The starting five for the Paris High School Lady Eagles basketball team have been effective in every game, but in wins and losses alike, it is the bench play that has made the difference. When the Lady Eagles need depth, they often struggle, bringing along younger and more inexperienced players who are developing at a high rate out of necessity.

Coach Dustin Williams has done well bringing in on-campus athletes to his program and developing young talent. When they took the court against Atkins, they were ready to put the hard work on display in front of the home fans.

Paris took control from the tip, and it was the combination of Kieli Robinson and Lexi Lee that dominated play. Robinson likely had a triple double, though the stats were not available on rebounds and assists. Her 30 points were unselfish, often finding the open player when she drew a double team. Lee plays a foot taller than her frame, as the guard goes into the paint with regularity putting the baseline opposition in foul trouble. She poured in 19 of her own, with Kylie Morris adding a dozen. Brynn Simmons dominated on defense, blocking shots and pulling down rebounds. Paris pulled away and emptied the bench, getting minutes for the young talent in the 63-43 win.

The next two games were not as pleasant, as the depth of the opposition would wear down the Lady Eagle core players.

Against host Lavaca in the Golden Arrow Classic, the Lady Eagles just could not score at the rate they had in their wins. They dropped the opening game 56-41 and then faced Lamar in the third-place game. Lamar didn’t put up big numbers, but scoring was at a premium. After Robinson scored 30 against Atkins, they only managed 33 as a team and dropped the game 47-33.

At 4-4 on the season, the Lady Eagles can still make noise in the conference race if the young players develop and provide more depth for a developing team.