Summer Office Hours
The PHS office will be open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. during summer. Limited services will be available so visitors are advised to call ahead (903-737-7400).
Final Report Cards
Final academic reports for students in grades 9-11 have been mailed home. Transcripts for seniors have been mailed to designated colleges. Additional requests for transcripts must be made in writing and signed by the graduate.
Students have an opportunity to improve their STAAR test scores during the next round of STAAR retesting June 25-28.
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There’s something about this year’s Liberty-Eylau Leopards that brings out the best in the Paris Wildcats’ offense. The same Cat attack that could only convert 15% of their shots 10 days ago in an embarrassing 31-22 loss at home to North Lamar managed a 51% showing from the field (29 of 57 shooting) coupled with 81% free throw rate (17 of 21) to hold off the Leopards on their Senior Night Friday at the Rader Dome, 75-71.
In other district action Friday, Pleasant Grove edged North Lamar, 46-43, and Pittsburg beat Atlanta, 60-53. PG (7-2) wrapped up the district’s No. 1 seed with the win, while Paris (6-3) takes sole possession of second place. NL (5-4) falls to third, while L-E and Pitt are tied for fourth with 4-5 marks.
Paris hosts Pitt Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym to close out the regular season, while NL travels to L-E and PG is at Atlanta. The Cats will be the district’s No. 2 playoff seed unless they lose to Pitt and NL beats L-E. Under that scenario, Paris and NL would meet to determine the second and third playoff spots.
Sophomore post Trevon Dennis scores in the paint in earlier game vs. Pleasant Grove (photo by Joe Watson)
All five Paris starters scored in double figures Friday as the Cats managed their second highest offensive output of their 17-13 season. Their best team point showing came in a 78-57 rout of the Leopards on Jan. 23 in the Wildcat Gym when Paris shot a sizzling 60% from the field.
Sophomore 6-4 post Trevon Dennis took advantage of an undersized Leopard frontcourt to score 23 points and grab 8 rebounds to lead Paris. Sophomore Trea Johnson added 15, including a perfect 7 of 7 from the foul line. Senior Jordan Mitchell scored 11, while sophomore Jameon Mitchell and junior Cameron Jones had 10 each.
Decorian Phillips scored a game-high 27 points to top the Leopards, who drained seven 3-pointers (compared to none for Paris).
The Leopards (11-12) started cold from the field as Paris took a 14-6 first quarter lead and extended the margin to 20-6 with 6:04 left in the second quarter. L-E closed the gap to 26-23 at halftime and briefly took a pair of one-point leads in the third quarter.
However, the Cats broke away from a 36-all tie to close the third quarter on an 18-7 run to open up a 54-43 lead heading into the final period. L-E managed to shave the Cats’ lead to a single point, 71-70, with 1:54 remaining before Paris protected the lead in the closing minutes.
Paris swept the sub-varsity games. The Cats JV won, 50-47, and the freshmen won, 71-28.
The Paris Ladycats posted their 10th shutout of the season to avenge one of their rare losses as they won their fifth straight match Thursday, 2-0, at Athens.
Sunny Scruggs goes up for a header in recent match vs. Celina (photo by Joe Watson)
Paris (10-4-1), fell by the same score to Athens in the championship final of the R.K. Hall & Kings Classic tournament in Paris four weeks ago. The Ladycats were missing three starters to injuries in that earlier matchup.
A pair of senior midfielders, Sunny Scruggs and Zanesha Dangerfield, with an assist from senior Katy Hall, provided the only offense the Ladycats would need as sophomore goalie Grace Woodby kept a tight lid on the Paris goal.
The Ladycats wrap up pre-district play Tuesday with a trip to Pleasant Grove. They open District 11-4A competition next Friday, Feb. 16, by hosting North Lamar at Wildcat Stadium.
Nothing comes easy for the Paris Wildcats these dog days of the District 14-4A basketball stretch drive.
Hosting the 1-7 Atlanta Rabbits Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym, the Cats needed a late infusion of football muscle off the bench in the form of 6-7 offensive tackle Ashton Savage and 6-2 linebacker Perry Franklin to create some much-needed separation on the way to a 63-50 win.
Ashton Savage (shown in photo by Joe Watson from an earlier game) provided a big spark off the bench
Paris thus avoided the upset bug that beset league-leading Pleasant Grove, a 67-63 loser to Liberty-Eylau, and second-place North Lamar, which fell to Pittsburg, 53-46. With two games left in the regular season, PG (6-2) has a one-game lead over Paris and NL (both at 5-3), while L-E sits at 4-4 and Pitt at 3-7.
Both Paris and North Lamar travel to Texarkana Friday to face L-E and PG, respectively. The Cats close out district on Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym vs. Pitt.
Paris had trouble pulling away from the young Rabbs, who included impressive string-bean freshman post Daimion Collins. The game had 8 lead changes and 3 ties in the first half, which ended with a 29-29 halftime stalemate.
“They could out-jump us at every position,” Steed said. “What I couldn’t believe was how well they hit their 3’s, and those were shots that we were contesting.”
With Atlanta hammering Paris on the boards and showing an unexpected outside shooting touch, Cats head coach Billy Mack Steed brought Savage and Franklin along with sophomore Gavyn Hollje off the bench with his team trailing, 34-32, midway through the third period.
Savage produced the last tie of the game, 34-34, on a spin move in the paint, Hollje connected from the corner for the Cats’ only 3-pointer of the night, and Paris never trailed the remainder of the evening.
Savage scored two more buckets down low, and Franklin cleaned up with a pair of offensive putbacks to extend the lead to 49-40 before the trio turned the game back over to the starters.
A fast-break bucket by Trevon Dennis off a Cameron Jones feed, two free throws by Jones, and a Trea Johnson breakaway 3-point play off a Jordan Mitchell assist had the game on ice with Paris holding a 56-42 advantage with 2:12 left.
Eight Wildcats scored, topped by Jordan Mitchell’s 11, Jameon Mitchell 10, Jones 9, Dennis 7, Savage, Franklin, and Johnson 6 apiece, and Hollje 3. Charlie Powell led Atlanta with 10.
