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With just 0:03 on the clock and Paris trailing 61-60, PJC’s Shanice Vaughan in-bounded the ball near mid-court to Scott, a 5-8 former Pasadena High School sharpshooter, who dribbled to the top of the circle and let fly her shot.
The ball bounced twice off the rim, then settled into the middle of the goal for a game-winning basket that set off a wild celebratory dogpile on Scott at mid-court.
“She got a good look at the basket, it bounced a few times, and we were fortunate that it bounced our way tonight,” Paris head coach Michael Madrid said.
With the win, Paris improved to 8-8 for the season and 2-2 in Region 14 play. Jacksonville fell to 7-7 overall and 1-2 in conference.
Chy Cunningham led Paris with 13 points, followed by DaMya Toney and Scott with 12 points. Yvonne Maosa led Jacksonville with 18 points, backed by Devanyar Workman with 17 points.
The Lady Dragons’ first four goals were 3-pointers — one from Scott, one from Cunningham, and two from Toney.
“They had run a lot of zone in the past, so we worked a lot on our zone offense and we knocked down some shots from outside early and brought them out of their zone,” Madrid said.
The lead changed back and forth, and the Lady Dragons finished the first half on an 11-2 run for a 33-29 halftime advantage. A goal early in the second half gave Paris its largest lead of 35-29.
Jacksonville answered that with a 22-10 run for a six-point lead of its own at 51-45.
Two goals by Scott, including a 3-pointer, allowed Paris to pull into a 57-57 tie with 4:12 to play, and Toney’s two free throws put the Lady Dragons ahead 59-57 lead with 1:45 to play.
Freeland’s basket at 1:15 tied the game, and Maosa’s two free throws at 0:21 gave the Lady Jaguars a 61-59 lead.
The Lady Dragons got the ball inside, and with 9 seconds to play, Maosa fouled center Shannon DeFoe, who was only 4-for-11 on her previous free throws in the game.
DeFoe missed her first shot and made the second, leaving Paris a point short at 61-60.
When Jacksonville’s in-bounds pass came in to Bria Freeland, Vaughan immediately wrapped her up, stopping the clock at 0:07.
Because the foul was only Paris’ ninth of the game — one short of the double-bonus two free throws that start with the 10th foul of a half — Freeland had a 1-and-1.
Freeland’s shot bounced away, and Madrid called time out when the rebound went to Paris. The clock showed 0:05.
Then, as soon as Vaughan made an in-bounds pass into the front court, Madrid called another timeout — his fourth timeout in 18 seconds, and as Paris set up for the game-winning shot, the scoreboard read 0:03.
“It was good to have some timeouts,” Madrid said. “I could have called some early, but I sort of felt like it was going to come down to the last few minutes and we were going to need some timeouts.”
Madrid praised his players for their positive attitude throughout the game.
“You know, they fought to the very end. They never let down, and the entire game, they felt like we could win. When you have that attitude, it gives you an opportunity toward the end,” he said.
“Tonight we didn’t really play our best. It was sort of a frustrated evening, and I felt like I coached frustrated all night long. We could never really get in a really solid tempo,” he said.
“But, you know, they played hard enough to stay in the game and give themselves a chance there at the end.”
Saturday, the Lady Dragons will be at Kilgore for a 2 p.m. game against the Lady Rangers.
“I haven’t even seen them on film,” Madrid said Wednesday night. “I’ll stay up tonight and watch this game and watch some Kilgore film and start putting a game plan together. And, you know, just looking forward to another opportunity to improve.”
In other Region 14 games Wednesday, it was:
Angelina 94, Panola 81
Kilgore 81, SanJacinto 59
Tyler 122, Coastal Bend 49
Trinity Valley 105, Blinn 70
Here are the standings for Region 14 women’s teams:
The top eight teams will advance to the Region 14 tournament in early March. Coastal Bend, which is in its first year with a women’s team, will play the No. 8 team for the tournament’s No. 8 seed.
By Charles Richards, eParisExtra