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TYLER — Delvin Dickerson scored 18 points, all in the second half, to lift No. 1-seeded Paris Junior College to an 82-67 victory Thursday over No. 8-seeded Blinn College in a Region XIV quarterfinal game.
The Dragons (24-7) will play fourth-seeded Lamar State-Port Arthur (25-6) at 6 p.m. Friday in the semifinals. Lamar State defeated No. 12 seed Angelina 93-82 on Thursday afternoon.
Paris had to rebound from a lethargic first half against Blinn (18-14), whom the Dragons had defeated 87-76 in Paris in December.
Jovan Austin led all scorers with 20 points, followed by Dickerson with 18, and Trevon Seymore with 16. For Blinn, Cornell Barnett scored 15, Jourdan Stickler 14, and Jalan McCloud 10.
Seymore kept the Dragons in the game the first half, when most of his teammates couldn’t seem to get a shot to fall. He made 4-of-9 field goals in the first 20 minutes, including a 3-pointer, plus 3-of-5 free throws for 12 of the Dragons’ 29 first-half points.
Austin also had a decent first half offensively, scoring seven points the first half and 13 the second half.
But the rest of the team struggled in the first half. Freshman guard Joe Haynes went 0-for-6 and uncharacteristically missed two wide-open lay-ups.
Taylor said: “I think a lot of that had to do with a new environment and the background being different. I’m pretty sure he saw those chairs or something. He threw one right into the rim, and I’ve never seen him do that.”
Brandon Scott, another freshman guard, went 0-for-3 the first half, and both Xavier Dupree and White went 0-for-2.
The second half was like daylight and dark, with the Dragons in total domination. Austin hit a quick 3-pointer to cut Blinn’s lead to 33-32, then made another basket for a 34-33 lead, and Paris never trailed again.But the rest of the team struggled in the first half. Freshman guard Joe Haynes went 0-for-6 and uncharacteristically missed two wide-open lay-ups.Taylor said: “I think a lot of that had to do with a new environment and the background being different. I’m pretty sure he saw those chairs or something. He threw one right into the rim, and I’ve never seen him do that.”
Brandon Scott, another freshman guard, went 0-for-3 the first half, and both Xavier Dupree and Ronnie White went 0-for-2.
The second half was like daylight and dark, with the Dragons in total domination. Austin hit a quick 3-pointer to cut Blinn’s lead to 33-32, then made another basket for a 34-33 lead, and Paris never trailed again.
“I thought we played a great first half,” said Blinn coach Scott Schumacher, a former Dragons head coach. “We were very focused and executed our offense.”
The numbers don’t lie: In the first half, Blinn shot 44 percent from the field to Paris’ 27 percent; the Bucs were 43 percent from 3-point land to Paris’ 11 percent; and Blinn shot 100 percent (6 of 6) on free throws to Paris’ 60 percent (12 of 20).
Paris changed the game early in the second half.
The Dragons, who trailed by four at halftime, went on an 11-2 run to take a 40-35 lead with 16:26 to play.
With the momentum swing, Paris switched to a full-court press that disrupted the offensive production Blinn put up in the first half.
“That hurt us,” Schumacher said. “They were able to take control of the game after that.”
Just six and a half minutes into the second half, the Dragons lead had outscored Blinn 25 to 6 to turn the 33-29 halftime deficit into a 54-39 lead.
Paris shot 53 percent from the field in the second half to Blinn’s 28 percent, and the Dragons drained 57 percent of their 3-pointers to Blinn’s 11 percent.
The most telling statistic of the game, Schumacher said, were Paris’ 15 offensive rebounds.
“When you get offensive rebounds, you don’t have to worry about running your offense, you just have to worry about putting the ball back up,” Schumacher said.
Taylor said he was pleased with his team defensively even in the first half.
“You know, I thought we did a great job defensively in the first half. We just didn’t score many baskets. Blinn shot a little better than we did, but not much. Our defense kept us in the game. We stepped up our defense even more in the second half, and that prevailed for us.”
