A late rally fell short for the Greenville Lions in a 69-61 non-district basketball loss to the Paris Wildcats on Saturday in the Lions Den.
Greenville cut an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter down to four points twice but Mark Bawcum and K.D. Moore of Paris hit four key free throws and Ronyae Bell’s putback bucket helped the Wildcats stretch their lead back out to 67-58 with 59 seconds remaining. Bell and Moore sank two more free throws in the final 32 seconds to seal the victory as Paris squared its season record at 1-1.
Moore, whose dunk gave Paris a 48-39 lead in the third quarter, led all scorers with 31 points. Seljah Johnson added 13 points and Bawcum pitched in 10.
Dartannon Wilson, who had been averaging 29 points per game, led the Lions with 15 points, while Darion Neal added 13, Marquis Taylor nine and Collen Wilburn and Brady Mulkey both finished with eight.
Greenville, which dropped to 1-3 for the season, went only 16-of-31 from the free throw line.
“Tough loss,” said Lions coach Marcus Smith. “Defensively, we didn’t execute. We didn’t talk. Communication wasn’t very good. But when you’re 16-of-31 on free throws it’s hard to win. I think the mental focus wasn’t there.”
The Lions will return to the court on Tuesday at Frisco.
Paris 14 16 14 15 —69
Greenville 12 17 10 22 —61
P: Ronyae Bell 7, Jay Milton 6, Mark Bawcum 10, K.D. Moore 31, Seljah Johnson 13, Trey Barry 2.
G: Collen Wilburn 8, Marquis Taylor 9, Marlon Mack 6, Darion Neal 13, Dartannon Wilson 15, Brady Mulkey 8, Jerry Dickeson 2.
Records: P 1-1, G 1-3.
Next game: Greenville at Frisco, Tuesday.
Paris 11 19 19 21 —70
Greenville 14 13 16 11 —54
P: Jo. Embry 21, Wallace 8.
G: Trevon Heard 14, Cole Mulkey 12, Spencer Gilbert 12, Carandal Hale 11.