The Paris-area Homeschool Basketball Association recently competed in the NCHS Big South Basketball Tournament, where teams from all over the southern region of the United States from California to Louisiana come to compete. In the face of all the competition, the Paris Homeschool Warriors 16U boys basketball team earned the tournament championship with an undefeated run through the bracket.
Each bracket within the tournament is separated into different divisions, which is similar to the public classification of different-sized high schools. For example, Division One includes large organizations from highly-populated urban areas such as Dallas, Houston, and Ft. Worth. The Paris Homeschool Warriors compete in Division Three against the likes of smaller community organizations like Mt. Pleasant and Sulphur Springs. With that, the Warriors went undefeated in the tournament as the second seed and ultimately played the top seed for the championship, one the Warriors captured in 16U Division II.
The Warriors faced CHESS of Sulphur Springs in the first round and won that contest comfortably by a final score of 62-28. Asher Thomas and William Keubler used sharpshooting and effective scoring to lead the Warriors to the blowout win. The duo combined for 36 points with Thomas tallying 21 points and Keubler finishing with 15 points.
Then, the challenges continued to stiffen as Paris Homeschool continued to advance through the bracket.
The Warriors took on the Red River Rattlers of Denton County, where they found themselves in a triple-overtime battle. Warriors guard Sam Moore used some late heroics to send the game into extra time by hitting a long 3-pointer at the buzzer, which eventually led to a thrilling 63-61 win.
After that, the Warriors squared off and won 42-40 against Midland-Odessa to set up their championship bout against Salt & Light out of North Houston. The Warriors trudged ahead through the action in the beginning and fell behind by 10 points. However, head coach Rein Stephens and assistant Austin Bush got their 16U troops refocused and Paris Homeschool fought back with a strong second quarter as the Warriors trimmed the deficit to 27-22 at the half.
The Warriors’ momentum continued in the second half as they stormed back to take a 38-36 lead after the third quarter ended, which was highlighted by a key 14-6 run. The Warriors were able to hold on down the stretch to secure the championship win over Salt & Light. Blake White (13 points) and Hayes Mackey (12 points) led the way for the Warriors in the victory while Judah Moore and Gage Stephens anchored the painted area with solid interior defense and numerous rebounds. The Warriors were pleased with the teamwork, defensive execution, sharp outside shooting, sound fundamentals, level of focus, and clutch makes from the free-throw line during their impressive tournament run.
The 16U squad also competed in the 18U bracket in Division III, where they finished in seventh place out of 12 teams. The Paris Homeschool Association also made sure to thank its sponsors for helping the organization continue to grow and provide opportunities for its athletes. Bryan Mackey is the athletic director and head coach of the 18U program while Bradley Morrison serves as his assistant coach.
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