We were all eating Thanksgiving leftovers the last time the Paris High School Eagles played a home basketball game.
There may be no worse time than semester exam weeks to have road games, but for the Eagles, their stretch of road games will go well into the new year. They will play Cedarville on Jan. 9. That’s the next time they play in front of the home crowd.
Last week, they opened with the long drive to Perryville for a league matchup. The balanced attack of the Mustangs kept the Eagles looking for answers.
Paris played from behind most of the night, but a strong start and a strong finished was enough to keep the Eagles at bay, and allow for Perryville to win the matchup 73-62. Kris Graham had a strong game for the Eagles, scoring 15 of his game-high 25 in the fourth quarter. Perryville equaled the effort and hit free throws down the stretch in the win.
Paris then traveled south to Mansfield on Friday for a matchup against the Tigers.
The two teams mirror each other in a lot of ways, with each having one player carrying them in their wins. For Paris, it has been Graham. His hot shooting has been key to the Eagles’ wins, but foul trouble has also been an issue in losses. On Friday night, Graham and the Eagles pounded the paint and played smothering defense. Twins Garrett and Grayson Moore had the Tigers seeing double as they swatted and kicked at every pass, harassing Mansfield into frustration. Cold shooting in the second period looked to have the Eagles at a significant disadvantage, but defense limited the damage to a 26-21 lead for the Tigers at the half.
The third quarter saw everything change.
After scoring only 21 in the opening half, the Eagles put in 20 in each of the remaining quarters. Paris would keep the defensive pressure on to halt a last minute run from Mansfield, winning the game 61-54. Graham bettered his early-week matchup, scoring 27 in the win. George Poole had quality minutes, pulling down multiple rebounds and helping maintain the defensive pressure.
For the Eagles, the week was not over, and neither were the road trips, though they played just down Highway 22 Saturday at Subiaco Academy.
On Saturday, any gains they had main in the win over Mansfield were not evident as Paris appeared out manned and tired. Paris was never in the game, with turnovers taking away numerous opportunities. Paris trailed by 10 at the half, and as soon as they got it to nine in the second half, Subiaco went on an 18-0 run to pull away for the lopsided win, 63-31.
Paris falls to 3-8 on the season, with a road game at Lavaca remaining before the Christmas break.