The Paris Lady Eagles, led by Jadyn Hart’s 30 points and the team’s outstanding rebounding, defeated the Atkins Lady Red Devils Tuesday night in Paris, 49-42. The conference win over Atkins moves the Lady Eagles ahead of Atkins in the conference standings. Paris now trails Two Rivers and Lamar by three games, second place Perryville by two games, and third place Jessieville by one game. The Lady Eagles have an important road game Friday night at Two Rivers. Paris, as are all teams in the conference, are driving to finish the regular season as strong as possible to secure a high seed in the district tournament.
The young Lady Eagles are improving with each game, in particular, the first few games out of the game in January. Paris coach Dustin Williams is very proud of how the team has come out of the holiday break to resume the conference season. “Very proud of the way we’ve played coming out of the break. Defensively, we did a good job of slowing Dillard (Atkins junior forward, Ashton Dillard) down in the second half. She is a great basketball player. We are on an upward trend in our play and starting to put together complete games. Defensive intensity and rebounding have been our key. Our girls are more confident on the offensive end now and it’s really starting to open things up. Our girls are very unselfish and just want to do their role as well as they possibly can. I am excited to see how we close out the last ten games of the regular season.”
Jadyn Hart led the Lady Eagles with 30 points. According to Coach Williams, “that is the fourth time she has been at 30 or more this year. In the last three games, she has had 30 points in two of the three games. ” Jacee Hart hit three “3s” and finished with 11 points.
The Paris Eagles boys team went into Tuesday night’s game facing the 14th ranked Atkins Red Devils who entered the contest undefeated at 9-0 overall, and 3-0 in conference play. It was a match-up on paper that appeared to be one-sided, but the Eagles refused to go into the game expecting to lose. In fact, Paris may have given its best effort and most complete game of the season against the talented Atkins team.
Paris lost to Atkins by a score of 65-57. It was a game that was very much undecided deep into the fourth quarter. The Red Devils may not have expected for the game to still be in doubt so late in the game. Paris coach Mike Foster, although disappointed in the team’s inability to finish with a win, was very happy with the Eagles’ effort against the highly-favored Red Devils. “They (Paris) played really hard and fought back from a 16 point deficit to cut it to three with just three minutes remaining in the game. We just couldn’t get over the hump to close out with the win. I am very proud of the effort.”
Nick Bazyk led Paris with 25 points. Dylan Krigbaum had 17 points and 6 rebounds. Senior Luke Trusty had 6 rebounds.
Paris now prepares to go on the road to play a critical conference match at Two Rivers on Friday. The junior Lady Eagles will travel to Hot Springs Fountain Lake on Thursday. It is a long and grueling week for the players and coaches, but that is simply the way it is in the final month of the regular season. If last evenings games are any indication of the focus of both the girls and boys teams, it looks like Paris is locked in on their task at hand of playing each conference game like it is the most important game of the season. It is so easy to be proud of both of these young teams who entered the season with very little varsity experience on either roster. The future is bright for both Paris boys and girls basketball, and Paris fans may get a glimpse of the future in the next 4-6 weeks as the young varsity teams continue to improve and the expansion of the senior high roster to possibly include freshmen players for the senior high district tournaments. Both teams could be tough outs in the senior district tournaments with the modified rosters and the continued improvement the varsity teams are making each week.
It is a great time of the year. Basketball is in full swing and each game matters. Post-season play is just around the corner, and all of the pageantry of students, fans, and spirit groups makes the game environment just that much more exciting.
Watch for Resident Press during the senior district tournament for a special feature on two men who have been bringing Paris sports to the community and the entire River Valley area for many years. If you are a Paris alum, or just a fan, you will not want to miss this special feature!
And as always….stay with Resident Press for the best coverage in Paris Eagles sports!