The Paris Tigers duked it out in a low scoring affair Friday night, falling to the Newton Eagles by the 55-41 in their LIC conference opener.
Paris Head coach Shawn Nugent pinpointed some of the issues that plagued the Tigers.
“Every time we made a run, Newton would do something to extend the lead back out,” the Tiger coach said. “We kept making bad decisions with the ball, and we don’t always have the best leadership on the floor.”
Not playing for one week may have contributed to the poor shooting by the Tigers — and Newton — in the opening quarter.
After two baskets from Tigers Jude Sullivan and Logan Rhoads to make it 4-0, Matthew Brouwer picked up his second foul of the game just three minutes into the game. Brouwer was relegated to the bench for the rest of the half.
Paris managed to pick up six team fouls with two minutes left in the quarter, putting the Eagles in the bonus. Newton tied it up at six with a drive into transition and a flip baseline shot right before the buzzer.
Both teams struggled from the line in the second quarter. The Tigers were careless with the ball as the second quarter progressed.
Paris missed two fast break layups early in the quarter and Newton increased its lead to 11-6 off a three pointer midway through the period.
Paris and Newton then traded baskets from Logan Rhoads and a three point foul play from Jude Sullivan. A much smaller Newton struggled through the half with shots in the paint but were able to knock in layups on three possessions towards the end of the quarter thankse to defensive lapses from the Tigers. Newton led t21-15 at half.
A fresh Matthew Brouwer came back in action during the third quarter and helped stabilize the Tiger offense down in the paint. Newton was able to repeatedly convert down low on their end in the opening minutes.
Paris got within 26-27 midway through the third quarter, but was not able to take advantage of the unforced Newton turnovers.
The Eagles drained three pointers two possessions apart and held the ball for the last minute of the quarter, giving them a 35-28 heading into the final quarter of play.
The driving lanes began to open up for the Eagles in the fourth. Newton sent in two layups and free throws to go up 41-30 with 5 minutes remaining in the game. Tiger Garrett King made four free throws on ensuing possessions, but any Paris momentum stopped when JT Johnson picked up a technical foul with 3:12 left.
Newton made both free throws then extended their lead making their remaining free throws off of Paris fouls.
“It’s hard to play defense without being to put the ball in the basket,” Nugent lamented. “We left a lot of points out on the floor tonight, and it’s very disappointing.”
Logan Rhoads led the Tigers with nine points, Brouwer landed eight points on four baskets, and Colton Landrum tallied seven.