Paradise agenda item raises a stink

The City of Paradise has a smelly situation to deal with.

At the council meeting Monday, City Secretary Teresa Moody will talk to the council about an odor problem at City Hall.

Also during the meeting, James Armstrong will share with the concil his plans for the 102 N. Oak property, and Randy Lanier will give a presentation on AFLAC.

The council will also schedule a budget workshop.

As the planning and zoning comission, city officials will consider the replat of the Methodist church.

In routine business, the council will consider meeting minutes and financials reports and hear an update from the building and water departments and economic development corp.

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Online solicitation among felony indictments

A Paradise man has been indicted for online solicitation of a minor.

Christopher Glenn Ashmore, 21, was indicted by a Wise County grand jury May 29 for allegedly using Facebook to solicit sexual acts from a minor.

Ashmore was arrested last June after he was caught in a sting operation by the Wise County Sheriff’s Office. He thought he was communicating with a female between the ages of 13 and 16, but he was actually communicating with an investigator.

When he went to meet the “girl,” he was met by investigators who placed him under arrest.

Online solicitation of a minor is a third degree felony.

The grand jury indicted another 35 suspects on a variety of felony charges:

Steven Del Cummings, assault family/household member with previous conviction

Gustavo Angel Alvarez, aggravated sexual assault of a child

Robert Camden Carder Jr., assault family/household member impede breath/circulation

Anthony Glenn Gravely Jr., assault intentional/reckless breathing/circulation family member with previous conviction

Jeffrey Don Hill, fraudulent use/possession of indentifying information

Eric Jordan Bennett, possession of a controlled substance – cocaine, less than 1 gram

Jason Craig Croom, prohibited substance in a correctional facility (one count); possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, less than 1 gram (one count)

Larry Dale Langley Jr., possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, less than 1 gram

Carlos Alberto Lopez-Rodriguez, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, less than 1 gram

Shawn David Massie, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, less than 1 gram

Clifton Alan Skinner, possession of a controlled substance less than 1 gram

Jason Hoyt Tally, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, less than 1 gram (one count); unauthorized use of a vehicle (one count)

Donald Gene Walton, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, 1-4 grams

Samuel Ray Weaver, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, 1-4 grams

Sharon Kay Wolfe, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, less than 1 gram

Jennifer Nicole Young, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, less than 1 gram

Kaylee Lynne Bell, driving while intoxicated third or more

Eric Jordan Bennett, forgery financial instrument

Brian David Brooks, theft of property $1,500-$20,000

Jennifer Suzanne Buell, theft of property $1,500-$20,000

Joshua Dewane Bryant, theft of property less than $1,500 with two or more previous convictions

Michelle Denise Combs, theft of material aluminum/bronze/copper/brass less than $20,000

Randy Bryon Nabors, theft of material aluminum/bronze/copper/brass less than $20,000

Kyndra Shealynn Conn, burglary of a habitation

Acey Allen Davis, theft of material aluminum/bronze/copper/brass less than $20,000

Kenneth Edward Gourd, driving while intoxicated with child under 15 (two counts)

Bryson Chase Isbell, unauthorized use of a vehicle

John Carlos Jones, driving while intoxicated with child under 15 (three counts)

Grady Shurl Mansell, burglary of a building

Donald John Morgan, driving while intoxicated third or more

Allen Dale Post, driving while intoxicated third or more

Donald Wayne Ray, theft of service $1,500-$20,000

Aaron Wayne Rivas, burglary of a habitation

Angel Dejesus Rivera, evading arrest/detention with a vehicle

Danilo Turcious-Cuellar, evading arrest/detention with a vehicle

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Panthers tap Chandler for basketball job

The Paradise Panthers are adding one of the state’s most prolific scorers and a former state championship MVP to its bench.

Cody Chandler

Cody Chandler, who led Lipan to a Class A title as a player in 1994 and later 183 wins as a head coach, has accepted the Panthers boys basketball job.

Chandler takes over for Tim Dukes, who resigned to pursue a job in the Metroplex.

“He’s a good fit for us,” said Paradise Athletic Director Scott Broussard. “He’s had success as a player and a coach. He has a good track record.”

Chandler spent eight seasons as the head coach in Lipan, leading his hometown squad to the playoffs in seven campaigns. Under him, Lipan went to the region tournament five times and made the state tournament in 2008-09, going 28-9. Chandler compiled a 183-92 record in his eight seasons.

