Paris falls to South Vermillion

By DAN DUNDAS prairiepresssports@gmail.com
Posted 1/13/20

The Paris Tigers had another chance to pull off a comeback from behind fourth quarter win, but fell just short to the visiting South Vermilion Wildcats 60-53 Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Paris Head Coach …

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Paris falls to South Vermillion

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The Paris Tigers had another chance to pull off a comeback from behind fourth quarter win, but fell just short to the visiting South Vermilion Wildcats 60-53 Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Paris Head Coach Chase Brinkley likes how the team’s attitude has grown throughout the season.

“Offensively we weren’t very aggressive getting to the paint and using our size advantage in the low post throughout the night,” he said. “We don’t necessarily have a vocal leader on this team which is fine, as long as they are being good teammates and being coachable, and competing.”

Paris tried to take advantage of South Vermillion’s lack of size by starting Jared Bowers alongside JR Brinkerhoff. Mason Hutchings and Jude Sullivan helped with Paris’ offense in the opening quarter, alternating with drives to the basket for scores. The Wildcats matched them with their own drives and free throws, and both teams nearly stalemated to a 13-12 duel for Paris going into the second.

Even after Hutchings departed, Conor Breneman nailed a big three pointer followed on the next possession by one from Zack Farnham, pushing Paris up 19-15. Each team missed some easy fast break opportunities, and some Paris players struggled from the line, going two of eight for the quarter. The Wildcats got back-to-back threes with two minutes left, before the Tigers finally pushed the Wildcats into the double-bonus in a foul heavy first half.

Tied at 25, the third quarter cruised by rather quickly due to a lack of fouls, and both sides again played to a near tie. The Wildcats began to separate themselves, getting a rare dunk from their center, and a big three pointer to go up 36-29, leading to a Paris timeout.

When play resumed, Garrett King stepped up with a fast-break floater, and after a South Vermillion basket, Sullivan put in a three-pointer. King closed down the scoring for the quarter, almost appearing as a free safety out of nowhere, intercepting a long pass and taking it in himself, leaving Paris down only 38-36.

The Tigers struggled offensively in the fourth quarter, while the Wildcats took advantage of some three-point foul plays to extend their lead to nearly double-digits. Paris got some more baskets from Hutchings, as he continued his strong offensive night. After Zack Farnham hit a three to make it 54-48 Wildcats, Hutchings hit a pullup three pointer to force a South Vermillion timeout at the :33 second mark, down 56-51. A three-point attempt by Sullivan to cut the lead did not go down,

and the Tigers fouled the rest of way as South Vermillion made free throws to finish the game.

Regardless of the outcome, even with the up and down focus, Brinkley understands a season is a long process.

“We have to find a way to start games with the same amount of energy that we have been finishing with,” he said. “I was pleased with the attitude we had compared to other games. Our guys are starting to buy into the way we want to do things.”

He added, “An example of that would be Mason Hutchings, who even though he got into early foul trouble, he stayed active and locked in on the bench, and it’s not surprising shots started to fall when he went back in.”

Brinkley said the team is getting better and rode a five-game winning streak, but the season has continuing challenges.

“We’ve got Casey coming in and they have Dakota Livingston, who is maybe the best player in our league,” said Brinkley.

Coverage of the Friday, Jan. 10, Paris-Casey game will appear in the Jan. 18 of The Prairie Press.