Paris also won the JV game, 56-37. Do’Rian Williams topped the Cats with 11. There was no freshman game.
It didn’t take long to conduct Senior Night ceremonies Tuesday prior to the Paris Ladycats’ season finale in the Wildcat Gym. The short list included student athletic trainer Chandi Helberg and senior guard Serenity Sanders (shown below in photo by Joe Watson).
Which is why Paris coach Deanne Dial has a right to be optimistic about seasons to come after her young squad took control of the game after halftime en route to a 63-50 win over the playoff-bound Atlanta Lady Rabbs. The program has shown steady improvement during Dial’s tenure at the school, from a 4-28 start in 2016 to 9-22 mark in 2017, and 14-18 season record for 2018.
To be sure, the game had no significance on District 14-4A standings. Atlanta was already locked in to the No. 3 seed and finishes with a 5-5 record with the loss. Paris, meanwhile, came into the game eliminated from postseason play, but the win gives the Ladycats a 3-7 district finish.
Liberty-Eylau (9-1) edged Pleasant Grove (8-2) Tuesday to wrap up the district title, while North Lamar (4-6) beat Pittsburg (1-9) and advances to the playoffs as the No. 4 seed.
Sanders, a 4-year varsity starter at point guard, scored 19 points and dished out 3 assists in her PHS swan song. Junior Peaches Jackson scored a team-high 23, including 12 in the third period when the Ladycats broke from a 27-all tie to take a double-digit lead, 47-36, heading into the fourth quarter.
The Ladycats took advantage of full-court defensive pressure to create turnovers and transition baskets. They stretched the lead to as many as 17 points, 61-44, late in the game.
Freshman Quiniya Savage was the only other Ladycat in double figures with 13. Shereonia Smith of Atlanta took game-high honors with 26.
The Ladycats also won the JV game, 37-35, with Love Thompson scoring 12.
The Paris Wildcats overcame an 0-1 halftime deficit with a trio of quick offensive strikes in the second half to defeat Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill, 3-1, Monday at Wildcat Stadium.
The Red Devils had taken a 1-0 lead just 2:45 before halftime on a 25-yard strike when an attacker quickly spun and fired on goal.
“We came out flat in the first half,” Paris coach Jeremy Beshirs said, “but we really picked up the intensity after halftime.”
Just 6 minutes into the second half the Cats moved the attack from left to right where midfielder Kyler Beshirs made a short run before his lead cross into the middle found freshman Jesus Rangel whose shot from 11 yards out easily beat the Red Devil goalie.
Jose Araujo picked up the eventual game-winner with 25:51 to play when he flicked the ball towards the net from 10 yards out. The ball landed at the goalie’s feet and bounced over his head and he wasn’t able to retrieve the rebound before it crossed the goalline.
Araujo and Rangel teammed up for an insurance goal in the final minute. Araujo gained possession in the far left corner and sent a cross toward the goal where a feet-first slide by Rangel resulted in the freshman’s second goal of the night and third in the last two matches.
The schools played the JV match to a 1-1 draw.
Paris, now 8-5-2, has now completed the pre-district portion of its schedule and is idle until Friday, Feb. 16, when the Wildcats open district at North Lamar.
The Paris Wildcats tennis team took first place in four varsity and one JV event at the opening tournament of the 2018 season in Texarkana. Paris High will host a JV tournament Thursday and varsity tournament Friday on the PHS courts.
27 PHS choir students won medals at the recent UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest
by JAN BLIZE
PHS Choir Director
Friday, Feb. 2, proved to be a very successful day for 34 Paris High choir students. Seven earned an “excellent” rating for their solo performance at UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest at Trinity Baptist Church in Mt. Pleasant, and the remaining 27 students earned 6 bronze medals (entry level); 4 silver medals (intermediate level); and 17 gold medals (advanced level) for “superior” ratings on their vocal solos.
Junior Rhea Tabora earned an additional gold medal for her “superior” piano solo. Rhea, along with the other 16 students whose names appear in bold print, qualified to advance to UIL State S&E Contest in Pflugerville on Memorial Day weekend.
Medal winners pictured above include (front row, from left): Jessica Ibarra, Averi McFadden, Christiana Swindle, Skyler Bryan, Ashjwanae Mickens, Ben Ruthart, Jared Posey, Molly Law, Ariana Epperson, Yessica Ramirez, Nicholas Reed, Sarah Starkey, Brian Wright, T.J. Spence, Elizabeth Frazier; (back row): Quin Dangerfield, Jake Freelen, Nick Leija II, Rhea Tabora, Bella Garrard, Javian Dabbs, Abagail Lawson, Morgan Dudley-Pullins, Rowan Burns, Angela Ramirez, Kayanna Washington, and Daniela Ortega-Luna.
PHS choir students were prepped and accompanied by accompanist Dottie Billman, PJH Choir Director/PHS Assistant Melody Logan, and PHS Choir Director Jan Blize.
Ms. Blize always tries to teach her students that our performances should entertain, educate, and/or inspire our audiences. It’s way too easy for students to lose that vision and get wrapped up in the rating when they are preparing a solo to be performed in front of one judge.
While medals earned at Friday’s contest are definitely a symbol of success, the “icing on the cake” was when we joined together for an impromptu 4-part a cappella rendition of “Happy Birthday” that we performed for a complete stranger at our lunch at Two Senoritas following our contest.
The recipient of our gift of song, known to us only as “Hollie,” was so moved by our performance that she gave us the remainder of her birthday cake. That’s what I like to call, “sweet success.”
The Paris girls powerlifting team won an invitational meet Saturday in Mount Pleasant while the Paris boys placed fourth in their division.
The Ladycats produced a pair of weight class winners with senior Anna Perez in the 123s and freshman Mi’Nea Williams in the 181s. Sophomore Keiotti Bray, who currently ranks fourth in the state in his weight class, won the 132s for the Wildcats.
