On a cold Friday night that saw light snow in most of the River Valley, Paris high school hosted Winter Court Night and the Booneville Bearcats. The frigid temperature outside was in stark contrast to the hot action inside Paris Gymnasium as the two rival schools squared off in senior boys and girls conference games. When the night was over, the fans of both schools saw their teams play hard with Booneville taking both games late in the second half halves of play. With the win, Booneville increased its distance over Paris in the conference standings for fifth place. For Paris, there was significant improvement by both the boys and the girls teams, but neither team could overcome numerous turnovers throughout the game that eventually cost Paris the conference victories.
The Lady Eagles have seven conference games remaining in the regular season, and the senior boys have eight. The Eagles will play a make-up game at home on January 28 against Cossatot River who had to postpone their earlier game with Paris due to COVID reasons within the Cossatot boys team.
The Paris senior high teams will not play again until next Friday when they travel to Waldron to play the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are tough on their home floor, and Paris will have to once again put a disappointing loss in their rear view mirrors and focus on winning a critical conference road game.
The conference regular season is quickly nearing an end, and Paris has games remaining at Waldron, at Danville, and at Cossatot River. The final home games are Hackett, Charleston, Cedarville, and the boys’ make-up game with Cossatot River. The conference regular season ends on February 9 with a home game against Cedarville. So, time is running out to make a run in the conference standings.
The encouraging news for the Lady Eagles is that they were competitive with Danville, Cossatot River, and Cedarville. Although Danville and Cossatot River will be tough on their home floors, it is not an impossible task for Paris to win these games and make a move in the conference standings. And although Paris soundly defeated Hackett earlier in the season, Paris cannot take the Hornets for granted. Hackett has improved and will be coming to Paris to even the score with the Eagles.
For the boys, the team just has to keep playing hard on every possession. Reducing turnovers on offense and defending outside shooters is something the team can work on over the final eight games. The same is true for the Eagles as it is for the senior girls; if the team can make a run in the final eight games and make some advancement in the conference standings before the conference tournament, the team could avoid playing a top one or two seed in the first round. For both the boys and the girls, Paris wants to be playing their best basketball in mid-February when post-season play begins. The senior district tournament will be held at Cedarvillle, and the Pirates will be tough in front of their home fans during the tournament.
The Paris basketball program is young, and the Paris fan base is watching both teams grow up with each game. Both are having growing pains, for sure, but, the future is bright as a lot of players on both teams are very young and are getting significant playing time this year. With most of their players returning next season, Paris can focus on getting better this season with every game and creating a positive spring board going into next year.
Congratulations to all of the girls who were honored in this year’s Winter Court! It is a great time of the year, and Winter Court is something that those students will remember for the rest of their lives. It is all part of the high school experience, and the entire Paris community can be very proud of all of the girls selected to this year’s Court.
Have a great week! Stay well, stay warm, and Resident Press will see you in Waldron on Friday night!