Paris opened the week facing Providence Academy, a non-AAA affiliated team with multiple players expecting to play at the next level. It would be a tough early season test for the young Eagles squad.
Providence Academy was talented and had size, but their outside shooting alone took the game out of hand early. It was 20-8 after one quarter and 41-22 at half, and it would get no closer for the Eagles. Paris was shut out in the fourth quarter, taking a lopsided loss 70-35.
Coming home a night later, would the frustration and cold shooting carry over against an athletic Atkins team? From early on, the Eagles were hot, hitting from outside and rebounding with authority. They frustrated the Red Devils, getting them in foul trouble and taking them out of their game immediately. Kris Graham was the early hot hand, using hot shooting and his speed to get to the basket. At half, Paris led 35-14 and were getting quality bench minutes to keep the momentum.
In the second half, it was more of the same, and after putting up 19 points in the third, Paris called off the pressure and emptied the bench, getting valuable minutes for players who have not seen varsity play. Paris dominated the evening, 60-32, and the balanced offensive attack saw Jordan Moore, Grayson Moore, and Graham all score 13 points.
Paris then traveled to Lavaca for the Golden Arrow Classic as the defending tournament champions. It was a tough task facing the host Golden Arrows. Lavaca looked to be in control at the half, leading 33-21. Paris could get no offensive momentum and had to change course and make halftime adjustments. In the third quarter, Paris found more offense, but only closed the gap by two points. In the fourth quarter, Paris got rolling, and the defense stepped up, holding Lavaca to only six points on the home court. Graham caught fire, scoring 10 of his game-high 27 points in the final quarter. With time expiring, Paris was down two with the ball. Graham took the clutch three-point shot, nailing it for the upset win over the tournament host, 52-51
Paris faced Magazine in their final game in the Lavaca tournament. Magazine proved too much for the Eagles, and in their fourth game of the week, Paris just did not have the depth to compete. Magazine ran away from the Eagles for an 18-point lopsided loss for the Eagles, 66-48.
Paris has one returning starter on this squad, and though they are making good improvements game to game, it will take time to develop the younger talent for varsity play against several talented teams in the conference. They have taken on a tougher early schedule to hopefully mature the team for success when it matters most late in the season. Though they get to dial back to a normal two-game week, with games will be on the road, at Waldron before going to Ozark on Friday.