateway.

Two strong entries from Arkansas also dot the field.  Class 5A Hope is a regular visitor to the Paris tournament and is joined this year by state semifinalist Hot Springs.

Other notable entries include Teague (Class 2A regional finalist in 2015), and Waskom, just starting its basketball season after successfully defending its Class 3A state football championship.

Games will be held simultaneously in both the main and auxiliary gyms.  Daily admission is $6, good for admission for all games in both gyms (provided seating is available).  Click to see pool play and bracket pairings.

As for Monday’s marquee closer, Paris did its part early to meet the extreme expectations of a team currently riding a 48-game regular-season unbeaten break.  The Cats exploited their height advantage at the guard positions to break out to a 20-9 lead after one quarter and stretched the lead to 36-14 before hitting a wall.  The Tigers closed out the second quarter on a 11-3 run that included a 3-point buzzer-beater by Detravion Lewis to stay within sight at halftime, 39-25.

The shooting malaise continued for the Cats in the third period, and consecutive buckets by Keyshon Moore further trimmed the gap to 51-38 entering the final quarter.  The Tigers (12-2) were able to close within 8 at 54-46 on a 3 by Rayzon Allen with just over 3 minutes remaining.

The rest of the game produced a turnoverfest for both squads with some unwise shot selection thrown in by the Cats protecting that lead.  Wildcat sharp-shooter Jalon Pipkins had a dismal night from the field but produced a couple of key late assists to feed the Embry twins on a pair of breakaways that finally put the win in the books.

The game featured teams with strong inside presence, but early foul calls put a damper on that matchup.  Paris 6-6 senior Jordan Embry had to sit after picking up his second foul just 2:27 into the game, but he returned to lead all scorers with 18.  His twin, 6-5 Jared, performed well in his brief absence off the court and finished with 15.  Pipkens managed 13, and sophomore Josh Robinson scored 12.

The Tigers’ big men also led their team in scoring despite foul issues.  Junior 6-7 Clashon Gaffney and 6-5 junior Quintin Wallace each scored 11, and Moore had 9 before fouling out late in the game.

Monday’s results:

Pool A

  • Paris 82, Henderson 36.  The Cats showed the effects of their week off as they led only by 14-9 after one quarter, but their 3-point shooting quickly picked up the pace.  They knocked down 12 in the game,  held  a 42-21 halftime lead, and finished off the Lions with a 20-4 third quarter blitz that ended on a Jalon Pipkins dunk and block.  Jalen Wallace led the way with 17 points (4-3’s), while Josh Robinson scored 16, Jordan Embry 14, Clint Franklin 14 (4-3’s), and Pipkins 13.  Tyrek Blanton topped Henderson with 9 points.
  • Clarksville 70, New Boston 25.  This was no contest from the opening tip.  The Blue Tigers led after one, 20-6, and at halftime, 39-12.  Detravion Lewis (15), Quintin Wallace (13), Clashon Gaffney (13) and Rayzon Allen (10) all reached double figures for Clarksville.  D. Copeland scored 10 for New Boston.
  • Henderson 62, New Boston 55.  In this matchup of Lions, Henderson outscored New Boston, 27-8, in the pivotal second quarter then survived a rally in the fourth.  Todd Rigsby took game-high honors with 26 points for NB, and LaKendrick Vanzandt led Henderson with 21.
  • Paris 60, Clarksville 51.  Read details above.

Pool B                                                                               

  • North Lamar 48, Daingerfield 43.  Versache Buchanan’s 12-foot, pull-up jumper in the final two minutes finally provided some separation from the Tigers, 45-41, and the Panthers were able to hold on for the win.  NL trailed at the first break, 8-13, but held a 23-19 edge at halftime and took a 35-32 lead into the fourth quarter.  Buchanan finished with 16 and Levi Porter added 12.  Denzel Mims led Daingerfield with 10.
  • Waxahachie Life 63, Mabank 41.  Life fashioned a 34-21 halftime lead and continued to pull away in the second half.  The Mustangs were led by Joshua Sanders’ 17 and Daniel Nguyen’s 11.  Jordan Thomas scored 14 for Mabank.
  • Daingerfield 54, Mabank 33. The Tigers led throughout, paced by 21 points from Denzel Mims, 14 by Rickey Lee, and 12 from Mikal Reeves.  Cole Plunkett scored 9 for Mabank.
  • North Lamar 52, Waxahachie 41.  The Panthers dealt the state’s 13th-ranked Class 3A team its first loss of the season.  NL capped a 24-7 second-quarter showing with a Versache Buchanan 3-pointer at the buzzer to take a 29-19 halftime lead.  Buchanan finished with 21 points.  Daniel Nguyen scored 13 for the Mustangs, who were saddled by foul trouble and whistled for 23 team fouls vs. 8 for the Panthers.