Freshman Jesus Rangel heads in Cats’ final goal in 3-1 win over Pleasant Grove
Like many soccer coaches this time of the winter season, Paris boys coach Jeremy Beshirs is having to deal with a myriad of injuries and ailments. With a thin bench and missing five starters Friday, his Wildcats endured near-freezing temps at Wildcat Stadium to post a 3-1 win over Pleasant Grove.
“I’m proud of the way you guys hustled tonight,” he told his team afterwards. “If you out-hustle the other team, we’re going to win most of our games.”
After a scoreless first half, the Cats quickly found the net on a goal by Isaac Vasquez in the opening minute of the second half. PG tied the score just two minutes later off a deep throw-in that a Hawk forward was able to slip into a crowd of six Cat defenders and bounce into the goal with a header.
Junior Jose Araujo picked up the game-winner midway through the final period when junior midfielder Kyler Beshirs sent a thru ball to a streaking Araujo who beat the goalie on the short side with a strike from 20 yards out off a severe angle.
Freshman Jesus Rangel added an insurance goal in the final five minutes when he headed a bouncing free kick from 53 yards out by senior Montana Payne over the goalie’s saving reach (see above photo).
Paris moves to 7-5-2 with the win and returns to Wildcat Stadium Monday to host Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill.
Earlier Friday, the Wildcat JV won its match over PG, 2-0.
The Paris High basketball teams returned home from Friday’s District 14-4A games facing a pair of stark realities. The Ladycats’ 61-37 loss to defending district champion Pleasant Grove officially eliminates the Paris girls from the playoffs for the third straight season. The Wildcats’ 56-48 loss to PG means a fourth straight district boys title is probably not in the cards for 2018.
Instead, the Paris boys, now in third place at 4-3 behind PG (6-1) and North Lamar (5-2) are locked in a battle for a playoff spot with key confrontations against Liberty-Eylau (3-4), Pittsburg (2-5), and Atlanta (1-6) still ahead.
Atlanta visits the Wildcat Gym on Friday. JV action starts at 4:30 p.m. with varsity girls at 6 and varsity boys at 7:30.
The Ladycats held an early 9-2 lead over the Lady Hawks, who exploded on a 19-2 run that started in the first quarter and ended midway through the second period. PG was up, 32-21, at the half, and started the third quarter on a 15-0 run to put the game away.
Paris (13-18 overall) had two players in double figures: Peaches Jackson with 13 and Carol Croom 11. PG (19-7) was led by Sha’Nequa Henry with 18, Madeline Haak 15, and Ashanti Levingston 13.
PG and Liberty-Eylau are tied atop district girls standings at 8-1 and meet Tuesday to settle the top two spots. Atlanta (5-4) has clinched third place, and NL (3-6) will finish fourth, while Paris (2-7) is fifth and Pittsburg (1-8) sixth.
The miserable shooting night that the Paris boys had Tuesday in a 31-22 loss to NL carried over into the first period Friday at PG. The Cats trailed, 15-6, after a first quarter that saw Trae Johnson (shown right in picture by Joe Watson) score the only Paris field goal.
The Hawks (19-5 overall) took a 32-17 lead into halftime, but Paris (15-13) went on a 15-0 run in the third quarter to take a brief, 38-36 lead before a Layton Jackson 3-pointer ended the frame and sent the Hawks back ahead, 39-38.
Consecutive 3’s by Luke Harmon and Kameron Woods started the fourth and extinguished the Paris rally.
Johnson had a double-double for Paris with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Jordan Mitchell scored 10, Perry Franklin 8, and Trevon Dennis 7. Woods took game-high honors with 23 and Jackson scored 12 for PG.
Wierd cosmic rays couldn’t stop freshman Zach Jackson with this slam dunk on an alley-oop feed from Bubba Gray (3)
An astrophysicist hoping to study the lunar effects of a super blue blood moon on high school sports needs to get his/her hands on a copy of Tuesday’s Paris-North Lamar varsity boys basketball game. ASAP, before an extremely frustrated veteran coach manages to destroy all videotaped evidence of the game’s existence.
The rare celestial convergence that peaked early Wednesday morning with a lunar eclipse was a once-in-a-century sighting. The 31-22 win by North Lamar over the Paris Wildcats in the Wildcat Gym was an equally rare sighting of offensive malfunction by the host team.
“Never,” Paris coach Billy Mack Steed answered when asked the last time one of his teams scored so few points. “I’ve had teams go an entire quarter without scoring, and we’ve played teams who held the ball against us to keep the scoring down, but I’ve never seen that.”
So how bad was it?
The District 14-4A game was scoreless until 5:20 remained in the opening period when a 3-pointer gave North Lamar a lead it never surrendered. By the end of the first quarter the Panthers were up, 9-0. The Cats finally dented the scoreboard on a free throw with 5:41 left before halftime. Trea Johnson’s 3-pointer was the only field goal scored by Paris in an 18-6 half.
The Panthers extended the lead to 28-12 by the end of the third quarter. The Cats cut the deficit to the final 31-22 with 2 minutes remaining in the contest, but there would be no last-minute dramatic comeback. Both teams went scoreless the rest of the way.
For the night, Paris could make just 8 of their 55 field goal attempts (15%), including 22 missed layups or tip-ins.
“Junior high teams don’t miss that many layups,” said Steed, who watched his team crash the boards for 21 offensive rebounds only to leave another possession on empty.
Just one week ago, Paris shot a sizzling 60% from the field to rout Liberty-Eylau on the same home court. That marksmanship was nowhere in sight Tuesday as ball after ball after ball refused to enter the cylinder.
Cosmic interference was the only logical explanation.
The Panthers get the credit for supplying enough offense to get the win that ties them with Paris for second in district standings with 4-2 records, but NL didn’t have a particularly torrid shooting night. Jay Walters was the game’s only double-digit scorer with 14 while Alec Asay had 9. The Panthers were just 5 of 14 at the foul line (36%).
It was the first win by NL since 2014 over Paris, whose leading scorer was Johnson with just 5 points.