Chandler is looking forward to his next opportunity that is still close to his family.

“It’s close to my hometown and my parents and in-laws will still be able to come watch,” Chandler said. “Talking with people there is quite a bit of talent returning and coming up. With the district realignment it should be a good situation for several years.”

Paradise moved into the new District 9-3A next year with Bowie, Boyd, Henrietta, Holliday, Jacksboro, Nocona and City View. Last year, Paradise shared 9-2A with state powers Brock, Ponder and Peaster.

“At one point last year there were three teams in their district in the top five and Millsap was a top 20 team,” Chandler said. “That’s something we want to get to, but it takes years to get there.”

After winning a state title as a player and getting to the final four as a coach, Chandler said he knows the commitment it takes to reach that level.

“I’ve been through a winning system and understand the commitment it takes and can convey that to the kids,” he said. “Coach Broussard wants to build an overall program where everyone can succeed.”

On the court, Chandler wants the Panthers to get out and run a motion offense in their half-court sets.

“We want to push the ball. It’s hard to get kids to buy in walking the ball up the floor and working it inside,” Chandler said. “I like to run.”

He also expects an aggressive defense to be a staple of the team.

“We want to get down, guard and make everything hard on the offense,” Chandler said.

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Nathan Gene Despain

Justin and Carley Despain of Paradise announce the birth of a son, Nathan Gene, on May 28, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces and was 18 1/2 inches long.

He has one brother: Tristin Scott, 4; and one sister: Ella Rose, 3.

Grandparents are Rob and Bridget Gammage of Murchison.

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Palmer Adrianne Dagley

Justin and Kristin Dagley of Paradise announce the birth of a daughter, Palmer Adrianne, on May 28, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces and was 18 1/2 inches long.

She has two brothers: Hayden, 6, and Hampton, 3.

Grandparents are Ray and Judy Cook of Paradise and Glenn and Melanie Dagley of Baytown.

Great-grandparents are Joe and Ann Richardson of Paradise and Adrian and Naomi Bowers of Baytown.

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Zoey Blaike Brown

Arik and Kaylee Brown of Paradise announce the birth of a daughter, Zoey Blaike, on May 12, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce and was 19 1/2 inches long.

Grandparents are Robert and Pebble Brown and Jerry and Tracie Smith, all of Paradise.

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Dukes leaves Paradise bench; Panthers to bring in defensive coordinator

After three years on the Paradise Panthers’ bench, Tim Dukes has resigned.

Paradise Athletic Director Scott Broussard said the boys basketball coach resigned to pursue coaching opportunities in the Metroplex closer to his home.

Dukes did not return calls for comment.

“He’s done a good job and put together one of the best records here in awhile,” Broussard said.

The Panthers finished fifth in the loaded District 9-2A this year.

Broussard hopes to have a new basketball coach hired next week. He is also bringing in a defensive coordinator to join the football staff. While moving into the head coaching job last year, Broussard also coached the defense.

“I’m still going to be involved,” he said. “I’ll be more free to break down film and oversee the whole team.”

Bridgeport Athletic Director Danny Henson will be adding a pair of coaches – one for middle school boys and a high school girls assistant. Henson said the positions were created this week, and he is gathering resumes from potential candidates.

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Sandy LeAnn Gibson and Aaron Bradly Capehart

Sandy LeAnn Gibson of Paradise, daughter of Flora and Jimmy Shelton of Chico, will marry Aaron Bradly Capehart, son of Debra Lackey of Paradise, Sept. 20, 2014, in Paradise.


Sandy LeAnn Gibson and Aaron Bradly Capehart

Greg Ames will officiate.

The bride-elect attended Bridgeport High School and is a stay-at-home mom.

The prospective groom also attended Bridgeport High. He works for TXI Bridgeport Stone.

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Lou Vee Bridges

Lou Vee Bridges

Lou Vee Bridges may have impacted more lives in Wise County than anyone you’ve never heard of.

Bridges, 85, who died Sunday, May 25, 2014, in Decatur, was a board member of Wise County Water Control & Improvement District No. 1, and secretary-treasurer of the National Watershed Coalition (NWC), based in Chandler, Okla.

A Paradise resident, she worked tirelessly for the creation of flood-control structures throughout the county to protect farmland, roads and lives during catastrophic flooding.