Pool C

  • Hope 82, Dallas Gateway 69.  The Arkansas school used a 24-13 run in the third quarter to take control of the pairing against the Class 2A, 16th-ranked Gators.  Junior guard Clyde Ricks  topped the Bobcats with 24 points, while Markel Haynes had 16, and  Cameron Mitchell 14.  Gateway junior Matrix Woods led all scorers with 25, teammate Anthony Brown had 16, and Mercury Woods 11.
  • Waskom 64, Teague 59.  Despite playing just their first game of the season due to a state championship football run, the Wildcats shocked the Lions in the opening pool game.  Waskom showed poise down the stretch and was led in scoring by Kaleb Haynes 19, Eric Stephens 15, Keileon Johnson 12, and Chan Amie 10.  For Teague, Mylan Shed led the way with 19, and AJ Weathers added 10. 
  • Dallas Gateway 65, Teague 54. This was a rematch between teams who played previously this season (Gateway dealt Teague its only loss coming into this tournament).  The Lions held a 20-14 lead after one quarter, but the Gators surged into a 35-33 halftime lead and pulled away in the second half led by Matrix Woods 16, Isaac White 13, Adam Jackson 12, and Anthony Brown 10.  Teague’s Mylan Shed scored 18.
  • Hope 69, Waskom 48.  In a game played in relative obscurity in the auxiliary gym while Paris and Clarksville occupied the main gym spotlight, the Bobcats led from start to finish.  Erin Johnson topped all scorers with 21, Cameron Mitchell tossed in 19, and Nick Thomas had 12 for Hope.  Mike Reason scored 11 for Waskom.

Pool D

  • Hot Springs 84, Willis 57.  The Arkansas Class 5A semifinalists were impressive in their tournament debut.  The Trojans led, 42-20, at the half and stretched the lead to 71-29 by the end of the third quarter.  Exavian Christon led the otherwise balanced Hot Springs attack with 18 points.  Mark Hector Jr. scored 18 and Nick McHenry 12 for Willis.
  • Lufkin Hudson 73, Ferris 47.  The Hornets, last year’s tournament runnerup to Paris, were also impressive in their tournament opener.  Hudson was up at the half, 33-22, and put Ferris away with a 26-11 third quarter.  Four Hornets scored in double figures: Josiah Garges 17, Jacob Pierce 11, Kade Johnson 10, and Jeffrey Smith 10.  The Yellowjackets were led by Allen Steinbeck’s 14.
  • Hot Springs 94, Ferris 51.  The Trojans continued to impress tournament followers and put this game away early.  They outscored Ferris, 32-0, in the first quarter.  Exavian Christon and unknown teammate who wore No. 4 each scored 20 for Hot Springs, and Quindell Smith added 10.  Ferris’ leading scorers were Allen Steinbeck 15, Riley Fagan 12, and Daylon Taylor 11.
  • Hudson 75, Willis 65.  Josiah Garges put on a free throw clinic, scoring a Day 1 tournament high 32 with an incredible 21 of 23 at the foul line to lead Hudson.  Jeffrey Stotts and Javarius Cooper each had 12.  For Willis, it was Mark Hector 17, Nick McHenry and Justin Mays 12 each, Darius Mickens 11.

Pool Standings (after Day 1)

  • Pool A: Paris 2-0, Clarksville 1-1, Henderson 1-1, New Boston 0-2
  • Pool B: North Lamar 2-0, Daingerfield 1-1, Waxahachie Life 1-1, Mabank 0-2
  • Pool C: Hope 2-0, Gateway 1-1, Waskom 1-1, Teague 0-2,
  • Pool D: Hot Springs 2-0, Hudson 2-0, Willis 0-2, Ferris 0-2

December 26, 2015

Allen Repeats as all-RRV MVP

Quarterback Quez Allen, who finished his high school career as Paris High’s all-time leader in rushing, passing, and total yards, was the easy choice as Most Valuable Player on this year’s All-Red River Valley football team, as chosen by The Paris News.  It was the second such honor for Allen, who also was named MVP during his junior campaign.

Two of Allen’s primary weapons for the 2015 season also made the First Team Offense.  Junior wideout Jalon Pipkins and junior slot receiver Ja’Kerion Brown were big producers in the passing attack which set school marks for yardage and TDs scored.

A trio of Wildcats made the First Team Defense.  Senior defensive end Ty Gray led the team in sacks, senior cornerback Diarva Brown was the team leader in interceptions, and junior linebacker Dre McKinney topped the team in tackles.

Second team selections were sophomore running back Donovan Williams, senior center Dakota Helm, junior kicker Zach Lamb, sophomore linebacker Quin Perry, and junior safety TD Williams.

Receiving honorable mention were senior running back Dren Rollerson, junior guard Mitchell Cole, and senior rover Zay Gray.

December 22, 2015

Cats Tame Tigers to Push Streak to 46

The 3rd-ranked Paris Wildcats (13-0) survived a tough road test Monday at Class 5A Texas High (5-4) and in the process extended their regular-season win streak to 46 games.  The Cats will now break for Christmas  before hosting the annual Paris Holiday Invitational Dec. 28-30 in the Wildcat Gym.