After going 0-for-3 in the first half along with two rebounds, Dickerson was a man possessed over the last 20 minutes. He went 7-for-9, including a 3-pointer and including a slam dunk on Austin’s alley-oop pass that drew a standing ovation from his teammates
Dickerson made 3-of-4 free throws and pulled down eight rebounds..
White was a force on the backboards in the second half. He finished with eight points and nine rebounds,
“Defensively, Ronnie does so much for us. He really sets the tone defensively . We wouldn’t be where we are without him, that’s for sure,” Taylor said..
Nouhoum Bocoum, the Dragons’ other 6-9 center, had eight points and four rebounds.
“My message at halftime was, we was we’ve got to stay poised and focused on the defensive side of the ball. We’re going to defend, we’re going to cut down transition, and we’re going to make sure we protect our basket,”Taylor said.
Taylor said he told his sophomores the game was on their shoulders during the second half.
“I told them Joe Haynes is a terrific freshman, but he’s still just a freshman, and it’s up to you sophomores to step up your game,” Taylor said. “They responded terrifically. Our defense the second half was unbelievable. That’s what we’re all about.”
Taylor said he thought the day’s play on Tuesday because of icy weather worked to Paris’ advantage because Blinn was forced to play the Dragons without an extra day of rest.
“I think we were able to wear them down defensively because they did play yesterday,”he said.
”It’s been a fun year. You know, you think about it, we’ve been the top team two out of the last three years, and that’s what Paris basketball is about. i didn’t start this. This is something I inherited from Scott Schumacher, Bill Foy and Ross Hodge and Tom Schuberth, and last year wasn’t a lot of fun.”
By Charles Richards, eParisExtra
TYLER, Texas — The 2013-2014 basketball season came to an abrupt end Wednesday for the Lady Dragons of Paris Junior College.
Jacksonville’s Lady Jaguars defeated Paris 57-43 Wednesday t in the first round of women’s play at the Herrington Patriot Center on the UT-Tyler campus.
Paris started the gam16-154e off fine, but Jacksonville overcame a 20-12 deficit by finishing the first half 18-3 for a 30-23 halftime lead.
Then, the Lady Dragons fought back to get within 45-41 late in the game, buit Jacksonville went on a game-ending 12-2 run.
If you could take away those two stretches where Jacksonville outscored Paris by 30-5 (you can’t), and you discover that Paris won the bulk of the game 38-27. Nice try, right?
Damya Toney and MaeghanScott led the team with 10 points each. Chy Cunningham added 9 points.
Coach Michael Madrid’s team finished the season 16-15. Jacksonville improved to 17-13.
The women resume play on Friday with the semifinals against Trinity Valley, the No. 1 team in the nation, which improved to 30-1 with a 109-61 victgory over Bossier.
In the other semifinal are No. 2 seed Tyler and No. 3 seed Blinn. Tyler defeated Kilgore 69-52 and Blinn eliminated Angelina 83-69,
The Prairiland Patriots took on Leonard for three games Friday and Saturday. Here are the results:
Game 1 vs. Leonard
Leonard 3 Prairiland 6
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Leonard 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 3 5 4
Prairiland 0 0 0 1 1 4 x 6 10 3
WP – Blake Upchurch 5 inn 1R 1ER 2K 3H 6BB
Aaron Grabanski 1R 1ER 0K 0H 2BB
Cole Wilkins 2 inn 1R 1ER 1K 2H 2BB
LP – McKinney 5inn 2R 2ER 6K 8H 1BB
Nixon 3R 1ER 0K 2H 0BB
Cummins 1inn 1R 3K 0H 0BB
Jasper Goodson 2-3
Heath Swaim 2-2 1 R 1 RBI
Ashdon Langston 1-3 1 R 1RBI
Blake Upchurch 2-3 1 R
Jordan Harrison 1-3 1 R 1RBI
Zac Pointer 1-3 1 R
Aaron Grabanski 1-2 1 R
Kelby Cole 1 R
Game 2 vs Leonard
Leonard 9 Prairiland 8
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Prairiland 0 0 1 1 3 2 1 8 11 4
