In 2016-17 the Paris varsity girls basketball team was looking good and getting better, but this season the squad had made such an improvement that few could slow them down and even fewer had what it took to stop them.
The way it started was the Lady Coyotes came out the block with a vastly improved 6-foot-5 Tori Hamilton and rode that part of the playbook until they couldn't. Then, when that well ran dry, head coach Garret Thomas went from tall to small by shifting the focus of his offensive attack to junior Allison Moore.
"I was happy with how the team handled adversity throughout the year. We battled the injury bug during lengthy portions of the season and fared well all things considered," said Thomas. "Despite losing a lot of experience and leadership next year we return two starters and eight varsity letter winners. This includes five incoming seniors and three of our top four scorers. The best part of the season for me is getting to work with my athletes away from games."
This year the Lady Coyotes ended the year with a record of 21-6 overall, 7-1 Lewis and Clark Conference. The one issue they'll have with repeating that success is they'll be losing Drew Lockhart, Grace Peak, Hannah Mitchell, Maariko Williams and Makayla Fox to graduation.
"The players we graduate (in 17-18) have taken part in 83 wins and two conference championships. The players I coach really understand the importance of preparation which makes practice really enjoyable," Thomas said. "The players I coach really understand the importance of preparation which makes practice really enjoyable. Going into the season we expected to compete for a conference and district championship. We ended the season placing second in both and won the Tournament title."