Paris used some hot shooting (59% from the field) to maintain a double-digit lead on the fast and deep Tiger squad.  The Cats ended the first quarter on a 12-2 run, punctuated by a Jordan Embry dunk, to lead after the first break, 23-11.  When THS trimmed the lead to 11 points in the 3rd quarter, Paris responded with a 13-0 run to put the game away.

Sophomore Josh Robinson topped the scoring with 22 points, while junior Jalon Pipkins scored 17, and senior twins Jordan and Jared Embry had 14 and 11, respectively.  Senior Jalen Wallace just missed double figures with 9.

For THS, JaNiro Lane scored 20, including four 3-pointers.

The Tigers won both sub-varsity games in Tiger Center.  The Cats lost the JV game, 68-52, despite 15 points by Xavier Young.  The freshmen, led in scoring by T. J. Williams’ 11, fell, 69-34.

The varsity is grouped in a tournament pool with Henderson, Clarksville, and New Boston.  The Cats open at 11:30 a.m. on Monday vs. Henderson and end Day 1 with a marquee match at 8:30 p.m. vs. Clarksville.  Fans are urged to arrive extra early on Monday to ensure they can find seats.

The tournament features a strong field headlined by 5 ranked Texas teams: Paris (4A#3), Lufkin Hudson (4A#23), Waxahachie Life (3A#13), Clarksville (2A#5), and Dallas Gateway (2A#16).  A pair of Arkansas powers, Hope and Hot Springs, will also make appearances.

December 19, 2015

Cats Give Fans and Coach a Christmas Treat

Jared Embry makes sure he’s on Santa’s nice list with a breakaway dunk against Hugo

The third-ranked Paris Wildcats gave their fans an early Christmas present Friday night in a 63-38 win over the Hugo Buffaloes before a near-capacity crowd in the Wildcat Gym.

Along the way to their 12th win of the season, the unbeaten Cats knocked down a dozen 3-pointers and added a trio of dunks in a dominating performance.

They gift-wrapped the showing in a defensive package that also pleased their head coach, Billy Mack Steed, who likes to see single-digit totals in the opponent’s quarter-by-quarter columns when he checks the scorebook.  Paris held the Buffaloes to a grand total of 5 points in the opening period, 7 in the second, and 3 in the third before loosening its grip and emptying the bench in a more wide-open final frame.

By then, Paris already owned command of the scoreboard, 49-15, and was well on its way to the school’s 45th straight regular season victory.  The Cats’ last non-postseason loss was to North Lamar on Feb. 7, 2014.  That 2013-14 team beat Liberty-Eylau to close out district play, and last year’s 2014-15 squad racked up a perfect 31-0 regular season run then beat Princeton in a warmup game before starting a postseason charge that ended in an appearance at the regional tournament.

This year’s team has picked up where last year’s squad left off with a lineup full of 3-point threats who can run the floor and finish with a flurry.  They also have height, length, and quickness which can frustrate teams on the other end of the court, too.

A large contingent of Hugo fans made the short trip across the Red River to see if their team could challenge the Cats.  The Buffs couldn’t, and Hugo fans showed their disenchantment with repeated pleas of “Shoot the ball” as the Hugo offense struggled to find an opening in the Paris defense.

While it wasn’t one of Paris’ brightest offensive showings, the Cats unleashed four 3-point baskets in the first quarter (by Jalen Wallace, Jordan Embry, and a pair by Jalon Pipkins) to surge to a 17-5 lead.

As Hugo tried to keep the offensive pace down in the second quarter, Paris picked the Buffs’ pockets 4 times on steals to jump-start their fast-break attack.  The Cats went into the halftime break with a 27-12 edge.

They broke it open in the third quarter.  Two more 3’s by Wallace and Jordan, and a breakaway dunk by Jared Embry (off a Jared block and quick Jordan outlet pass) forced a Hugo timeout.  The Cats weren’t done, however, and Wallace added two more 3’s and Pipkins another one to complete the 22-3 third quarter showing.

Wallace, the Cats‘ senior point guard, finished with a game-high 15 points (all on five 3’s).  Pipkins had 14 (three 3’s), and Jordan Embry 12 (two-3’s).  Sophomore Josh Robinson had a 3-pointer among his 13, and Clint Franklin had one with his 5 points.  Jared Embry added 4 points.

Paris has one more game before hosting the sixth annual Paris Holiday Invitational, Dec. 28-30, in the Wildcat Gym.  The Cats travel to Texarkana Monday to take on the Class 5A Texas High Tigers.

The quick, athletic Tigers should provide a stern test to the unbeaten streak.  The last time Paris visited Texas High, the Cats were routed, 86-60.

