Paris takes downs Indians

The Paris Tigers pulled out a thrilling win Friday night to pick up the team’s first LIC win of the season.

A home game ended with a score of Paris 51 and Lawrenceville 49.

Paris Head Coach Shawn Nugent figured if they were going to pull one out, it would go down to the wire.

“I’m proud of our guys for keeping up their intensity,” said Nugent. “We held the lead and put them away like we needed too. They deserve a win like that.”

The evening did not start well for the Tigers, with a bunch of early turnovers and the offense looked stuck in the mud.

Lawrenceville managed 12 points in the quarter, as Paris continually subbed in new lineups for some possible cohesion. About halfway through the second quarter, the Tigers began cutting into the Indian lead, and held the visitors to just two points in the last three minutes.

Zack Burger led Paris in that same three minutes with free throws and lay ups to score eight of his game high 22 points. The Paris crowd slowly got into the game as momentum picked up for the Tigers, thanks to some hustle plays and good defensive possessions.

Down only 19-18 to enter the second half, Paris opened with a three-point foul play from Mason Hutchings and another from Brody Spencer a minute later to the approval of the crowd. Bryce Krabel drilled a three-pointer to make it 29-26 Paris with five minutes left. The Indians went on a 6-0 run before Krabel made two more driving baskets.

Krabel finished the quarter with a thrilling drive up the court ending with a running three-pointer that hit the bottom of the net as the clock expired.

“Zack held us together in the first half, and Bryce made that quarter his,” said Nugent. “They’ve been the rocks for us this year when they are on, and it showed tonight”

Both teams played even for most of the fourth quarter, as each side continually answered the other. Whenever Lawrenceville tried to cut the lead, whether it was on back-to-back threes early in the quarter, Burger answered with a bucket or free throws.

After a Caleb Mullenix rebound put back, Paris held a 50-46 lead with a minute remaining. The Indians missed an opportunity and on their ensuing possession, with nine seconds left, Mason Hutchings had the ball knocked off his leg while Lawrenceville attempted to foul him under the visitor’s goal. The Indians nailed a three pointer from the top of the key off the inbounds, leading to an Indians’ timeout. Krabel was fouled on the inbound with 4.5 left, and made his first free throw in the one and one bonus.

Coy Landrum hauled in a strong offensive rebound on Krabel’s missed second attempt and was fouled. He missed his free throw attempt. Lawrenceville rebound and heaved a near full-court shot that rattled off the back iron, giving Paris the win.

Paris’ leading scorers were Burger with 22 and Krabel with 16.

Senior night for the Tigers is next Feb. 23 at home against South Vermillion.

The Prairie Press

101 Central Avenue Paris, IL 61944