The Paris Lady Eagle basketball team wasted no time getting to work this season, with many players devoted to a full off season regimen. Under new head coach Dustin Williams, a hometown boy returned, the Lady Eagles enter the season optimistic and hoping to make noise with young talent.
They took the court for competition a full week before the boys, traveling to Johnson County Westside for the Westside Shootout.
Their first opponent would be Little Rock Fair, who traveled from central Arkansas with high expectations. The Lady Eagles wasted no time, make quick work of Fair, pouring in 69 points in the 27 point romp. It started early, with Paris taking a 26-9 lead in their first quarter of play on the season, led by Junior Kieli Robinson with 12. In the end, it would be Lexy Lee with 24 points leading the Lady Eagles, followed by Robinson with 19, and Senior Kylie Morris poured in 14.
In the second game, they would play Hector. Scoring came at a premium, and the Lady Eagles were held to a much lower output on the evening. Eventually, they fell in a close game, 46-41. Many could have written this game early. In their opener, the Lady Eagles dominated early, but on this night nothing would go their way. At one point in the first half, they gave up a 17-2 run and trailed 25-13 at the half. In the third, Robinson put in 10 points and Paris pulled to within 34-27. However, the charge would fall short. Robinson scored 18 and Lee another 10 in the five-point loss.
In their final match, the Lady Eagles faced Gentry, again seeing the scoring held to a premium. Paris again started out slow, with Robinson and Lee totaling 5 points in the opening quarter and trailing 13-5 early. By half, they had pulled to within 21-18 but saw that lead grow to 9 by the end of the third. It would come down to the wire, and with seconds left and Brynn Simmons fouled out, it would be Leah Quijada who would grab the biggest rebound of the game and put it back in to tie the game. Then, Robinson poked the ball loose from Gentry and Kylie Morris was there to pick it up, pass to Robinson for a layup as time expired, giving the Lady Eagles the stunning comeback win.
Early season tournaments generally show their results as the season progressed, with the team facing talented opposition and learning to adjust and communicate. At 2-1 on the season, the Lady Eagles will host Two River in their home opener on November 17. They will have two games over the Thanksgiving break, at home against County Line on Nov. 20 and the at Roland, Okla. on the Nov. 21.