The weird moon extended its effect at other district sites as well. League-leading Pleasant Grove (5-1) received its first loss at the hands of 2-4 Pittsburg, 64-61, while Atlanta (1-5) broke a 35-game district losing streak with a 54-53 upset over L-E (2-4).
Paris must quickly try to exorcise the shooting demons before traveling to PG Friday with a chance to keep its hopes alive for a 4-time district title repeat.
Paris swept both sub-varsity games. The freshmen improved to 17-1 with a 57-25 rout that included a dunk by Zack Jackson off an alley-oop feed from Bubba Gray (see picture above). Gray and Jermayn Williams scored 12 each, while Jackson and Troy Jones had 11 apiece.
The Cats JV won, 58-41. TJ Williams led the way with 17 and Buddy Dillard added 11.
Senior Estephany Balderas scored her first goal since the opening week of the season and the Paris Ladycats’ defense posted a ninth shutout to defeat Texas High, 1-0, Tuesday night in soccer at Wildcat Stadium.
The Ladycats have managed to roll up a 9-4-1 overall record despite missing the veteran midfielder with a hamstring injury sustained at the Kennedale Tournament. Balderas is working back into form to give coach Matt Dickinson more offensive options.
The Paris girls travel to Pleasant Grove Friday for their next pre-district action.
The boys soccer team battled Marshall to a scoreless draw Tuesday on the road. The Wildcats (6-5-2) host PG Friday at Wildcat Stadium.
Peaches Jackson is triple-teammed as she tries to get off a game-tying shot
North Lamar completed a fourth season of district mastery over the Paris Ladycats in girls basketball Monday with a 46-40 win in the Wildcat Gym that virtually locks up the fourth and final playoff District 14-4A berth for the Pantherettes.
With two games left in the regular season NL (3-5) holds a 1-game lead over Paris (2-6). While the Ladycats aren’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, the loss dramatically narrows their window to the postseason. Paris has not won a district basketball game against NL since 2014.
The game was close throughout, with the Pantherettes holding a 29-27 edge heading into the fourth quarter. NL opened up a 39-28 lead by outscoring Paris, 10-1, to start the period. The Pantherettes hit their high-water mark of 12 points, 42-30, following a Bryce Petkus 3-point play.
The Ladycats had success with their full-court pressure early in the game, but the Pantherettes seemed to solve the press until the final four minutes when Paris exploded with a 10-0 spurt off a series of NL backcourt turnovers.
With the lead down to 42-40, the Ladycats had all the momentum when NL post Summer Andrews fouled out and sent Peaches Jackson to the foul line. Jackson missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but another NL turnover gave Paris a final opportunity to tie the game coming out of a timeout with 42.8 seconds left.
The Ladycats fed the ball to Jackson down low (see photo above), but she was triple-teammed and her shot rimmed out. Carol Croom grabbed the backside rebound but missed the putback.
A pair of free throws by Petkus with 11.5 left extended the lead to 44-40. After Paris missed a hurried 3-pointer, the Pantherettes added two more free throws to complete the victory.
McKayla Figueroa, who sparked the second-half charge for the Pantherettes, scored 14, while Petkus had 11, Emma Stewart 9, and Andrews 8. While NL held Jackson to 8 points, a pair of Ladycat freshmen picked up the scoring slack. Quiniya Savage had 12 and Bailee Brown 8.
NL won the JV game, 28-16. Tiy McGee led Paris with 8, while Ashlyn Reavis had 10 for NL.
Paris travels to district defending champion Pleasant Grove Friday before closing out district play next Tuesday, Feb. 6, vs. Atlanta in the Wildcat Gym.
They certainty weren’t artistic things of beauty, but the Paris Ladycats and Wildcats basketball teams left Pittsburg Friday with a pair of victories that kept their hopes intact for achieving season goals.
The Ladycats routed the Lady Pirates, 70-49, to hold onto their goal of returning to postseason action after a two-year absence from the playoffs. The Paris girls, 13-16 overall, host North Lamar Monday in the Wildcat Gym. The schools’ girls teams are tied for District 14-4A’s fourth and final playoff berth with 2-5 records.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, remain a game back of district boys leader Pleasant Grove following their gritty, 53-46 win over the Pirates. The Paris boys, 15-11 overall and 4-1 in district, are seeking their fourth straight district title. A win Tuesday at home vs. NL would set up a district championship rematch next Friday, Feb. 2, at PG.
The Lady Pirates could never solve the Ladycats’ full-court pressure, which lifted Paris to a 27-10 lead after the first quarter. However, that opening period saw 19 total fouls called to set an ugly, uneven pace that was maintained to the final whistle. Ultimately, 5 players fouled out.
Paris held a 45-25 halftime lead before throttling back the defense in the second half. The Ladycats were able to keep a steady 20-point edge most of the way.
With three games remaining in the girls district schedule, Pleasant Grove and Liberty-Eylau remain tied at the top with 6-1 records, while Atlanta is solidly in third at 4-3. North Lamar and Paris are tied for fourth at 2-5 but the Pantherettes hold the series advantage after defeating the Ladycats two weeks ago. Pitt sits at 1-6.
The Wildcats came into Friday’s game off a 60% shooting performance from the field in a win Tuesday over L-E, but they struggled connecting on their shots in the dimly-lit, outdated Pirate Gym. A new gymnasium is currently under construction and may be ready by next season.
A corner 3 by sophomore Gavyn Hollje closed out the first quarter to put Paris up, 12-7, but the second quarter saw 4 lead changes. Paris led, 22-20, at halftime, but the Pirates scored the first bucket of the third quarter to create a 22-all tie.
A steal and 3-point play by sophomore Trea Johnson gave the Cats the lead for good, 25-22. Paris worked the offense to score on three cuts to the basket by sophomore Jameon Mitchell to end the third quarter on a 9-3 run and provide some separation at 37-30.
