TEXARKANA, Texas -- After a nip-and-tuck first half, Liberty-Eylau dominated the third quarter, but Paris controlled the fourth as the Wildcats escaped with a 69-61 win over the Leopards in a DIstrict 15-4A basketball game Friday at the Rader Dome.
After playing back from three double-digit deficits in the first half, the Leopards led by as many as 13 in the third quarter, but their offense faltered in the final stanza.
L-E (14-5, 1-1) finished with a 35 percent shooting percentage on 23-of-65 field goals. The Leopards had fewer turnovers (22-26) and narrowly lost the rebounding battle, 40-39.
Paris finished shooting 48 percent (29-of-61 after converting 10-of-14 in the fourth.
Garrius Savage led all scorers with 22 points to lead four Wildcats in double figures. Jaelyn Lee had 12 points and 16 rebounds, Micah Jenkins scored all 12 of his points in the second half, and Jagger Moore added 10 points. Braylon Mickens also had 10 boards.
Greg London paced Liberty-Eylau with 13 points, as six players contributed six points or more. Chris Lewis chipped in with 11 points, and Tracy Revels and Roderick Galloway had eight apiece. Revels had 10 rebounds, and London added eight.
The Leopards started the second half strong, erasing a 6-point deficit and taking their own 6-point lead with a 12-0 run in the first four minutes. Liberty-Eylau's streak continued for seven more points, the home team building a 46-33 lead with 2:18 left in the third.
The Wildcats scored five straight and closed the third on a 12-4 run, cutting Paris' deficit to 50-45 to start the fourth.
Just 57 seconds into the final quarter, the Wildcats knotted the score at 50. The lead changed five times over the next 1:36, but Paris scored seven in a row to take a 62-56 lead with 2:40 remaining. Six more points turned that run into a 13-0 rally by the visitors, who went up 68-56 with 1:22 left to play.
L-E closed the game on a 5-1 run for the final tally.
Paris started strong, building an 11-0 lead in the first four minutes.
The Leopards got the offense working and closed the gap with a 6-2 run, and then a 10-0 run that extended from the end of the first quarter and 1:06 into the second got L-E back within 17-16.
The Wildcats went back to work and regained an 11-point lead (29-18) with a 12-2 rally. Liberty-Eylau closed the half on a 9-4 run and went into halftime down 33-27.
Paris shot 42 percent (14-of-33) in the first half, and the Leopards shot 32 percent (10-of-31) before intermission.
Liberty-Eylau rallied from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter of the junior varsity game to win 64-61 in overtime. Kaydrean Blaylock led the Leopard junior varsity with 18 points.
Paris won the ninth grade game, 30-28.