Paris made the short trip to Booneville on Monday night to play the Bearcats. When the night was over, the Eagles left town with a pair of wins in both boys and girls junior high games. Both games were played with the intensity you would expect from this long-time rivalry. Booneville is a very tough place for visiting teams to play, and even tougher to leave with a win. The Paris wins are big for their teams and their futures next year as senior high teams.
The Paris Junior Eagles improved their record to 9-4 on the season with a 50-43 win. Jesse Wells led Paris with 16 points and Konnor Edwards had 15. Sam Muldrow rounded out the scoring leaders for Paris with 11 points. The game could be characterized as heated and intense. Paris, behind hard defensive pressure and pressing the ball on offense to create scoring opportunities, bounced back from their Thursday night loss at Fountain Lake by winning in a tough environment at Booneville. This team continues to improve and should make an immediate impact once they are eligible for senior high play.
The Paris Junior Lady Eagles won an intense game over Booneville by a score of 32-25. Rachel O’Neal was the leading scorer for the Lady Eagles with 10 points and 4 rebounds. Annabelle Perry, a seventh grader, came off the bench to score 9 points. Brailey Forst had 7 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, and 3 steals. Jayden Wells had 6 points and 2 steals. Annalise Stanford had 4 points and 3 steals. The Lady Eagles, playing on the road in a hostile environment, survived significant foul trouble to hang on to the lead to defeat the Lady Bearcats.
Paris coach Dustin Williams was pleased with his team’s ability to overcome adversity on the road in the victory over Booneville. “It was a tough, physical game versus a rival school. I thought we did a good job of handling some adversity early. We had a seventh grader (Perry) contribute tonight with some important points and minutes off of the bench. She provided a much-needed spark off the bench and scored the last 6 or 7 points of the first half when we found ourselves in heavy foul trouble. We turned up the defensive pressure in the second half and started playing our style more. We were solid from the free throw line in the second half. In fact, I’m not sure we missed a free throw. Booneville is a very well-coached team. They have an identity and system in place over there and you can tell the kids feed off of it. They always play well at home. It’s always good to come out of there with a win.”
The next game for the Paris junior Eagles and Lady Eagles is next Monday night, January 20, at Lamar. The games should be another intense conference match-up between two schools who have talented junior high squads and will continue the traditions of good high school teams for both schools over the next three years.
Booneville travels to Paris tonight for the senior high match up between the two schools. Both the Eagles and Lady Eagles are on an upward trend having won big road games last Friday night at Two Rivers. Both teams look to continue the improvement and to move up in the standings in conference play as the season goes into its final month before the district tournament.