Another sophomore, 6-4 post Trevon Dennis, hit a corner 3 and another steal and fast break layup by Johnson started the fourth quarter and stretched the lead to double digits, 42-30. Senior Jordan Mitchell, the team’s leading scorer for the season, came alive down the stretch to score 11 of his team-high 16 points.
Other Paris scoring saw Jameon Mitchell finish with 11, Johnson 9, Cameon Jones 7, Dennis 5, Hollje 3, and Ashton Savage 2. Ty Hickman led Pitt with 15 and Jaylon Jimmerson added 14.
At the midpoint of the boys district chase, PG is still unbeaten at 5-0, Paris 4-1, NL 3-2, L-E 2-3, Pitt 1-4, and Atlanta 0-5.
Paris won both JV games as well as the boys freshmen game at Pittsburg.
Paris Ladycats defenders (from left) Brylei Moore, Riley Bills, Deagan Dingman, Sunny Scruggs, Sarah Bloodworth, and goalie Grace Woodby head to work on the team’s 8th shutout of the season (photo by Joe Watson)
Senior Katy Hall picked up her 7th goal over the past 5 matches and the Paris Ladycats posted their 8th shutout of the season Friday in a 2-0 win over Celina at Wildcat Stadium.
Senior Laney Madding scored the insurance goal Friday, and senior Deagan Dingman was credited with an assist for Paris (8-4-1) which returns to Wildcat Stadium Tuesday to host Texas High in a pair of non-district matches starting at 5 p.m.
Jordan Mitchell flies to the basket for 2 of his career-high 33 points
Paris Wildcats head coach Billy Mack Steed had a premonition that Tuesday’s District 14-4A game might serve as a platform for a breakout performance by his team’s offense. He was right.
The Cats made a sensational 60% of their shots from the field to surpass their previous best offensive showing by 10 points in a 78-57 win over the Liberty-Eylau Leopards in the Wildcat Gym. They were fueled by a career-best 33 points from senior Jordan Mitchell.
“We executed our offense extremely well,” Steed said, “and they (Leopards) weren’t able to cover the backside.”
The Leopards were able to stay in step with the Cats though the midpoint of the second quarter, mainly by the long-range shooting of guards Decorian Phillips (21 points) and Isaiah Cross (15). For the game, L-E knocked down 11 from beyond the 3-point arc.
However, a personal 8-0 run by Mitchell on a drive, 3-pointer, and conventional 3-point play erased a 20-22 deficit and gave the Cats a 28-22 lead they would never relinquish. By that juncture, Mitchell already had amassed 20 of Paris’ 28 points.
Paris held a 36-30 halftime lead, but L-E would get as close as 4 points, 46-42, before the Cats ended the third quarter on a 10-1 tear to make it a 56-43 game heading into the final period. Paris maintained double-digit distance the rest of the way, and sophomore Trevon Dennis provided the exclamation point with a breakaway dunk with a minute left on the scoreboard (see photo left). Dennis finished with 16 points and fellow sophomore Trea Johnson added 14.
The schools split sub-varsity games. The L-E JV won, 55-54, on a free throw with time expired. The Paris freshmen ran their record to 15-1 with a 69-30 rout. KD Washington scored 16, Troy Jones 15, and Tarrance Gardner 11.
The win gives Paris a 14-11 season record and solidifies their second-place district hold at 3-1. L-E falls to 2-2 in district. In other district scores Tuesday, Pleasant Grove (4-0) was able to subdue a pesky North Lamar (2-2), 54-49, while Pittsburg (1-3) defeated Atlanta (0-4), 80-53.
The Cats now face a pivotal 3-game stretch starting with a trip Friday to play a dangerous Pitt team. They host NL Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym then travel to Texarkana on Feb. 2 to face PG with a probable district championship on the line.
The Paris Ladycats knew they were in for a rough evening Tuesday when 3 of their 4 top scorers picked up their third personal fouls and had to retreat to the bench with 3 minutes remaining in the opening period.
By the end of the game, two more teammates had joined them on the bench, the victim of 30 fouls called on the Ladycats, and the Wildcat Gym fans watched as the Liberty-Eylau Lady Leopards played out a 5 on 3 advantage in the closing minutes of a 63-47 District 14-4A girls basketball game.
The loss drops Paris to 1-5 and tied for last with Pittsburg. Previously unbeaten Pleasant Grove (5-1) was upset by North Lamar (2-4) Tuesday, 48-45, while Atlanta (4-2) routed Pitt, 88-52.
The Ladycats now face a pair of “must-win” games if they are to extend the regular season to grab a playoff berth. They travel to Pittsburg Friday and return to the Wildcat Gym on Monday to host North Lamar.
Paris held a 14-11 lead over L-E after one quarter, but the Leopards took advantage of the Ladycats’ foul issues to seize a 32-23 advantage at halftime. Leading Ladycat scorer Peaches Jackson picked up her third and fourth fouls and had to sit out the middle two periods.
By the time she re-entered the game in the fourth quarter, L-E was in cruise control at 56-37. Jackson then fouled out with a season-low 6 points. Freshman Quiniya Savage topped Paris scoring with 13, Serenity Sanders scored 12, and Carol Croom 10. Taylor Crabtree led L-E with 15.
The Lady Leopards won the JV game, 42-17. Tijamess McGee scored 7 for Paris.
The Paris Ladycats raised their season record to 7-4-2 following an 8-0 blowout win Tuesday at Pittsburg.
The Lady Pirates’ program is in its first season of existence. Paris defeated Pitt by that same 8-0 score two weeks ago at the R.K. Hall & Kings Classic tournament at Wildcat Stadium.
Freshman Sara Davidson led the scoring parade with a 3-goal hat trick. Senior Katy Hall and freshman Erika Garcia each scored twice, and senior Laney Madding had the other tally.
The Ladycats host Celina Friday at 5:30 p.m. in a varsity-only match.
The Paris Wildcats jumped out to a 37-18 halftime lead and cruised to a 59-41 final score, while the Paris Ladycats fell behind, 28-16, but surged within 2 points before falling, 55-52, Friday in their District 14-4A games at Atlanta.
