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The North Lamar Panthers entered Friday night’s contest against Paris High tied for third place in District 13-3A. The Panthers would need to win both games and hope for a Liberty Eylau loss in order to secure a playoff birth. With a win, Paris High would clinch at least a tie for the District Title.
Using the energy from a packed out Panther gym, North Lamar would jump out to an early lead. Buc Odie would score the first eight points for North Lamar and would finish with nine of their 18 first quarter points. After Paris took a 9 – 8 lead with 2:15 left in the first quarter, North Lamar would score 10 unanswered points to close out the quarter and take an 18 – 9 lead into the second.
The second quarter would see a Paris High team take the floor with much more energy. Fueled by KD Moore’s 11 second quarter points, the Wildcats would close the gap to one at half time. The Panthers would drop in four 3 point shots in the second quarter, three of them from Ian Dukleth. The last three pointer by Dukleth was a shot from about 23 feet out that put the Panther fans on their feet.
The Panthers enjoyed a one point lead at half time, but the second half would tell a different story. The third quarter opened up with both teams trading baskets for the first four minutes. Paris High, however, would dominate the final four minutes of the quarter. With the game tied at 40 and 4:02 left in the third, Paris would out score North Lamar 18 – 9 to close out the third. The highlight for the Panthers in the quarter was Adrian Ellis hitting a 3 pointer at the buzzer.
The final quarter was much of the same for Paris High. The Wildcats outscored North Lamar 17 – 10 in the fourth to win the game 75 – 59. With the loss and Liberty Eylau’s win over Atlanta, North Lamar will miss the playoffs.
“I give the credit to Paris,” said Coach Garner after the loss. “They shot the ball well. They finished plays. That was the difference in the ball game. They made plays and we missed a lot of opportunities.”
North Lamar will finish out the season Tuesday night at Pleasant Grove.
North Lamar 18 16 15 10 59
Paris High 9 24 25 17 75
Individual Scorers for NL:
Ian Dukleth – 21, Buc Odie – 12, Austin Anthony – 6, Devin McDonald – 6, Adrian Ellis – 5, Ryan Robinson – 5, Darius Johnson
by Greg Higgins