Jalen Wallace drains one of his five 3-pointers in the Cats’ win over Hugo

December 19, 2015

Ladycats Shut Down in 4th Quarter

The Paris Ladycats couldn’t score down the stretch and fell to the Bonham Lady Warriors, 42-34, Friday in their final pre-district game before Christmas break.

Paris led after each period, 12-9, 22-18, and 32-31, but the Ladycats were held to 2 points in the final quarter.  They fall to 4-14 for the season and resume play Dec. 28-29 at the Prosper Classic Tournament.

December 16, 2015

Cats Struggle to Subdue SSHS, 66-50

The Paris Wildcats moved forward a notch in the eyes of Texas basketball coaches this week, but they fell a step in the eyes of their own coach following a 66-50 win Tuesday night in Sulphur Springs.

The Cats, who went relatively unnoticed in state rankings during a 2014-15 undefeated regular season, rose from fourth to No. 3 in the latest TABC poll after picking up their second tournament title last weekend at New Boston.

Paris, now 11-0, drew some high praise from head coach Billy Mack Steed for their defensive effort in a 72-38 win over previously unbeaten Arkansas High in Saturday’s tournament championship game.

But the veteran coach is trying to instill consistency on the defensive end if the Cats hope to continue their current streak of 44 regular season wins that stretch over 3 seasons. 

Their high ranking comes with a price: A bullseye target squarely on their backs. Steed believes that solid defense is the key to keeping the win streak intact.

Instead, Paris struggled Tuesday to get, then maintain, separation from the Hopkins County Wildcats (6-7).  Paris was up, 20-7, after one quarter, but saw the lead trimmed to 29-21 by halftime.

The Lamar County Cats carried a 47-36 lead into the final period, but SSHS used its 3-point shooting to get within single digits before Paris finally pulled away. 

“We gave them way too many open looks,” Steed said.

SSHS became just the third team to notch at least 50 points against Paris this season.  Not coincidentally, the other two opponents: Mount Pleasant (58-52) and Haworth, OK (61-54) were the only times when schools have held the Cats to a single-digit margin of victory.  Freshman sensation Keaston Willis knocked down six 3-pointers among his team-leading 21 points for SSHS, who also out-rebounded the taller Paris squad.

Paris was led by Jalon Pipkins with 22.  Jalen Wallace hit six 3’s for his 18 points, and 6-6 post Jordan Embry finished with 16.

The schools split in sub-varsity action.  The Paris freshmen won, 48-44, while the Paris JV lost, 44-36.

Paris returns to the Wildcat Gym for just the second time this season when the Cats host Hugo, OK, Friday.

December 17, 2015

Allen Named District Offensive MVP

Senior Quez Allen, who rewrote the school record book for passing, rushing, and total offense during his football career at Paris High, was named the District 7-4A-1 Offensive MVP, as selected by league coaches.

Dre McKinney was the only Paris player to receive first team status.  The junior linebacker was the Wildcats’ leading tackler.

The Cats had several players named to the second team.  The offense included sophomore running back Donovan Williams, junior receiver Jalon Pipkins, junior guard Mitchell Cole, and junior kicker Zach Lamb.  Junior safety TD Williams was selected to the defense.

December 16, 2015

Ladycats Lose at Princeton

The Paris Ladycats varsity basketball team lost a pre-district game Tuesday at Princeton, 59-36.  Freshman Kiaunsha Jackson topped the scoring for Paris with 8 points.  The Ladycats, now 4-13, visit Bonham Friday before breaking for the Christmas holidays.

December 11, 2015

Wildcat 'D' Helps 'J Squad' Go Hog Wild

Defense to Offense: A tipped ball by Jared Embry is recovered by Jordan Embry as Coach Steed looks on (above).  It leads to a breakaway dunk by Jared (below)

Add the name of another “J” to the “J Squad,” the 4th-ranked Paris Wildcats basketball team which features five starters whose first names all begin with that letter of the alphabet.

His name is Jekyll, the original Dr. J of Robert Louis Stevenson lore.  When he makes an appearance there are nights that the 10-0 Cats seem to be on a never-ending power play with a 6-on-5 man advantage.  Saturday’s finale of the New Boston Gunslingers Tournament was a case in point, as Paris pounced on the previously unbeaten Texarkana Arkansas High Razorbacks (4-1) to cruise to a 82-38 win in the trophy game.

“That may have been our best game of the year,” Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed said afterwards.  “I don’t think we can play a better first half.”

He was referring to a 41-15 halftime lead which a casual fan would say was highlighted by a 5-for-5 shooting performance from 3-point land by junior Jalon Pipkins, who finished the evening with a 6th 3 among his game-high 25 points.

A casual fan might say that, but not Steed, who preaches defense first and forever, and that brings up Dr. Jekyll’s split persona, Mr. Edward Hyde, who surfaced during Friday’s 61-54 semifinal squeaker over Haworth, OK.   As jubilant as Steed was over Saturday’s performance and an equally impressive 85-43 win over an athletic Idabel, OK, in Thursday’s tournament opener, the veteran Paris coach was distraught over some defensive lapses which enabled Haworth to climb back into the Friday game after Paris took a 27-13 halftime lead.