Both basketball teams return to the Wildcat Gym Tuesday to continue district play by hosting Liberty-Eylau. Both JV teams tip off at 4:30 followed by girls varsity at 6 in the main gym and boys freshmen in the auxiliary gym. Boys varsity should start about 7:30 in the main gym.
At the midpoint of the girls district schedule, the Ladycats, 12-15 overall, find themselves tied for the fourth and final playoff spot with North Lamar and Pittsburg with identical 1-4 records. Pleasant Grove (5-0), L-E (4-1), and Atlanta (3-2) control the top three spots.
PG also leads the boys standings at 3-0. There’s a 3-way tie between Paris, North Lamar, and L-E for second at 2-1, while Pittsburg and Atlanta remain winless at 0-3.
Sophomores Trea Johnson and Trevon Dennis led the Wildcats in scoring vs. Atlanta with 14 and 13, respectively. Paris is 13-11 for the season.
Junior guard Carol Croom led the Ladycats in scoring with 19 points. Junior Peaches Jackson fouled out with 14 points, 11 rebounds, 6 steals, and 2 blocks.
The Ladycats and Wildcats faced some tough competition in their third and final tournaments of the young soccer season last weekend.
The Paris girls rallied from an 0-2 deficit in the second half to finish play at the Highway 5 Invitational with a 3-2 win over the Dallas HSAA Blue Angels. Earlier in the tournament co-hosted by Melissa and Anna, the Ladycats tied Bridgeport, 0-0, and beat Sunnyvale, 3-0, before losing to Argyle, 1-0.
Paris senior Sunny Scruggs started the late comeback against HSAA with her first goal as a Ladycat before senior Katy Hall got the tying and winning tallies. It was the second 2-goal match of the tournament for Hall, who also scored twice in the win over Sunnyvale.
“What a comeback for the girls,” Ladycats head coach Matt Dickinson said. “I love the no-excuse attitude from this team.”
Freshman Erika Garcia picked up the other tally vs. Sunnyvale, and senior Laney Madding had an assist. The Ladycat defense, with sophomore Grace Woodby in goal, notched its sixth and seventh shutouts during the tournament.
Paris, now 6-4-2, is scheduled to continue pre-district play Tuesday at Pittsburg before returning to Wildcat Stadium Friday to host Celina.
The Wildcat boys, meanwhile, fall to 6-5-1. Their next action is scheduled for Jan. 30 at Marshall.
The Cats had a rough first day. They lost, 4-0, to Midlothian Heritage and by a 3-0 court to host Terrell.
They returned Friday to defeat Mineola, 4-2. Junior Jose Arraujo scored twice, while senior Cole Miller and junior JP Rojas scored the other goals. Junior Kyler Beshirs had an assist.
Miller had the lone goal for Paris in a 2-1 loss Saturday to Oak Cliff Life, a regional semifinalists last season. The game was headed for a 1-1 draw when Life scored the winner with 22 seconds left.
Pleasant Grove staged second-half comebacks to post a pair of District 14-4A basketball wins Wednesday over Paris in the Wildcat Gym.
Both Ladycat and Wildcat varsities shared common fates as the result of poor shooting and untimely turnovers after enjoying halftime leads. The Paris girls squandered a 16-point halftime lead on the defending district girls champions to lose, 63-59, while the Paris boys lost in overtime, 60-55, in a key home game they needed to win to have a chance to repeat as 4-time district champs.
“We got the shots we were looking for,” said Wildcat head coach Billy Mack Steed. “They just didn’t fall.”
The games were delayed 24 hours from their scheduled Tuesday dates due to winter weather that hit East Texas Monday night. The two varsity games were moved back to Wednesday with all sub-varsity games cancelled. They were played before the smallest crowd to ever watch a Wildcat boys game since the new high school opened seven years ago.
The Ladycats (12-14, 1-3) held a slim 15-14 lead over the Lady Hawks (15-6, 4-0) after the opening quarter and were tied, 24-24, midway through the second period when they closed out the first half on an incredible 16-0 run. The rally was keyed by freshman Quiniya Savage’s 8 points (pictured right in photo by Joe Watson), but it was a dazzling display of shooting accuracy and defensive pressure that had to rank as the finest 4-minute display of basketball by a Paris girls team in recent memory.
The Ladycats returned to earth in the second half as the 40-24 halftime lead soon became a distant memory. Paris, which committed 11 turnovers in the first half, equalled that number in the third quarter and was outscored by PG, 15-4, as the Lady Hawks pulled within 44-39 to start the final frame.
PG regained a tie on 3 occasions before taking the lead, 57-54, on a corner 3 by sophomore Sha’Nequa Henry with 3:13 remaining in the game. Savage scored the next 5 points for Paris to lift the Ladycats to their final lead, 59-58, but a 12-footer by senior Monique Walker plus a pair of free throws by Henry gave PG a 62-59 cushion with 35.8 left to play.
Paris then missed an open 3 that would have tied the game and PG sophomore Ashanti Levingston added a free throw with 10.7 left to ensure the victory.
Henry topped PG scoring with 18, while Walker scored 14, Madeline Haak 12, and Abby Hines 12. Paris’ Peaches Jackson led all scorers with 20, Savage ended with 13, and Serenity Sanders 10.
The boys game was close throughout with the largest lead just 6 points. There were 11 ties and 12 lead changes in regulation with the Cats holding slim 10-9, 21-19, and 37-33 leads after the first 3 breaks.
Paris had golden opportunities to extend the lead at the close of the third quarter by starting a trend of missed shots in the paint. That malady continued through the rest of the game.
Still, it was the Wildcats’ game to lose after a Trea Johnson spin move gave them a 46-44 edge. The Cats regained possession in the final 2 minutes but an unforced turnover led to a tying baseline jumper by PG’s Kameron Woods that knotted the score at 46. Paris then forced an ill-advised outside shot to give the Hawks the ball with 1:01 remaining.