Leonard 0 3 1 0 0 3 2 9 5 4
WP – Sargent 7inn 8R 5ER 8K 0BB 11H
LP – Wilkins 2inn 2R 2 ER 0K 4H 1BB
Kelby Cole 2-4 2R 2 SB
Jasper Goodson 2-4 1 R 1 RBI 2SB
Aaron Grabanski 2-4 1R 2 RBI
Ashdon Langston 1-4 1R 1 RBI
Blake Upchurch 2-4 2RBI 2SB
Jordan Harrison 1-4 1 R
Chase Reynolds 1-3 1 R
Game 3 vs Leonard
Prairiland 11 Leonard 6
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Prairiland 0 2 1 3 3 1 1 11 12 2
Leonard 2 0 0 0 4 0 0 6 8 2
WP – Ashdon Langston 5 inn 6R 6ER 4K 5H 6BB
Heath Swaim 2 Inn 0R 0ER 1K 3H 0BB
LP – Nixon 3inn 4R 4ER
Cummins 1.33 inn 5R
Coheley .67 inn 1R
Hicks 2 inn 1 R
Jasper Goodson 2-5 1 R 2RBI 1 SB
Ashdon Langston 3-4 1R 2RBI
Jordan Harrison 3-4 1 R 2RBI
Zac Pointer 2 R
Josh Harrison 2-3 3 R 2RBI
Kelby Cole 2-3 1R 3 SB
With senior Kendall Vogt lost for the season with a knee injury, the Paris Lady Cats have to look elsewhere for offense with their leading scorer sidelined. Saturday, they discovered a spark in freshman Tieran Gates who scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Greenville at T. A. “Cotton” Ford Stadium.
It was a critical win for the Lady Cats as they jockey for one of the four playoff berths from District 19-4A. Paris is now 3-3-1 in district, while the defending district champion Lady Lions fall to 1-6. The Lady Cats are scheduled to host Bonham Monday, weather permitting, at Wildcat Stadium as part of a varsity doubleheader. The girls play at 5:30 p.m. with the boys following at 7.
Gates, a budding 4-sport standout at Paris (she also excels in volleyball, basketball, and track) scored her first goal just 7:18 into the match to give Paris a 1-0 lead. The Lady Cats took that lead into halftime, but the Lady Lions tied the match, 1-1, with a goal at the start of the second half. It remained tied until 2:52 remaining when Gates found the net again from 20 yards out.
Boys basketball? Good guess, but wrong. The Cats have enjoyed seven straight 20-win seasons under head coach Billy Mack Steed with an impressive .742 winning percentage (95-33) over the past four seasons.
Baseball? Another reasonable, but also wrong, answer. Paris High was 71-31 (.696 percentage) entering the current baseball season. With a challenging rebuilding year facing long-time head coach Bill Sikes, the baseball Cats probably won’t improve on that mark by season’s end.
Football. Not even close. The Cats will carry a 17-game district win streak into the 2014 football campaign, but they’re just 27-17 (.614 percentage) overall.
The correct answer is boys soccer, which is currently sitting on a 72-15-8 mark (.792 percentage) following Friday night’s 6-0 whipping of Greenville in a District 19-4A match at Wildcat Stadium. Boys soccer? That outdoor sport played in the dead of winter under bizarre weather conditions by crazy kids running around in their shorts? And if you answered correctly, chances are good that you might be one of those handful of hearty family and friends who bundle up and drag your portable propane heaters into the mostly deserted stands to support those crazy kids.
If you were one of those hundred or so diehard spectators who witnessed the Wildcats’ 19th shutout of an outstanding 19-3-1 season, then you know the match was highlighted by three notable accomplishments:
It all added up to a memorable Senior Night for the 17 members of the Class of 2014 who have been a big part of that nearly 80% success rate achieved during their tenure at Paris High. Cade’s milestone goal follows on the heals of that same 50-goal plateau achieved by classmate and close friend Blake Beshirs in Tuesday’s storm-shortened, 2-0 victory over crosstown rival North Lamar. Had Mother Nature not interceded, chances are good that both 4-year starters would have notched their 50th in the same match.
