The Panther Press

Panthers Lose Heartbreaker in Overtime

Boys BasketballGreg Higgins
(photo by Beverly White) Versache Buchanan with a three-point shot

(photo by Beverly White) Versache Buchanan with a three-point shot

The last time the Paris Wildcats lost a district game at home, the North Lamar Panthers was the team opposite them. That was in 2014, however. Saturday night, the Panthers came close to knocking off the 8th ranked Wildcats but Paris was too dominant in the overtime period as they won 71-59.

(Photo by Beverly White) Grant Erickson playing defense against Paris

(Photo by Beverly White) Grant Erickson playing defense against Paris

Overtime was needed because both teams were deadlocked at 54 after the four quarters of play. This was thanks, in part, to the play of senior Versache Buchanan. Versache, who knocked down nine three pointers in their game at Paris last year, tried matching the feat this year. This time, he managed to knock down seven from behind the arc on his way to 28 points.

With the game tied at 54, Paris had the ball. However, Versache managed a steal and a three-point attempt at the buzzer for the win. The ball would clank off the iron, thus sending the game to over time.

In the overtime period, Jalon Pipkins and Josh Robinson took over for the Wildcats as they scored 12 of the 17 overtime points. 

[Paris] spread the floor out and Pip and Robinson made some plays in the end. We missed a few shots here, transition defense and a few buckets here. Before you know it, it’s a six or eight point ball game. Before you know it, it’s over.
— Homer Garner

One of the reasons North Lamar was in this position was because of the senior leadership on the team. Versache, Levi Porter and Grant Erickson executed when they needed to. Levi knocked down a couple of big three pointers and Erickson made some huge defensive plays as well as knocking down big free throws down the stretch.

Unfortunately it wasn't enough. With the loss, North Lamar moves to 3-4 in District and will host Pleasant Grove on Tuesday night.

Paris High         8     14     20     12     17     71

North Lamar    11      5      24     14      5     59

Versache Buchanan - 28 points, 1 rebound, 2 steals
Levi Porter - 13 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal
Grant Erickson - 6 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals
Menderiz Gray - 6 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal
Jake Stewart - 4 points, 6 rebounds
Julique Franklin - 2 points, 4 rebounds