“We played as well tonight as we played poorly on Friday,” he said.  “We played some great help-side defense (Saturday) and didn’t allow many open looks,” he said.  “People don’t realize we can play pretty good defense.”

While the Cats are noted for their deadly outside shooting and acrobatic dunks, it’s their defense that sets the pace.  Only two Paris opponents have cracked the 50-point scoring barrier so far in the 2015-16 season. 

Coincidentally, both defensive anomalies happened this past week, starting with Tuesday’s 58-52 nail-biter at Mount Pleasant, then resurfacing on Friday vs. Haworth.

When they can keep Mr. Hyde under wraps, the Cats are pretty impressive on the offensive end as well.  All five “Js” scored in double figures in the championship game.  In addition to Pipkins’ 25, Jared Embry had 13, while Jordan Embry, Jalen Wallace, and Josh Robinson each netted 10.  Pipkins and the Embry twins were selected to the all-tournament team.

How lopsided was the championship game?  Consider that the biggest applause from a large contingent of Hog fans in the tiny, packed gym came on a hard foul that prevented a alley-oop slam by Jared Embry.  They didn’t have much else to cheer, as no Arkansas player reached double figures in scoring.

Paris survived a second-half scare from recent nemesis Haworth to win Friday’s semifinal, while Arkansas used a 14-0 start to breeze past Texarkana rival Pleasant Grove, 57-40, in the other semifinal.

Haworth knocked off Paris in the 2012 Gunslingers tournament, 48-37, and again in 2013, 62-59, before the Cats turned the tables on the Lions last year, 63-49.

Jared Embry topped the scoring with 18 points, and Pipkins notched 17.  Robinson was the only other Cat in double figures at 12.

In the tournament opener on Thursday, Paris bounced back from Tuesday’s scare on a horrible shooting night at Mount Pleasant to destroy Idabel.  The Warriors jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but the Cats were in front, 20-12, at the first break and 41-19 by halftime.  Paris put on a crowd-pleasing show with 12 dunks and nine 3-pointers.

Robinson had three of the 3’s to lead the scoring with 24 points.  Jared Embry scored 18 including a monster breakaway dunk (play video below to see dunk), Jordan scored 10, and Pipkins had 13.

Paris tries to extend its current streak of 42 regular-season victories when the Cats visit Sulphur Springs on Tuesday before a rare home game on Friday vs. Hugo, OK.  The last Paris regular season defeat was a 57-47 loss to North Lamar on Feb. 7, 2014, two seasons ago.  The Cats finished with a perfect 31-0 mark last year en route to a regional semifinal appearance.


December 9, 2015

Defense Guides Cats Past Tigers, 58-52

The state-ranked Paris Wildcats found themselves in an unfamiliar position in a uncomfortable environment Tuesday.  So they turned to a trusted ally to pull out a 58-52 win over the Mount Pleasant Tigers just one day after being promoted to No. 4 in the state basketball coaches’ rankings.

“I tell the players that there will be nights when their shots won’t fall,” Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed said earlier this year, “but they can always count on defense being there. 

“If you don’t play defense, you won’t play for me.”

The Cats (7-0), fresh off a dominating run to win the Van DQ Invitational, had not been seriously challenged this young season until Tuesday night.  Their closest margin of victory had been 24 points.

However, the Class 5A Tigers (4-2), took advantage of a miserable shooting night by Paris to take a 29-25 halftime lead.  MP scored the first 4 points of the second half to stretch the advantage to 8, 33-25, before Paris finished the third quarter on a 15-4 spurt to surge ahead, 40-37, heading into the final period.

True to Steed’s formula, it was defense that keyed the rally.  The Cats’ perimeter pressure forced several steals and turnovers and facilitated the deadly Paris fast-break game.  Meanwhile, Paris clamped down in the paint and limited the Tigers’ second-chance opportunities which prevailed in the first half.

A lucky backboard bounce-back 3 by 6-4 Holden Davis enabled the Tigers to tie the game, 40-40, as the fourth quarter started, but the Cats responded with a key 7-0 stretch  to retake control.

The run started with a steal and breakaway basket by junior Jalon Pipkins, then senior point guard Jalen Wallace knocked down a 3 from the right corner.  Another Pipkins fast-break layup off a feed from Wallace gave Paris a 47-40 lead with 5:45 remaining.

However, Steed had to deal with foul issues down the stretch.  Wallace picked up his fourth personal on a charge and joined 6-6 senior post Jordan Embry on the bench.  Embry collected his fourth personal (3 on charges) earlier in the period.

With the two starters out of the game, the Tigers trimmed the lead to 47-45.  A foul shot by reserve Clint Franklin and a 15-foot, step-back jumper by Pipkins built the lead back to 50-45.  When Wallace and Jordan Embry returned to the court with 3:14 left, 6-5 Jared Embry converted a baseline drive to push the lead back to 7, 52-45.