The hat trick by Kresen was an encouraging sign for a Cat offense that suddenly went MIA the previous week. Paris produced just a single goal in regulation play and was forced into shootouts in back-to-back matches with main district rivals Sulphur Springs and Princeton. The Cats won the shootout vs. SSHS, but lost to Princeton. Although the Cats still lead the district at 6-1 with 18 points, their recent inability to finish off attacks on goal gave district opponents some optimism that Paris is not a lock for this year’s title.
If Paris coach Jeremy Beshirs can get renewed production from Kresen (7 season goals) and seniors Whitaker and Kirby (9 goals each), then the Cats might be headed for their second district title in three years and a prolonged playoff run. In the meantime, he has made a change in offensive philosophy in the last two matches, alternating son Blake and Cade in forward attacking roles in an attempt to stretch opposing defenses who were clogging the midfield area by marking both Beshirs and Cade..
It worked Tuesday with Beshirs getting both goals in the 2-0 win over NL, and Cade got the Cats off to a fast start Friday with his first goal with 29:02 remaining in the first half.
Then Kresen took over the finisher’s role. His first goal came with 19:38 until halftime on a penalty kick awarded when he was taken down inside the 18-yard box. He easily beat the Greenville goalkeeper with a shot to the goalie’s right. Kresen goal No. 2 came with 6:55 before intermission. Beshirs attacked the right flank by passing to a streaking Kirby deep in the corner. Kirby fired a cross toward the net where both Kresen and Cade were waiting. Kresen flicked the ball into the net from 8 yards out.
That made it a 3-0 halftime lead for Paris although the score could have been much higher. The porous Greenville defense gave away numerous turnovers which led to excellent scoring chances.
Kresen almost had the hat trick before halftime, but it took just 4:17 after the break to notch goal No. 3. Beshirs, this time operating on the left wing, sent a cross into the middle that Kresen caught up to in stride to strike into the net behind the goalie, who guessed wrong on his dive. It was now a 4-0 lead.
Another subtle recent change in offensive philsophy by the Cats has been the green light Beshirs, the coach, is giving his stellar defensive line to become involved in the offense. Specifically, two of his more skilled players, sophomore Alfredo Medina and the speedy Gutierrez have been allowed to make long runs whenever they’re in position for a counter-attack. Gutierrez, as the Paris center back, normally acts as a free safety choking off any opposing breakaways and funneling the ball out of harm’s way, but his quickness and ball-handling skills can be an unexpected weapon for any team focused on stopping the Beshirs-Cade tandem.
Gutierrez stole the ball at midfield and left six Lions flat-footed in his wake on a remarkable 40-yard sustained run before sending the ball across the goalmouth inside the far post with 23:36 left in the match. His first career goal extended the Paris lead to 5-0.
Beshirs was the catalyst for the final goal. He ran down a long through ball in front of the net, joustled for position on the right wing with a Lion defender, then turned and sent a cross toward the far post. Kirby back-headed the cross with two defenders on his back, and Cade was perfectly positioned for the scoring volley off the bounce with 2:55 remaining. It was goal No. 22 this season and 51 for his career.
Paris senior goalies Angel Rocha and Jesus Herrera each took a half in goal, but neither was forced to make a save. Coach Beshirs substituted freely, especially in the second half, giving his seniors playing time on their special night. The senior class also includes Zane Young, Whitaker, Kresen, Jackson Reeves, Christian Gil, Beshirs, Cade, Cody Redus, Alfredo Gonzales, Gustavo Luna, Victor Guzman, Lee Leija, Diego Torres, Alfredo Gonzales, and Kirby.
So a rejuvenated Wildcats soccer team heads into the final three district games with renewed scoring confidence. They get a encore home match Monday in a varsity doubleheader appearance with the Lady Cats vs. Bonham at Wildcat Stadium. The matches were originally scheduled to be played in Bonham, but the Purple Warriors’ home turf is under reconstruction and unavailable. The girls match begins at 5:30 with the the boys getting underway around 7.
In a side note, the UIL is expected to announce realignment for soccer in the coming days, creating a third conference classification for that sport. It will enable Paris and other current Class 3A schools to compete on a more level playing field, but it will come a year too late for the current crop of seniors.
There was no JV match Friday because Greenville fields only a varsity team this season.