The Paris Lady Eagles hosted conference newcomer Cossatot River to Paris Gymnasium on Friday. Paris hosted the junior and senior girls games with Cossatot River. The Paris junior girls won an impressive game over the Lady Eagles of Cossatot in the first game of the night. Boys games were not played due to COVID issues within the Cossatot boys team. The senior boys game with Cossatot will be made up later this month.
After trailing for most of the game, Paris battled back to force a 50-50 tie at the end of regulation on two clutch free throws by Paris’s Jadyn Hart with a little more than nine seconds to go.
But at the start of the overtime period, it was the Cossatot River Lady Eagles racing out to 7-0 run to start the period and eventually going on to win the conference game. For Paris, the loss was the second conference loss for the week, and the third consecutive loss dating back to December. The road will not get any easier for Paris next week. Paris will travel to Cedarville on Tuesday to play the Lady Pirates.
Paris started the season with a number of sophomore players who had played very little or no varsity minutes heading into the season. The team has been up and down for most of the season, and with the loss of junior forward Akira Robinson last week, the Lady Eagles have struggled to score. Looking down the schedule, Paris will have to improve quickly if they hope to finish in the top half of the conference and to avoid playing a top seed in the senior district tournament. Defensively, Paris left outside shooters open for three-point shots that propelled Cossatot to victory. In some cases, the shooter was left unguarded and was never forced off of their spot to shoot the ball. Left open for uncontested shots, the Cossatot shooters were devastating to the Lady Eagles ability to win the game.
Paris hopes to have Robinson back and available to play at Cedarville on Tuesday. The team played one of their best quarters of the year in the third quarter when they fought their way back into the game with improved intensity and offensive rebounding. Jadyn Hart stepped up to the free throw line with the game on the line and the team trailing by two points to hit two clutch free throws to send the game into overtime.
It was very encouraging after the big loss at Charleston to see Paris fight back in the second half. It is too bad that they came up a little short. I look for Paris to play hard again on Tuesday and take a crucial conference game with the Lady Pirates at Cedarville. The return of Robinson will be big for the team for not only what she can add to the team, but it will also return the players to their natural positions that they played prior to the loss of Robinson to the lineup.
Just as it is important for a team to keep playing hard regardless of the score on the scoreboard, it will be important for the team to focus on each game, regardless of the conference standings. The team’s goal at this point is to improve with each game and be playing their best basketball at the time of the district tournament. That is exactly what I expect this young and talented team to do over the next six weeks of the season.
Paris will host Booneville on Friday night for Winter Court night. It will be a big night at Paris Gymnasium, and for the Lady Eagles, they will have to be wary of the distractions of the Winter Court activities and remain focused on a very important conference match-up with the Lady Bearcats. So for Paris, if they have hopes of getting back into the upper half of the conference standings, the Lady Eagles need to get two big conference wins next week. And for the Paris faithful, this team needs your support more than ever. Come out to the games and cheer on your Lady Eagles!
Photos from both the junior and senior girls games with Cossatot will be available on Facebook at Paris Eagles Sports on Sunday night.
Resident Press will be in Cedarville on Tuesday night to bring you all of the action in the online edition of RP on Wednesday night. See you at the games, and support your Lady Eagles!