Full-court pressure by the deeper Tiger squad caused some anxious moments for the Cats, but a floater by sophomore Josh Robinson and another baseline drive and dunk by Jared off an alley-oop feed from bother Jordan sent the gap back to 7, 56-49 heading into the final minute.

Wallace fouled out with 53.3 left as MP kept the pressure dialed up, but a pair of free throws by Robinson with 10.6 to go provided the final margin of victory.

Pipkins led the Cats with 17 points, including 11 in the second half.  Wallace, whose outside shooting kept Paris in the game in the first half, finished with 14.  Jared Embry managed 11, and Robinson 9 (all after halftime).

The Tigers’ 6-5 junior post James Moore scored 16 to lead the Tigers.

“I don’t know what it is about this place, but we can’t shoot the ball here,” Steed said afterwards.

Recent history verifies his claim that Tiger Gym is a voodoo palace to the Cats.  Prior to Tuesday, Paris had lost its last four visits to MP which were low-scoring games with some bizarre finishes:

  • 2014 playoff loss to Kilgore, 47-59
  • 2012 regular season loss to MP, 52-62
  • 2012 playoff loss to Lindale, 46-48
  • 2011 playoff loss to Lindale, 37-39  

The win extended Paris’ regular season victory streak to 41 over the past 3 seasons.  The Cats are back in action Thursday at the annual New Boston Gunslingers Classic.  They open with a 2 p.m. tipoff vs. Idabel, OK.

Paris won Tuesday’s JV match at MP, 53-37.

December 9, 2015

Big Second Quarter Dooms Ladycats

Emory Rains used a 22-8 second quarter outburst to spoil the return of Paris Ladycat head coach Deanne Dial, 62-45, Tuesday night.  Dial coached at Rains before moving on to the Paris job this season.

Ladycat freshman Kiaunsha Jackson scored a game-high 16 points, while junior Dextiny Patrick also hit double figures with 11.  Paris, now 4-12, is off until next Tuesday when the Ladycats travel to Princeton.

December 5, 2015

Cats Grab Tournament Hardware, Eye More

Trophy Haul: (from left) Jared Embry MVP, Jordan Embry Team Championship, Josh Robinson All-Tournament

The Paris Wildcats returned to Van High School to defend their DQ Invitational tournament title, and in the process they sent a clear message to potential regional playoff opponents:

“Catch us if you can.”

The 9th-ranked Cats destroyed the 12-team field at Van, finishing with a 5-0 mark with winning margins of 40, 55, 28, 24, and 56 points.  By the way, the 56-pointer was in Saturday’s championship finale, a 95-39 blowout over Athens.

Paris began tournament play with an 81-41 “nail-biter” over those same Hornets during Thursday’s pool play.  So what do you say if you’re the Athens coach having to face the Cats in a rematch just two days later?

Whatever it was, it wasn’t nearly enough.  Paris broke away from a 2-2 tie to lead, 25-3, after the first period, and was on top, 35-3, with 5:47 left before halftime following a dunk by 6-6 senior Jordan Embry.

The Cats led, 35-5, when Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed pulled four of his starters (he has only four bench players) with 4:47 remaining in the second period.  With the first unit on the bench, Athens was able to pull within 43-15 at halftime.

Still, the Wildcat onslaught continued in the second half as the lead continually swelled to the ultimate zenith of 56 points.

Jared Embry, the 6-5 senior twin, scored his tournament average of 22 points to capture the tournament MVP trophy.  Sophomore Josh Robinson scored 19 and was named to the all-tournament team.  Junior Jalon Pipkins scored 15, senior Clint Franklin 13, Jordan Embry 9, junior Sam Hawkes 7, senior Jalen Wallace 6, and seniors Tavon Lawrence and Ty Clemmons 2 each.

Paris, the favorite to win District 15-4A, finds itself in the same regional quarterfinal bracket with teams from districts 13, 14, 15, and 16.  Along the way to the Van championship, the Cats clobbered District 13 favorite Crandall (74-46) and 14 favorite Brownsboro (66-42).  District 16 favorite Gilmer was scheduled to appear at the Van tournament, but had to drop out because the school is still playing football.

Earlier in the day, in a semifinal match which essentially was for the tournament title, the Cats used a 29-4 run to finally put away the pesky Brownsboro Bears.  It was the feature pairing of the tournament, matching the two Region 2 semifinal losers from last season.

Two teams from Districts 13-14-15-16 will again punch tickets to the regional tournament in Commerce.  Based on their early season showing and barring a major collapse or bad fortune, Paris appears to be a solid early pick.  Brownsboro (5-2) also has hopes of returning to Commerce, and the Bears held a brief 9-8 lead over Paris before a Pipkins 3-pointer put Paris in front for good.