“Most people didn’t realize what all she did,” said Precinct 2 Commissioner Kevin Burns, immediate past-chairman of the National Watershed Coalition.

“Wise County’s system of dams, the protection of landowners’ rights, property, farmland – that is Lou Vee’s legacy. I was very fortunate to get acquainted with her, fortunate she let me know what was going on.”

Lou was born June 21, 1928, in Boyd to William and Annie (Albritton) Bridges. She married Bob Randall Pruden, who preceded her in death. She was a member of the Paradise Methodist Church.

As an administrative assistant for the U.S. and European divisions of General Electric, Bridges was legendary for her ability to motivate people and get things done.

Dr. Dan Sebert, executive director of the NWC, gave the eulogy at her service, which was Thursday at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Bridgeport.

“She took a lot of people by surprise, and she knew that,” he said. “It was part of her method. People would think they were stopping to meet a sweet little lady, and when they left they’d have a sore arm from it being twisted, and a list of things they needed to do – things they were afraid not to do because they promised that sweet little lady they would.”

Burns said her work with GE was in the rocket propulsion division for the space program.

“She had a lot of office and supervisory experience,” he said. “She was really something.”

Her involvement with water projects started when she helped shelve a Corps of Engineers project near Boyd in the 1980s. The idea was to build a big flood-control dam that could have inundated 45,000 acres of farmland during a heavy rain.

“It would have taken out most of the farmland between Lake Bridgeport and Boyd,” Burns said.

Instead, there are now 108 flood-control structures throughout the county, most of them with 3 to 5 acres of coverage that would swell to 12 to 15 acres at flood stage.

“It’s a simple system, but it works well to prevent our roads from washing out,” Burns said. “Lou Vee really had a lot to do with that. She made my job easier as a commissioner, because these structures protect my roads so well. They protect roads, lots of farmland and lots of lives during significant rains.”

Bridges worked closely with former U.S. Congressman Charlie Stenholm, but she was fearless about approaching anyone who could help Wise County.

“Lou Vee has affected state budgets, congressional budgets and executive branch budgets for years – and all for our benefit,” Burns said. “She was very active in the political arena in that way.

“She was very passionate about it,” he added. “It was impressive to watch her work.”

Sebert said she was still active in the NWC when she died.

“People would ask me how long she was going to serve in that office, and my answer was, ‘As long as she wants to.’” he said. “She still had hotel reservations and travel plans when she died, and she expected to be able to do those things.

“She had a lot of energy for a woman her age – and she had a lot of friends who helped her get where she needed to be to make good things happen for Wise County.”

He said it’s due in large part to her efforts that Wise County is his “poster child” for interagency cooperation as he travels the nation promoting soil and water conservation.

“The things that have gone on in Wise County, the cooperation among the county, the Soil & Water Conservation District, the Water Board, the Water Control & Improvement District and other organizations – that’s her legacy,” he said. “She’d get people by the ear and help them find the right path to do the right thing, and they appreciated it.”

Rev. Gary Sessions officiated the service, and Gary Potts, Mike Overton, James McGilvray, Dickie Clement, Darnel Willis, Cody Gillispie, Burns and Paul Wood served as pallbearers. Burial was in Paradise Cemetery.

Bridges is survived by members of her extended family, and numerous friends.

Donations may be made to Wise County Animal Shelter or the charity of your choice.

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John H. Peugh

John H. Peugh

John H. Peugh, 73, of Paradise, died Sunday, May 25, 2014, in Decatur.

Memorial service is 2 p.m. Thursday, May 29, at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport with the Rev. Billy Fitch will officiating.

John was born Aug. 15, 1940, in Forreston to John James and Imogene (Toten) Peugh. He married Sharon Keen Feb. 14, 1961, in Mountain View, Calif. John proudly served his country in the United States Navy Air Force, and he was a retired truck driver.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Sharon Peugh of Paradise; mother Imogene Peugh of Lake Worth; brother James Peugh of Irving; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

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Sunni Rebecca McAsey and Kyle Wallace Holton

Sunni Rebecca McAsey, daughter of Jack and Sherry McAsey of Paradise, will marry Kyle Wallace Holton of Millsap, son of Rhonda and Tim Bates of Greenwood, La., and Doug Holton of Brandon, Miss., Aug. 9, 2014, at Hollow Hill Farm Event Center in Weatherford.


Sunni Rebecca McAsey and Kyle Wallace Holton

Scott Johnson of Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise will officiate.

