About the Author

Greg Higgins - Sports Editor Greg has lived in the Paris area for most of his life and is a huge sports fan. He loves talking about sports and writing about it. Greg has been a part of eparisextra since the beginning of 2012. Greg also covers the Dallas Mavericks for several different websites. He is very active in his church. When he's not writing about or watching sports, you can find him working out or hanging out with his wife.

North Lamar drops first game in playoff series with Argyle

Jacob Cowling lays down a bunt in Game 1 against Argyle.

Jacob Cowling lays down a bunt in Game 1 against Argyle.

For the first time during the 2014 playoffs, the North Lamar Panthers find themselves in a 0-1 hole going into game 2. For only the second time in 10 tries, the Panthers find themselves coming off a loss in the postseason. This loss, however, didn’t come in extra innings like the first one. Unfortunately for the Panthers this game ended in the fifth inning as Argyle run-ruled the Panthers after a 15-3 victory.

Things looked promising for the Panthers as they once again scored in the first inning of a playoff game. With the one run scored against Argyle lefty Parker Mushinksi, North Lamar has now scored in the first inning in eight of the 10 games they’ve played during the playoffs. This run scored because of a walk, single and an error on the catcher.

The 1-0 lead was short lived though as Argyle scored three in the bottom of the inning. From the first pitch, Panther senior Daniel Gibbons appeared to be struggling with his command. Gibbons only lasted two innings for North Lamar as he walked seven batters and gave up nine runs on five hits.

The big blow came in the second inning. With North Lamar trailing 3-2, Argyle hit a pair of three-run homers to blow the game wide open. Argyle would add six more runs in third inning off Ty Jones. Hunter Reeves would finish the game on the mound for North Lamar, recording the final four outs of the game without allowing a run.

Hunter Reeves receiving a sign from third base coach during game 1 against Argyle.

Hunter Reeves receiving a sign from third base coach during game 1 against Argyle.

“I was excited I got to go in [to pitch],” Reeves said after the game. “It’s been a while.”

Reeves also led the team at the plate as he had two of the three Panther, including a double in the fifth inning. North Lamar will try to bounce back from this loss as they host Argyle on Friday night at 8:00 p.m. Brandon Dusenberry should get the start for North Lamar and will try to put the team back on track.

“We’re going to come back tomorrow night and be ready to play baseball,” Panther coach Scott Igleheart said after the game.

By: Greg Higgins, eParisExtra


North Lamar Hosts Meet and Greet for New Athletic Director/Head Football Coach

TIMBILLINGS150_0722 North Lamar ISD will host a welcome reception for new Athletic Director/Head Football Coach Tim Billings on Sunday, June 1 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. in the James A. Dawson Athletic Facility.  The public is invited to come by and meet Billings and his wife, Lisa.

Billings is a native of Honey Grove.  He graduated from Southeaster Oklahoma State University in 1980 and began his coaching career in Duncan, Oklahoma, as an assistant football coach.  Billings moved back to Texas in March from Memphis, Tennessee, where he was the Defensive Line and Outside Linebacker Coach at the University of Memphis.

North Lamar Playoff Games Against Argyle Available Online

Jacob Cowling celebrating after the last out of their series with Melissa.

Jacob Cowling celebrating after the last out of their series with Melissa.

For the second straight week, the North Lamar playoff games will be available online in case you cannot make it to the games in person. The games start Thursday night and will go through Saturday (if necessary).

Click on the Times below to access the links:

Game 1: Thursday night at McKinney Boyd 8:00 p.m.


Game 2: Friday night at North Lamar High School 8:00 p.m.


Game 3: Saturday night at McKinney Boyd 6:00 p.m. (if necessary)

North Lamar players dominate District 13-3A awards in softball

Lauren Coursey named District 13-3A MVP for 2014 Softball

Lauren Coursey named District 13-3A MVP for 2014 Softball

Here is a list of the 2014 13-3A All-District Selections as voted on by the coaches in the district.

Most Valuable Player- Lauren Coursey Sr. North Lamar

Outstanding Offensive Player- Tanna Huie Jr North Lamar

Outstanding Defensive Player- Lakyn Hutchison Sr Liberty-Eylau

Pitcher of the Year- Lanee Oliver Soph Atlanta

Newcomer of the Year- Bailee Nickerson Fr. North Lamar

Coaching Staff of the Year- Atlanta

First Team:

Pitcher- Madison Morrison Fr. North Lamar, Madison Haltom Soph. Pleasant Grove

Catcher- Brette Wacha Soph. Pleasant Grove, Balee Brown Sr. North Lamar

Infield- Caroline Cullins Sr. Atlanta, Whitney Howard Jr. Liberty-Eylau,

Kimmie Atienza Soph Pleasant Grove, Erin Scholl Fresh North Lamar,

Delaney England Sr. North Lamar

Outfield- Kayla Igleheart Soph. North Lamar, Lauren Rutland Sr.