Paris led, 17-9, after one quarter and held a 35-20 halftime edge.  The Cats extended the gap to 37-20 to start the third quarter before Brownsboro disrupted the Paris momentum with a full-court press and trimmed to lead to 8, 39-31, on a Tamrick Pace 3-point play midway through the period.

Paris regrouped, however, as back-to-back 3’s from Pipkins and Wallace, followed by a Jared Embry fast-break bucket and foul shot put the Cats back in control, 48-31.  Paris continued the blitz into the fourth quarter, and by the time Steed emptied his bench, the scoreboard read Paris, 64-35, with 3 minutes left in the game.

Jared Embry topped all scorers with 25, including 10 in the final quarter.  Pipkins was the only other Wildcat in double figures with 15, while Jalen Wallace had 9, Robinson 8, and Jordan Embry 7.  Paris knocked down eight 3-pointers in the game, but only had one dunk on a breakaway by Jared in the fourth quarter.

Pace led the Bears with 17 points.

Paris, now 6-0 for the season, is back on the road Tuesday with a challenging date at Class 5A Mount Pleasant, then the Cats head east next weekend to play in the New Boston Gunslingers Classic, where they also return as tournament champs.

Earlier games in the tournament:

  • Paris 74, Crandall 46.  By the time most of the Wildcat starters had left the court for a seat on the bench, Paris already owned a 63-33 lead after three quarters.  The win to begin bracket play on Friday moved Paris into Saturday’s semifinals.  The Pirates focused on shutting down the Embry twins in the paint, which left sophomore guard Josh Robinson free to nail down five 3’s and score 35 points in the game.  Jared Embry managed 13, Pipkins 11, and Jordan Embry 9.
  • Paris 83, Malakoff 28.  The Class 3A Tigers posed no threat as Paris closed out pool play with their second win on Thursday.  Jared Embry led the way with 23, Wallace added 13, Robinson 12, Pipkins 10, and Jordan Embry 9.  Reserves Lawrence and Hawkes each scored 7.
  • Paris 81, Athens 41.  The Cats opened tournament play on Thursday with a 40-point rout over the Hornets as Jared Embry posted a rare triple double with 27 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists.  Other Cats in double figures scoring were Pipkins 16, Robinson 15, and Jordan Embry 13.

December 1, 2015

Ladycats Can't Maintain Early Pace

Raven Jordan finds Dextiny Patrick cutting to the basket for a layup off an inbounds.

Despite a teasingly torrid start, the Paris Ladycats fell back into some familiar inconsistent ways that allowed the Mount Vernon Lady Tigers to overcome a 12-point deficit to post a 56-45 win Tuesday night in the Wildcat Gym.

The loss dropped Paris to 2-8 on the season as the Ladycats continue to search for the right chemistry under new head coach Deanne Dial.  The Ladycats’ next action will be in the Royse City Tournament which gets underway on Thursday.

It looked like Paris had a breakthrough in the form of a 19-7 lead after an opening quarter which saw the Ladycats put it all together: Ball handling, rebounding, defense, and shooting.  Paris knocked down four 3-pointers in the frame, including a pair by junior Desha Runnels.

Unfortunately, except for a couple of spurts, the Ladycats were held to an anemic 26-point output over the remaining 24 minutes.  Meanwhile MV, behind sophomore forward Alissa Hill’s 23 points, asserted control in the paint and forced Paris into a string of turnovers and missed shots.

The Lady Tigers (4-1) went on a 14-1 run to take a 21-20 lead midway through the second period.  A pair of Raven Jordan free throws reclaimed the lead for Paris, 22-21, and the Ladycats ended the half with a Serenity Sanders fast-break bucket followed by a midcourt steal and layup to send Paris into halftime leading, 26-23.

A cold start to the second half by Paris enabled MV to take the lead for good on a 3-pointer, 29-27, with 4:51 left in the third quarter.  A floater by Jordan with 3:37 left in the period closed the Ladycats within 29-31, but both Paris posts, junior Dextiny Patrick and freshman Kiaunsha Jackson, picked up their fourth personal fouls. 

The Lady Tigers took advantage of the situation and soon had a commanding 38-29 advantage as the fourth quarter began.  The Ladycats responded, however, with a Zakayla Ashley layup and Sanders 3-pointer to pull within 34-38.  A couple of Patrick layups, including one off an inbounds assist from Jordan, and a free throw by Drea Jenkins pared the deficit to 39-41.

But that was as close as Paris would come.  The Lady Tigers finished the final four minutes on a 15-6 tear to ice the win.

Patrick topped the Paris ledger with 11 points, while Sanders and Jordan each scored 10.  Runnels had 6.

The Paris JV lost another close heartbreaker in the preliminary game, 49-47, to MV.  Cap Johnson scored 17 and Taylor Looney had 10.

