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In a game that was delayed 24 hours by a blast of winter weather and was made virtually meaningless after North Lamar wrapped up the District 13-3A boys basketball title with a win over Pleasant Grove Tuesday, the Paris Wildcats nonetheless wrapped up the regular season Wednesday with a 63-56 win at Liberty-Eylau.
The results left the Lamar County rivals tied atop the district standings with 8-2 records, but NL had previously secured the No. 1 playoff seed due to its sweep of this year’s district series. The Cats enter the Class 3A playoffs Tuesday as the district’s No. 2 seed and will meet Crandall, the No. 3 seed from District 14, in a bi-district match at McKinney North. Tipoff is 7 p.m.
For Paris, 22-8 overall, Wednesday’s win was the third straight over L-E. The Cats beat the Leopards in overtime of a consolation game during the Paris Holiday Tournament, then destroyed L-E by 32 points in their first district meeting.
Wednesday’s finale was a roller-coaster ride of changing momentum, but Paris took control in the fourth quarter and made some key free throws down the stretch to come away with the victory. L-E and PG ended in a tie for third with 6-4 marks, and flipped for the Nos. 3-4 seed. PG won the No. 3 seed, and L-E took No. 4.
Paris experienced some cold shooting and trailed by 9 points, 39-30, in the third quarter before cutting the L-E lead to 43-39 entering the final 8 minutes. Seljah Johnson hit some big free throws in the closing minutes to seal the win. He finished with 14 points, while fellow junior Roy’D Jones added 12. Senior Marc Bawcum scored 10, and senior Adrian Beamon had 9.
Kwan Curry topped the Leopards with a game-high 17.
By: Tim Taylor