It has been a rivalry as long as most locals can remember, and Tuesday, Jan. 30, Paris, fans again got to tell stories and experience a new one as Paris hosted Subiaco Academy as a heavy underdog.
Subiaco Academy destroyed the Eagles in a matchup before Christmas at Subiaco. This time, the home court advantage went to the Eagles. With the Eagle band behind the visiting bench and both student sections full, the teams took the court and delivered what everyone wanted, a highly contested matchup.
Paris played much better defensively, limiting the effective outside shooting that did them in on the road. The game was close most of the way, with the Eagles’ defense leading to most of their offense. Subiaco Academy presents a matchup challenge with multiple players able to hit from deep. Paris pulled to within five points with a minute and a half left, but Subiaco shot their free throws in clutch time and pulled away for the win, 57-45.
The Eagles would have to stay focused as they traveled to Cedarville last Friday night.
Early on, Paris could not find their way, falling behind and playing from behind most of the night. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Eagles hit their stride, and they found it with defense, essentially shutting down the Pirates and holding them to four points. The Eagles could not score enough to lock down the win, but they could send it to an extra period, and the defensive intensity went with them.
They pulled out a 54-49 win, matching their five-point margin of victory at home. Kris Graham led all scorers with 34, and his output was directly proportional to the Eagles’ success.
Paris now makes the short drive west on Highway 22 to rival Charleston for a Tuesday matchup before the Senior Night at home against another rival, Booneville. Paris is 7-17 in the season and has the potential to improve with junior high players moving up for the postseason. They are looking for some scoring help for Graham, and if they can find it, they have the defensive intensity to show drastic improvement over early-season frustration.