Paris boys, girls trump Fayette on Senior Night

Fayette’s Kenzie Smentkowski (left) was one of five senior basketball players honored between games Tuesday night on Senior Night against Paris. Other basketball players honored on the night of their final home game were Kyreon Lee, Natalie Kimball, Keonna Bush and Collin O’Connell.

For the second straight game, Fayette boys basketball head coach Ben Pallardy was pleased to see his team finish a game strong.

Even though Fayette ended Tuesday’s final home game of the season on a 9-0 run, the Falcons stumbled earlier in a 56-37 loss to Paris.

Pallardy said his team gave a much better effort this time against the Coyotes, after losing to them by 31 points last week on the road.

“We stuck to a game plan and did a really good job of taking away their best player (Slater Stone),” Pallardy said. “Our guards followed a game plan and doubled him. The overall effort defensively was much better tonight.”

During that 9-0 run, Cameron O’Connell and Sam Moore teamed up for one of Fayette’s best plays of the season. Moore saved a ball from going out-of-bounds and threw the ball past two defenders to O’Connell, who scored the easy two points.

Fayette (1-21, 0-9 L&C) fell behind 13-4 after one quarter, but the Falcons never trailed by more than 14 points in the first three quarters. Paris led 38-27 after the third quarter and started the fourth on a quick 12-0 run to put the game out of reach.

Davis Valencia had a team-high 11 points and Lane Ball finished with eight points. Collin O’Connell also had four points and Ahmad McCutcheon, Coltin Lewis and Robby Robinson had three points apiece. Tommy Phillips added two points and Zech Burks had one point.

The Fayette girls held a one-point lead over Paris in the second quarter, but the Lady Coyotes retook the lead 30 seconds later and never looked back in a 55-23 win.

With Paris struggling to score in the first four minutes of the second quarter, Fayette turned a 9-1 deficit into a 10-9 lead with 3:55 to play in the first half. However, the Lady Coyotes ended the first half on an 11-0 run and outscored Fayette 16-5 in the third quarter and 19-8 in the fourth.

Haleigh Strodtman and Natalie Kimball each had 10 points to lead the way for Fayette (1-21, 0-9 L&C), while Kyreon Lee had two points and Kenzie Smentkowski scored one point.

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