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Monday, February 26, 2024

Paris Junior Eagles Improve Record to 12-4 With 51-28 Win at Lamar

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The Paris junior Eagles boys team improved its season record to 12-4 with a dominating 51-28 performance on Monday night at Lamar. The Eagles pressed the Warriors from the opening tip-off and jumped out to a big lead early and never looked back.

In junior girls action, it was the opposite outcome for the Lady Eagles as they had no answer for the press defense employed by the Lady Warriors. The Lady Eagles dropped the game at Warrior Gymnasium by the score of 44-29.

Eagles coach Mike Foster stated after the game, “We got on them early with a full court press and opened up a 19-5 first quarter lead and went on to win 51-28.” Jesse Wells lead Paris with 15 points. Juan Santos, Konnor Edwards, and Sam Muldrow each added 10 points in the Paris victory.

Paris coach Dustin Williams commented, “We got behind early in the game. Lamar is undefeated and they showed why. They came out on fire behind the three point line. We gave into their pressure and had some turnovers in the open court that we aren’t used to committing. We cut the lead to single digits several times but just could not get the score close enough to make a final push to take the lead. I thought our girls played extremely hard and did not give up. We played well as a team, but we have to get better on the offensive and defensive glass and minimize turnovers in transition.”

Paris was affected by the press, especially by Lamar’s 7th grade guard, Cori Sanders (#30 in photo below.) Sanders is the younger sister of Lamar senior high guard Lakyn Sanders. Lakyn will play tonight for Lamar in the senior Lady Eagles game versus Lamar.

For Paris, Brailey Forst led the Lady Eagles with 15 points. Jayden Wells had 9 points. Rachel O’Neal had 3 points and Annabelle Perry added 2 points.

Tonight, Lamar travels to Paris for an important senior high conference match-up. For the senior high Lady Eagles, the team has been on a great stretch having surprised conference opponents both at home and on the road. Paris has improved its conference record to 4-3 and appears to be solidifying as a team going down the stretch. Guards Jadyn Hart and Harlie Watts have stepped up and have become a productive back court for the Lady Eagles.

Lamar will enter Paris gymnasium tonight with a conference leading 7-0 record. Paris, now 4-3 in conference, looks to pull the upset to maintain their momentum and to bring the rest of the conference into play in the standings with Lamar. In key games around the conference tonight, second place Perryville (6-1) hosts Two Rivers (3-4), and Jessieville (5-2 ) hosts Fountain Lake. It is a big week for the Lady Eagles as they host Lamar and Two Rivers in Paris. Looking down the schedule, Paris will have an important road game with Jessieville on February 7. The Lady Eagles have to take care of a lot of basketball between now and then, but, Paris has a legitimate shot to finish third, and perhaps as high as second in the conference. A high regular season finish is critical to conference tournament seeding and perhaps an easier path to the regional tournament. So, a lot of basketball is yet to be played, but, the Lady Eagles have played themselves into position where many good things are possible if they continue their focus on each game between now and the end of the regular season.

The Paris Eagles senior boys team will look to continue its improvement as it targets the senior district tournament that will be played in February. The boys team has been competitive all season but has not found a way to close out wins in the fourth quarter. The team continues to play hard and is always in its games until late in the fourth quarter.

Both teams need Paris fans to show up big this week at home to fill the gym and support the Eagles and Lady Eagles.

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Jim Best
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.
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