November 25, 2015

'J Squad' Makes Impressive Debut, 109-32

Jared Embry slams down 2 of his game-high 30 points in Paris’ 109-32 season-opening win over Greenville

Tuesday, Nov. 22, marked the official debut of the 2015-16 Paris Wildcats basketball team, the state’s No. 9-ranked Class 4A squad which features an impressive starting lineup of fast, lean, athletic players whose first names all begin with the letter “J”.  Each of the five starters scored in double figures as the Cats demolished the Class 5A Greenville Lions, 109-32, in the Wildcat Gym.

How impressive a debut was it?  Consider that Lions head coach Marcus Smith, who tries to play an up-tempo and attacking style on the court, ordered his team into a 4-corner stall during the final two minutes of play, protecting a 77-point deficit.  No Más.  It’s what future opponents may be saying with regularity if Tuesday’s season-opener is indicative of the Cats’ explosive potential.

Tuesday’s game was no contest from the opening tip.  Paris cruised to an 11-0 start, held a 33-8 lead after one quarter, was in control, 58-16, at halftime, and enjoyed an 89-32 advantage heading into the final period.  Clint Franklin’s 3-pointer officially dented triple digits on the scoreboard, 101-32, with still 4:10 left on the clock.

It could have been worse.  Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed pulled all but one of his starters during the final minute of the third quarter to insert his four reserves off the bench.  The second unit more than held its own against the Lions (0-3 and previous victims of blowout losses to Prosper by 49 points and West Mesquite by 31).

So just who are these 5 “J’s” and what makes them so impressive?  Start with the senior Embry twins: 6-6 Jordan, who scored 18 points Tuesday and knocked down 4 of the Cats rim-jarring 7 dunks on the night.  His “little” brother, 6-5 Jared, led the way with 30 points, including 24 in the first half.  Then there’s 6-3 junior wing Jalon Pipkins, who poured in 15 points, 6-3 sophomore guard Josh Robinson, who netted 17 and produced the first dunk of the evening.  Finish with 5-10 senior point guard Jalen Wallace, who put on a 3-point shooting clinic to close with 14.

Each of the starting five has outstanding range beyond the 3-point shooting arc and can attack the paint with regularity.  They’re agile around the basket, extremely quick, and are outstanding, unselfish passers.

If you’d like to see for yourself, prepare to show some patience or hop in your car and punch in some navigation coordinates because they don’t return home until Dec. 18 when they host Hugo.  Their next outing will be the Van DQ Invitational, Dec. 3-5, where they’re the defending tournamernt champions and will start with pool play pairings vs. Malakoff and Athens.

Paris and Greenville split sub-varsity games.  The Lion freshmen won, 48-36.  Jaylen Henderson and Cameron Jones led Paris with 8 points each.  The Wildcat JV, coming off a championship run at the North Lamar Tournament, won, 62-54.  Kelo Scott scored 16, Jordan Mitchell 11, and Xavious Young and Daz Mason 10 each.

Jalon Pipkins jams the 7th and final dunk of the evening

November 25, 2015

Basketball Ladycats Continue Early Woes

The early-season struggles continued for the Paris Ladycats basketball team Tuesday night in a 63-33 loss to Sulphur Springs in the Wildcat Gym.

Paris, now 2-7 for the year, saw SSHS sprint out to a 9-0 start before rallying behind full-court pressure to close to within 9-11.  It was as competitive as the game would become, however, as the vistors took a 30-23 lead into the locker room before outscoring Paris, 33-10, in the second half.

One night after surpassing the 50-point barrier for the first time this season in notching just their second win, a 54-43 decision at Chisum, the Ladycats were plagued by turnovers on the offensive end and dominated in the paint on the defensive end.  After a short break for Thanksgiving, Paris returns to the Wildcat Gym next Tuesday, Dec. 1, to host Mount Vernon.

Sophomore point guard Serenity Sanders topped Paris scoring with 11 points, while senior guard Raven Jordan added 7.  Sanders scored 14 in the win over Chisum on Monday.  Senior Tarsha’la Fisher added 9 and had a couple of key steals late in the game after Chisum had trimmed the lead to 8.

Paris went 1-5 at the Saltillo Tournament over the weekend, including a 58-45 loss to Chisum when the Ladycats surrended a 3-point lead in the fourth quarter.

In sub-varsity action Tuesday, SSHS swept both preliminary games.  The SSHS 9th grade won, 23-14, despite 9 points from Destinae Brown.  The SSHS JV squad pulled out a late, 33-32 win.  Taylor Looney and Alexis Runnells each scored 8 for Paris.

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Happening Now at PHS
Student of the Year

Each month Paris High staff recognizes a student who goes above and beyond the norm of student expectations to help make the school a better place for learning.  At the end of the year, the name of one of the monthly winners is drawn to receive a $100 Applebee’s gift card.  The 2017-18 winner is Michael Godwin.  See monthly winners on our Students of the Month page.

New Directors Named

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

PHS Athletic Awards

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

Events on the Cat Horizon

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

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