However, Johnson’s defensive presence led to a backcourt violation and Paris had one final chance to end it in regulation with 21.9 left on the clock. The Cats freed Johnson at the top of the key for the game-winner, but his shot rimmed out and the game went into overtime.
PG never trailed in OT and knocked down 8 of 11 foul shots to leave with a key district win. The Hawks (2-0) have opened district play with tough road wins at Pittsburg and Paris.
Sophomore post Trevon Dennis (pictured above in photo by Joe Watson) led Paris in scoring with 17, including a trio of 3’s, while Jordan Mitchell and Johnson each scored 12. The Hawks had four players in double figures, topped by Xavier Benson with 13.
The Cats (12-11, 1-1) try to rebound by taking the long trip to Atlanta Friday before returning home next Tuesday to host Liberty-Eylau.
Less than capacity crowd watches Lamar County rivals battle in district basketball opener
Late arrivals to Saturday night’s Paris-North Lamar boys basketball district opener in the Panther Gym were greeted by an unfamiliar sight: Empty seats, and lots of them.
In recent seasons the Lamar County rivals were perennial contenders to advance to the regional tournament. You had to arrive before their JV teams played in order to find a seat on nights when Paris and NL clashed on the basketball court.
This season the Cats (12-10) are struggling to remain above .500, while the Panthers are struggling to reach the break-even mark, which had to affect the attendance at Saturday’s District 14-4A opener won by Paris, 52-38.
There was little suspense in the outcome for those in attendance. Paris took the lead for good, 7-6, and enjoyed a 15-8 advantage after Zyan King canned a baseline jumper to beat the first period buzzer.
Jay Walters hit three 3’s and Josh Dangerfield knocked down a couple to keep the Panthers in the hunt in the first half, but Jameon Mitchell’s reverse lay-in restored the 7-point Paris advantage at halftime, 27-20.
The Cats’ trapping defense took its toll in the third quarter, and Paris soon stretched the lead to double digits, 33-22, after Trevon Dennis found Trea Johnson on a baseline cut and Jordan Mitchell added a fast break bucket.
Walters responded with a baseline jumper and a 3 to trim the gap to 6, 33-27, but those were his final points of the game as he finished with a team-high 16. Paris completed the frame on a 9-2 run to take a 42-29 lead into the final period.
The closest the Panthers narrowed the margin in the fourth quarter was 11, 44-33, before the Cats eventually stretched their lead to 16, 52-36.
Jordan Mitchell topped all scorers with 17, sophomore post Dennis had 15, and sophomore guard Jameon Mitchell 7. In support of Walters’ 16, Alec Asay scored 8 and Dangerfield 6 for NL.
In other district openers, Pleasant Grove won a tough game at Pittsburg, 60-53, and Liberty-Eylau trounced Atlanta, 83-53. The Cats host PG Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym in a key contest if Paris hopes to defend its 3-time district title.
The district co-favorites split their two tournament appearances last month. PG topped Paris in overtime, 58-51, at the New Boston Gunslinger Tournament, while Paris turned the tables at the Paris Holiday Invitational, 60-49.
In Saturday’s sub-varsity games, the Paris freshmen beat NL, 51-37, while the Cats JV won, 47-41.
Paris Wildcats pose with their 2018 R.K. Hall & Kings Classic boys championship trophy
The Paris Wildcats received a rare chance for tournament redemption at the R.K. Hall & Kings Classic Saturday night at Wildcat Stadium as they made Tony Saavedra’s second-chance goal stand up for a 1-0 win over Kennedale in the boys championship final.
The two tournament finalists met in a group game Friday, and Kennedale scored late to come away with a 2-1 win over the Cats. However, Paris rebounded with a 3-1 victory over Pittsburg in Saturday’s noon match to finish group play and earn a rematch in the tournament final. So what made the difference in the 24-hour turnaround?
“Effort,” Paris head coach Jeremy Beshirs said afterwards. “Our effort was outstanding tonight. They (his players) really took it to them.”
The final appeared headed for an overtime shootout when neither team could dent the scoreboard late in the match. Then, senior Tony Saavedra took advantage of a turnover by the Kennedale defense to make a quick burst inside the 18-yard box.
As the Kennedale goalie rushed out of his net, Saavedra sent the ball goalward. The backside defender covered the open goal and managed to divert the shot off the crossbar and back into the field of play.
It was unclear whether the ball had crossed the goal, and Saavedra had already turned to begin his celebration when he quickly reversed direction, caught up with the rebound and left no doubt with a follow-up shot with 13 minutes left to play. The Cats then went into a defensive shell to fritter away the remaining time.
The goal symbolized the type of never-quit attitude the Cats needed to regain the top trophy at the annual event after a year layoff. They played, and won, the third-place game in 2017, then watched Pittsburg defeat Kennedale in a shootout to win last year’s tournament title.
They denied Pittsburg a chance to repeat as tournament champions with the 3-1 win earlier in the day. Senior Felix Vasquez registered his team-leading fourth goal of the season midway through the opening half when his shot resulted in an own goal off a Pitt defender’s attempt at a late clear.
However, the Pirates tied the score, 1-1, less than a minute later when they cracked the Paris defense on a breakaway rush. Just three minutes later, junior JP Rojas found the net from the ring wing, and junior Alan Garcia netted the third goal after a takedown in the box and successful penalty kick.
The second half was scoreless.
In other boys group play Saturday, Pleasant Grove downed North Lamar, 4-1, and Kennedale blanked Kemp, 2-0. PG then shut out Kemp, 3-0, in the third-place match.
Paris, now 5-2-1, continues pre-district action at the Terrell Tournament starting Thursday where the Cats will face Midlothian Heritage, host Terrell, and Mineola in pool play.
Ladycats Finish Runnerups
The Paris Ladycats (4-3-1), missing three key starters due to injuries, managed to defeat Class 5A Canyon Randall, 2-0, to conclude their group play Saturday before falling to Athens, 2-0, in the girls championship final.
