When Paris traveled to Mansfield over a month ago, it was a highly contested matchup where the Eagles pulled away late, using their speed and athleticism.
Mansfield made the return visit to Paris last Tuesday night, and it was again a close contest. The key for Eagles has been to find help for senior Kris Graham, who leads the team almost every night in the scoring column. Coach Mike Foster works the lineup each game with developing role players to best matchup against the opponent. Lately, Landen Forbis, Travis Bryant, and JP Potts have been contributing, often doing the dirty work to free up driving lanes or setting screens to free up the shooters.
Mansfield took them to the wire, and Paris showed some signs of their youth, turning the ball over and playing sloppy at times, but pulling out the 50-47 win.
They would have no time to enjoy the win, with Waldron and their super sophomore Payton Brown coming to town. Although Waldron has been a one-man team all season, they find ways to get Brown the ball. He already had monster games at Subiaco and Ozark, making his name known in the region.
Paris lost handily on the road, but Friday night they were very competitive throughout. It was a battle of point guards, and Kris Graham scored his normal 29 points, but the Eagles could find no answer for Brown, who filled it up from deep and hit 17 of 18 free throws in route to scoring 41 of his teams 60 points. It would be just enough for Waldron to pull away at the end for a five-point win.
Grayson Moore scored 13 and Jordan Moore another seven to help the Eagles.
Paris must now focus on local rival Subiaco Academy. Just before Christmas, Paris traveled to Subiaco on a Saturday evening and had their worst game of the season. They will be looking for a signature win when the Trojans visit Tuesday night. Thursday they will travel to Cedarville, a team they defeated earlier in the season. They will wrap up their season going to Charleston on February 6th and hosting Booneville for Senior Night on Feb. 9.