The Paris Junior Lady Eagles have quietly put together a great season behind new head coach Dustin Williams.
Their recipe for success is unlike most teams. They enter the season with two seventh graders contributing despite having athletics at a different time slot than the rest of the team and the additions of the Hart girls, playing for their mom’s alma mater with dad Donald Hart set to coach the Lady Eagles softball team this spring.
The Junior Lady Eagles have a 15-7 record heading to the postseason tournament and can compete with anyone. They are led by Jadyn Hart, a freshman averaging 17 points a game. Her younger sister Jacee starts at center and is in the eighth grade. Harley Watts, Karsyn Tencleve, and Lauren Earl make up the starting five that set the pace with a high pressure 1-2-2 half-court trap defense that results in many lopsided wins.
Coach Williams says, “If teams can handle the pressure, they can usually hang with us. But, if they cannot, it is usually a lopsided affair.”
He went on to say that Jayden Hart’s stats could be much larger were it not for several games where she sat the second half with a large lead.
Brailey Forst and Jayden Wells are seventh graders playing up with the junior team and contributing regularly off the bench. They help provide a defensive spark and maintain the defensive intensity that Williams prefers. They have developed into a more balanced team as the season has progressed, and are certainly better than their third seed in the district tournament.
As their season winds down, there is the potential for a few ladies to join the senior high team for their tournament run soon after. They will play Two Rivers in their opening game at Atkins this week.