Atlanta, Jasmine Walker Sr. Pittsburg, Sydney Guest Jr. Liberty-Eylau,

Aubrey Ashby Jr. Pleasant Grove

Designated Player- McKenzie Blackstock Soph. Pittsburg

Utility Player- Jaci Cullins Jr. Atlanta

Second Team:

Pitcher- Summer Downs Soph. Liberty-Eylau, Brooke Smith Sr. Pleasant Grove

Catcher- Alyssa Oliver Sr. Atlanta, Brilie Cummings Jr. Pittsburg

Infield- Ashlyn Dodson Sr. Atlanta, Faith Lipham Soph. Pleasant Grove,

Carley Barrett Soph. Pleasant Grove, Adrianna Byrd Fresh. Liberty-Eylau,

Ezaria Harris Soph. Paris, Kaycee Parker Fresh. Pittsburg

Outfield- Bailey Jones Soph. North Lamar, Brittanee’ Johnson Soph. Paris,

Khadijah Oritola Fresh. Pleasant Grove, Kortne’ Williams Sr. Liberty-Eylau

Designated Player- Robinnea Ware Jr. Liberty-Eylau

Utility Player- Justonni Farmer Soph. Pittsburg

Honorable Mention: Sarah Penrose Jr. North Lamar, Alaka Walters Sr. Paris, Taylor

Helm Fr. Paris, Ty’Cora Easter Fr. Paris, Marley Walters Soph. Paris

Academic First Team: North Lamar: Lauren Coursey, Delaney England, Tanna Huie,

Bailey Jones

Paris: Tiffinie Haan, Codi Clark

North Lamar Panthers: Regional Finalists

Jacob Cowling celebrating after the last out of their series with Melissa.

Jacob Cowling celebrating after the last out of their series with Melissa.

On Friday night, the North Lamar Panthers became the first team in 3A baseball to advance to the Regional Finals next weekend. North Lamar completed a two-game sweep over the Melissa Cardinals in McKinney to move on in the playoffs. With the win, North Lamar improved to 8-1 in the postseason with three of the series finishing in two-game sweeps. The Panthers have outscored their opponents 45-20 in the playoffs and will face Argyle in the next round.

Game 1: North Lamar 6 Melissa 3

Game 1 was played at PJC’s HUB Hollis field on Thursday night. The visiting Cardinals had just come off a three-game series win over Ferris and were looking to jump on Daniel Gibbons and the Panthers. Melissa didn’t waste any time either as they put a run on the board in the first inning without registering a hit. The leadoff hitter, Cade Cruce, reached on an error and then advanced to second. A couple of sacrifices later and Melissa was up 1-0.

North Lamar, who came into this series having scored in the first inning of six of their seven playoff games, continued the streak on Thursday. Braydon Steed and Gibbons walked to start the game. Both runners were advanced 90 feet. Steed was able to score when a pick off attempt at second went wrong.

The Panthers would score two more in the second inning to take a 3-1 lead. After ColtonWise and Steed got on base, Gibbons hit a double to drive in both runners. Melissa quickly answered, however, as they drove in two runs in the third to tie the game. Three walks in the inning and an error allowed the runners to score. The good thing for North Lamar, though, is that’s all the runs Melissa would manage.

The score would remain tied at three until the fourth inning. North Lamar would take advantage of a couple Melissa miscues. Trey Scudder hit a ball to the gap in left-center. The left fielder appeared to have the ball in what would have been a nice running catch but he dropped the ball. Scudder made it to second on the play and advanced to third on an error during the next at bat. Wise walked and Chad Box laid down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt in which Scudder scored and Wise moved to second. Steed doubled to left field and Wise scored to make the score 5-3.

Brandon Dusenberry looking at a pitch against Melissa on Friday.

Brandon Dusenberry looking at a pitch against Melissa on Friday.

North Lamar would add one more in the sixth inning. After loading the bases, Aaron Edwards hit a sharp single to center that scored Box. North Lamar escaped with a win despite giving up seven walks and committing four errors as well. Gibbons pitched six innings and only gave up one hit. Gibbons did have 10 strikeouts in the win. The three runs given up were all unearned. Ty Jones came in and pitched the seventh inning for the Panthers. He allowed one hit, struck out one and walked one.

Game 2: North Lamar 5 Melissa 3 (9 innings)

For the first time since game two against Emory/Rains, the Panthers failed to score in the first inning. The game remained scoreless through the first three innings. North Lamar did strike first, though as they put up two runs in the top of the fourth inning. Aaron Edwards doubled and Hunter Reeves singled. Reeves attempted a steal of second and the catcher’s throw went into center field. Edwards was able to score from third on the play. A few plays later, Kyle Dunmon scored on a Jacob Cowling double.

In the sixth inning, Trey Scudder was hit by a pitch. He would eventually come around to score after a single, passed ball and another single by Chad Box. In the bottom of the six, Melissa found a way to tie the game. Back-to-back singles to start the inning put runners on first and second. After Brandon Dusenberry struck out the next batter, another single scored the first run of the game for Melissa. A ground out and another single scored run number two.

With the tying run at third, Dusenberry threw to first for a pickoff. The runner was caught off the base and started to run towards second. With the player in the rundown, the player at third broke for home. He was able to score before the tag was applied during the rundown. The game was tied at three after six.

Perhaps the play of the game, though, wasn’t in that inning but in the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, with the game tied at three, Melissa was able to load the bases with no outs. Instead of going to Ty Jones, Coach Scott Igleheart stayed with Dusenberry. Dusenberry was able to get a strikeout and then a ground out to end the inning.

Ty Jones closing out the series on the mound for North Lamar.

Ty Jones closing out the series on the mound for North Lamar.

After a scoreless eighth inning, North Lamar took advantage of two errors in the inning by the Cardinals to score two runs. The first coming from Box, who got on base thanks to a single to start the inning. An error on the third baseman on a sacrifice bunt attempt allowed him to advance to second and Steed to get on base.

An error would allow Box to score to put North Lamar up 4-3. Steed would score later in the inning on a Reeves single. Jones would come in and finish the game on the mound for the Panthers. Dusenberry pitched eight innings and gave up three runs, two of which were earned. He allowed six hits, had 10 strikeouts and walked two batters.

North Lamar will face Argyle next weekend. Times and locations have yet to be determined for the series.

By Greg Higgins, eParisExtra