The Paris basketball program discovered a winning formula over the past ten days; a formula that included Thanksgiving turkey, practice time, and recovery for several of its team members who were ill before the break. The result was a double-header sweep of the Waldron Bulldogs last evening in junior high school basketball action at Paris. The win put the Lady Eagles back on track after its last loss at Lamar in which 3 of their teammates did not travel with the team due to illness. On Monday night, the Lady Eagles were back to full strength and they played perhaps their best game of the season so far.
The junior Lady Eagles were paced by freshman Brailey Forst. Forst had 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 steals in the 41-6 win for Paris. Rachel O’Neal added 8 points and 3 rebounds. Jayden Well had 4 points, 3 steals, 3 assists and 2 rebounds. Annalise Stanford rounded out the scoring leaders for Paris with 4 points, 3 assists, and 3 steals. Paris led the game 30-4 at the half. For Paris coach Dustin Williams, the break in the schedule was a welcomed opportunity to practice his team, as well as giving them an opportunity to recover from illness that had struck the team several days earlier. “Glad to see us come out of Thanksgiving break with a strong performance. You could tell that we were able to get some practices in over the break and really work on our conditioning and team chemistry. Proud of the effort all 12 girls put in on and off the court. It was a fun night to be a Lady Eagle.”
In the second game of the evening, the Paris junior Eagles boys team defeated Waldron in an intense and highly-competitive game 48-45. Jesse Wells had 21 points and six rebounds. Sam Muldrow added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Eagles. A battle that included a 3-point, half court shot by Waldron to pull the Bulldogs within 3 of Paris, was not settled until the last minute of the game when Paris was able to hold on for the victory. The game was very physical; every shot was contested, and rebounds came at a premium as both teams hit the boards hard for every missed shot.
The Paris senior high Eagles and Lady Eagles teams begin play in the Lavaca Invitational Tournament this afternoon with games versus Mansfield. Both coaches hope the Thanksgiving formula will pay off for the senior high teams as it did for both junior high teams Monday night. The conference opener is fast approaching, and the Paris coaching staff would undoubtedly like to see their teams begin to solidify and get ready for conference play. Tonight’s games against Mansfield will be an important step for both teams that struggled greatly prior to the Thanksgiving break.