MARSHALL — The Paris Tiger basketball team fell hard Friday night (12/7) while visiting rival Marshall, dropping the matchup 73-55. Despite the loss, head coach Shawn Nugent was optimistic in a lot of what he saw from his team.
“I am really proud of this team and the way that they fought tonight,” Nugent said. “We are a young team. We have some things to learn still.”
Paris opened the game hot, shooting 60 percent from the field in the first four minutes of the game. Marshall turned up their defensive presence on the court and forced several costly turnovers from the Tigers as the Lions took the lead at 16-11. The first quarter came to a close with Paris trailing 16-13.
The second quarter opened with Marshall extending their lead, going on an 8-1 through the first 2:31 of the quarter. Paris was unable to find any open looks around the tough defensive front that the Lions showed.
With just over three minutes left in the first half, the Tigers trailed Marshall 31-16, being outscored 15-3. Paris was able to start moving the ball around the perimeter and got some open looks at the basket. They began forcing several steals from the Lions and were able to climb back into the game before halftime. A last-second layup from sophomore Mason Hutchings capped the Paris run and helped to swing the momentum back in their favor going into the break, trailing just 33-23.
Paris continued to chip away at the Lion lead at the beginning of the third quarter as sophomore Jude Sullivan managed two steals in a span of 30 seconds and feeding several layups to teammates in the paint. Marshall was able to maintain their offensive firepower, however, and a three from senior Skyler McManus put them ahead 45-32.
Paris senior Bryce Gladding took over in the third quarter. Gladding was fouled on back-to-back baskets and also making the free throws. Gladding scored eight of the final 10 points of the quarter for the Tigers. Paris trailed just 49-45 heading into the fourth quarter.
A quick basket from Paris sophomore JT Johnson pulled the Tigers within three at 49-46 and was their closest margin for Paris since the end of the first quarter.
It was short-lived though.
Marshall sensed the Paris rally and turned up the heat. The Lions opened up a 6-0 run in a matter of 62 seconds and never looked back, scoring on consecutive jumpers to push the lead further. With 2:50 left in regulation, the Lions had extended their lead to 16 points, 66-50. Despite attempting to foul their way back into the game, Paris was unable to close the gap and fell 73-55.
“We have talked about being positive,” Nugent said “We just have to keep taking steps forward.”
Mason Hutchings finished the game with a team-high 14 points. Garrett King scored eight points. Colton Landrum managed eight points but also had a team-high six rebounds. Jude Sullivan scored six points in the contest. Bryce Gladding scored twelve points in the contest, earning several from the free-throw line after making the initial basket. Logan Rhoads scored two points for the Tigers. JT Johnson scored five points for Paris.