Athens, a state tournament finalist last season, played Sulphur Springs to a scoreless draw earlier in the day, while Chapel Hill routed Pittsburg, 12-1, in a match where the Lady Pirates managed to score the first goal in the first-year program’s short history. The third-place match was cancelled by mutual consent.
Paris took a 2-0 halftime lead over Canyon Randall, which made the 400-mile trek to join this season’s tournament field. Senior co-captain Deagan Dingman started the scoring with a perfect 27-yard missile on a free kick that just cleared the crossbar (see photo left).
Senior defender Sarah Bloodworth picked up the insurance goal off a corner kick that bounced off the near post. Bloodworth headed the ball, then followed up the rebound in a crowd parked in front of the net.
The Ladycats return to Wildcat Stadium Tuesday for a pair of matches against Kaufman (JV at 5 p.m., varsity at 6:30) before entering the Highway 5 Invitational co-hosted by Anna and Melissa starting Thursday.
Peaches Jackson goes up for a layup flanked by NL defenders Emma Stewart (4), MaKayla Figueroa (3), and Summer Andrews (15). Notice, however, that Jackson is positioned directly underneath the goal, making her shot difficult, if not impossible. (photo by Joe Watson)
The North Lamar Pantherettes packed the lane with a tight zone defense to shut down the Paris Ladycats’ scoring machine, Peaches Jackson, and they were able to effectively negate Paris’ full-court pressure to take a 43-38 win in District 14-4A girls basketball Friday night in the Panther gym.
Jackson was held to 13 points, 7 points below her season average, and had a sub-par shooting night as the Ladycat junior was forced into shots outside her range or into off-balance or awkward attempts on occasions when she was able to penetrate the paint. It was the lowest offensive output for Paris since a tournament game on Dec. 1.
The result left both teams with 1-2 district marks. Paris falls to 12-13 for the season.
Both teams were offensively challenged in the first half. The Ladycats didn’t show good patience working against the Pantherette defense and settled for, and missed, their outside shots, while NL was able to stay in the game by out-hustling Paris for rebounds.
The Ladycats led, 7-3, after the first period and extended their lead to 16-8 in the second before NL’s Makayla Figueroa connected on a 3 then a layup off a double-team pass from senior post Summer Andrews to cut the lead to 16-13 at halftime.
Paris got into early foul trouble due to reach fouls and poor positioning in the first half, but the Pantherettes weren’t able to take full advantage at the line. They made just 2 of 14 foul shots in the first half and finished the game making just 36% (9 of 25).
Paris went to Jackson down low with a bucket to start the second half, 18-13, but the Pantherettes answered with a 10-0 run to grab the momentum. A 3-point play and 3-pointer by Andrews plus a layup and short baseline jumper by Emma Stewart gave NL a 23-18 advantage.
Stewart and Andrews scored 8 points apiece in the quarter as the Pantherettes enjoyed their biggest lead of the night, 31-22, before the Ladycats reclaimed the lead, 32-31, with a 10-0 run of their own at the start of the fourth quarter.
Andrews would finish with a game-high 15 points, and Stewart scored 12.
The lead changed hands 3 times and was tied on 2 occasions before a free throw by Andrews gave NL the lead for good, 36-35. Two foul shots by Stewart and an uncontested drive down the lane by Andrews put the Pantherettes up, 40-36, with 1:07 left in the game.
Jackson made a pair of foul shots with 12.2 remaining to get within one possession, 41-38, but NL broke Paris’ full-court pressure and a layup by Danny Risinger sealed the win.
The Pantherettes also won the JV game, 31-20.
The fierce north winds calmed down a bit but were still a major factor on Day 2 of the R. K. Hall & Kings Classic soccer tournament Friday at Wildcat Stadium. The Paris Ladycats used a second-half field advantage to turn their match into a turkey shoot on the Pittsburg goal in an 8-0 shutout, while the Paris Wildcats fell short in their second-half attempt to battle the wind and a solid Kennedale team, 2-1.
In other tournament results Friday, Athens and Canyon Randall battled to a scoreless draw, while Sulphur Springs edged Chapel Hill, 1-0, on the girls side. In other boys scores, Pleasant Grove beat Kemp, 1-0, and Pittsburg defeated North Lamar, 4-1.
The tournament concludes Saturday with championships decided in both girls and boys divisions. The Ladycats face Canyon Randall at 11 a.m. Saturday followed by a 12:30 p.m. match between the Wildcats and Pittsburg.
Working against the 15 to 20 mph breeze to start their match, it took almost 7 minutes for the Ladycats (3-2-1) to dent the scoreboard against the Lady Pirates, a first-year program. Ironically, it was standout defender Sarah Bloodworth who got the score on a header off a corner kick and followup cross by Deagan Dingman.
It took another 7 minutes for Paris to increase the lead to 2-0 off a short chip shot by Josie Cade over the Pitt goalie after taking a feed from Katy Hall. Hall gave Paris a 3-0 haltime lead with 5:35 left in the first half when she got behind the Pitt defense and beat the goalie to the short side.
The teams changed ends of the field for the second half, and the Ladycats doubled their goal output in the first 5 minutes with the wind on their side. Freshman Sara Davidson and senior Laney Madding would each score twice in the second half and senior Deagan Dingman picked up the final goal.
The Wildcat boys (3-2-1) had the benefit of the wind in the first half of their match vs. Kennedale, but the score was 0-0 at halftime. Kennedale took a 1-0 lead in the second half, but senior Felix Vasquez tied it, 1-1, on a goal with 10 minutes remaining.
However, Kennedale reclaimed the lead with 5 minutes to go, 2-1.
Each month Paris High staff recognizes a student who goes above and beyond the norm of student expectations to help make the school a better place for learning. At the end of the year, the name of one of the monthly winners is drawn to receive a $100 Applebee’s gift card. The 2017-18 winner is Michael Godwin. See monthly winners on our Students of the Month page.
Paris High students were recognized for their athletic accomplishments at the recent Athletic Awards Banquet. Read more.
Summer Athletic Camps. PHS athletic staff will be offering summer camps for multiple age groups this summer. Click on each sport for more information.