No one on the Paris roster could stop Savannah Hodges last Thursday night.
At times, quite literally.
Danville’s 5-foot-1 sophomore guard scored 24 points to pull the Lady Little Johns within a game of Paris in the 3A-4 standings with a 60-52 win Thursday.
She helped build a Danville (12-8, 5-3) lead to as large as 16 points in the fourth quarter when she went around all five Paris defenders to score an easy layup after breaking the Lady Eagles’ press. From the start of the third quarter to the 4:20 mark of the fourth, Danville outscored Paris 24-13.
Hodges had 11 points that span.
"She’s really, really good," Paris coach Toby Tevebaugh said. "She’s mostly right-handed, but when you’re that quick and low to the ground, we just had a terrible time trying to cut her off and stay in front of her."
Paris, which entered tied for first place in 3A-4, finally looked the part of conference leader in the fourth.
Two possessions after Hodges’ press-breaking bucket, the Lady Eagles went on a 19-6 run to pull within three, 55-52, with just more than a minute left. Christa Huber buried a pair of 3-pointers during the run while Morgan Highfield and Lycia Peevy scored five buckets in trimming the lead.
But Paris (16-5, 6-2) finished 0-for-4 from the field in those last 70 seconds and Danville sank 5-of-6 free throws in that span to clinch.
The four-minute stretch when Paris rallied was about the only time they looked in sync all night. Tevebaugh said as much afterward.
"I didn’t think we were rebounding very well and I didn’t think we were getting out on shooters very well. And they were just hot," he said. "Commendable comeback, but we dug too deep of a hole."
A six-point second quarter was a big part of that. A pair of 3-pointers from Huber and Lacey Diaz were the only buckets Paris scored in the quarter as they shot 2-for-11 from the floor. That and poor free-throw shooting (4-of-10) left Paris rushing in the fourth quarter.
Hodges started slow before making six of her final eight shots from the floor and seven of her eight free throws in the second half. Sixteen of her 24 points came after halftime.
Tora Eggelton and Peyton Powers also reached double figures for Danville with 12 and 11 points. Huber added 14 for Paris.
Paris’ loss is its second in three games. The back half of conference play begins next week and Tevebaugh knows his team now needs an upset or a loss from Lamar to get back into 3A-4 title contention.
"We’re in a little bit of a downtick right now," he said. "I’m glad we’re going through this now instead of a few weeks. We could have played very well and still lost tonight. I think we’ll bounce back."
Danville 72, Paris 68
BOYS — Paris pulled to within two points with 40.2 seconds left before a technical foul on the Eagles’ bench led to six straight Danville points that ultimately left little chance for the Eagles.
Paris trailed by two when Danville lost the ball on an inbound. After a pair of missed Eagles layups — one of which left the Eagles unhappy because of no foul call — a Paris player on the bench was called for the technical foul. Jay Trusty made four free throws to give Danville a 68-62 lead.
Trusty finished with 34 points, 12-of-14 from the line and 20 points in the fourth quarter.
Devin Rice led four Paris players in double figures with 15 points.