69.5 F
Fort Smith
Monday, October 3, 2022

Lady Eagles Upset Cedarville 53-52

- Advertisement -spot_img

River Valley basketball fans were treated to a great night of high school basketball as Paris hosted Cedarville on Tuesday night. Cedarville, ranked 8th in Class 3A girls basketball and leading the 3A-4 conference, entered the game against Paris having soundly defeating the Lady Eagles in Cedarville earlier in the season.

Paris, having shown significant improvement over the past three weeks dating back to home wins against Hackett and Charleston, and followed by a last-minute loss on the road at Cossatot River, was a different team than the team that played the Lady Pirates in January. And on this night, senior Jadyn Hart was playing her final regular season home game.

Resident Press Photo

At times it seemed that Hart was determined to put the Lady Eagles on her back and carry them to victory. On offense and defense, Hart was tenacious and took the game to Cedarville. As the game went along, several players stepped up and hit big shots, created turnovers on defense, rebounded well, and made good passes to open players for shots in the low post.

Resident Press Photo

With approximately three seconds to go in the game, Brailey Forst was fouled on a defensive rebound. The foul sent Forst to the free throw line for a one-and-one opportunity with the score tied. Forst hit the first shot and missed the second. Cedarville rebounded the missed shot and launched a desperation last second shot that fell short, and the Lady Eagles had hung on for the upset win over Cedarville.

Paris will travel to Booneville on Thursday for their final regular season game. In a time of the year when anything can happen, the Lady Bearcats will go into Thursday’s game fresh off of their upset of the then conference leading Danville Lady Little Johns. Paris has now beaten Charleston and Cedarville, as well as having taken Cossatot River to the wire. Thursday’s game in Booneville should be a good one!

Resident Press Photo

In the second game of the session, the Paris senior boys took the court following the exciting win by the Lady Eagles. Paris, having been soundly defeated in Cedarville, was anxious to show the Pirates that they too are a different team than the one that the Pirates played in January.

The Eagles’ Caleb Cunningham was also playing his last regular season home game as a senior, and Caleb played his heart out all night. The Eagles’ pressure defense and inside game that has taken off in weeks with the emergence of Mequeil Ellingberg in the low post and the slashing drives to the basket by sophomore Sam Muldrow, played the Pirates tough and by the end of the first half, the Eagles who had been blown out in Cedarville, had built a five point lead.

Resident Press Photo

The second half was a continuation of the furiously-paced first half. With just over five minutes to play in the game, Cedarville had overcame the Paris lead and had a two-point lead. Then the turnover bug that was present in Cedarville made its late appearance in Paris, and the Eagles fell behind by as many as ten points. Cedarville ran the four corners offense and stalled for the remainder of the game, running the clock out on the way to a 50-42 conference victory. It was a frustrating loss for Paris, but it was also another indication of how much the team has improved since January.

Resident Press Photo

After the game, Paris coach Blain Brewington said of his team’s performance, “I thought our kids played hard. We guarded well for most of the game. Thought we lost our composure in the fourth quarter. We didn’t run our offense and quit being patient and got sped up (caught up in the Cedarville transition game) and that was the difference in the game.”

Both the Eagles and Lady Eagles’ future has been on display the past three weeks with signs of improved play and becoming competitive in a very tough conference. Cedarville has excellent basketball teams and both the Pirates and Lady Pirates will advance through the district tournament and on to regional and perhaps state tournament play. They are well-coached and have good, experienced talent on both teams. I look for them to compete in both sides of the tournament for the championships and number one seeds going to regionals.

And for Paris, one game at a time is more than a cliche, it is reality for the Eagles and Lady Eagles. And that one game is now at Booneville against very good senior boys and girls teams on their floor. A win at Booneville would be huge, but it will not be easy. I look for both games to be barn burners Thursday night. Senior girls and boys games will be played. The girls game will start at 6 p.m. with the boys game to immediately follow.

It is a very special time of the year when teams look to finish the season and re-focus on the “second season” of tournament play. Will Cinderella make an appearance in this year’s post-season? Every year, there is one team that nobody expects to make a run through the post season…could it be Paris?

But first things first. Resident Press will see you tomorrow night in Booneville for the exciting conclusion to the 3A-4 regular season!

Resident Press Photo
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img
Jim Best
Jim Best is a man of many talents. His storied career in Arkansas education led him to a new passion, and hidden gifts in sports journalism.
Latest news
- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img
Related news
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img