The bride is a graduate of Bridgeport High School and Texas A&M University. She is a landman for Scott Land Services and is a member of Texas A&M University Association of Former Students, 12th Man Foundation, Desk and Derrick Club of Wise County and American Association of Professional Landmen.

The groom is a graduate of Waskom High School and Texas A&M. He is an ag teacher at Brock ISD and is a member of Texas A&M University Association of Former Students, 12th Man Foundation, Vocational Ag Teachers Association of Texas and Parker County Livestock Improvement Association.

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Dollar General project hits roadblock

Paradise city officials are working hard to bring a variety store to town. But those efforts have hit a bump in the road – literally.

Officials with Dollar General have leased property between Texas 114 and School House Road to construct the store. But before work can begin, the city must widen the road that will be used as the entrance to the property.

That project also requires extending and redirecting a culvert.

City officials met recently with engineers at the county and state level to outline how the work would be done.

City secretary Teresa Moody said she was given a list of companies to contact – but she has struggled to find someone to bid on the job.

“I’ve called everybody from Waxahachie to Wichita Falls,” she said, “One person has asked for the plans, but I have not heard back. Everyone else, it’s not in their scope.

Council members asked about alternatives.

“They really don’t like the idea of a metal culvert in their old concrete culvert for some reason,” Moody said, “although I’m sure you could spackle them together, and it would work just fine.”

If the one company that asked for plans doesn’t come through, Moody said they’d ask the county engineer to redraw the plans and see if the state would approve them.

“[We'll] cry hysterically until they let us go over to Lowery’s and get some metal culvert,” Moody joked. ” … The specs the county engineer drew that the state approved – I don’t know how to make it happen.”

In other news:

  • During the building department report, Moody said contractor Rusty Mann had “backed out” on his plans to build duplexes in town because of the “septic issue.” For several months, the city has been in talks with engineers and school officials to install a citywide sewer system, but the project is still being discussed. No action has been taken.
  • The city council approved a $6,982 contract with Brett Fuller to remodel a storage building behind City Hall. The roof on the existing structure leaks, which has ruined some equipment. Work includes removing the roof, installing flashing and constructing a roof with “enough pitch that we have runoff.”
  • City Hall will be closed Friday, May 23 and Monday, May 26 for Memorial Day and Tuesday, June 10 while the city secretary is on vacation.
  • The council approved the April meeting minutes and financial reports.

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Paradise ISD’s values see little change

The Wise County Appraisal District has released Paradise ISD’s preliminary 2014 property values – and not much has changed.

Consequently, the district expects no major changes in property tax revenue for next year.

PISD is looking at total taxable values of $392,236,311 for next year, compared to $388,517,443 last year. The numbers came from Chief Appraiser Mickey Hand to the board of trustees, which held its first of several budget workshops Monday night.

Property values are a key piece of information in the budget planning process.

Breaking the preliminary data down shows real property values, industrial/utility values and mineral values are all up, but personal property values are down nearly 50 percent compared to 2013 numbers, negating most of the increases in other areas.

Also on the agenda:

  • The board approved the district emergency operation plan.
  • Breakfast and lunch prices for 2014-2015 will remain the same as the previous year.
  • The board offered reasonable assurance of employment for auxiliary and para-professional employees.
  • Trustees Doug Bryant and Homer Mundy will hand out diplomas to Paradise ISD seniors during the 2014 graduation ceremony.

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Students named to TWU Honor Roll

Several Wise County students made the Dean’s List during the fall 2013 semester at Texas Woman’s University. Those that also made the Chancellor’s List with a 4.0 grade point average are denoted with an (*).

Vanessa Alberts, sociology
Jordann Warren, nursing

Taylor Anderson, interdisciplinary studies
Michaela Calvert, dental hygiene
Kristina West*, nursing

Rebecca Grinnell, business administration
Angelica Reyes*, dental hygiene
Kristie Sandoval, interdisciplinary studies
Domenica Santoyo, social work
Erika Santoyo, social work

Kari Gage*, interdisciplinary studies
Megan Maxwell*, business administration
Rachel McGregor*, interdisciplinary studies
Mary Kathryn Olson, English
Steve Salinas, psychology
Kitara Wright, communication sciences

Taylor Blount, nutrition
Sarah Buell, undeclared
Saira Fernandez, undeclared

Bettina Davis, dance
Shiloh Hofacket, human resources
Natalie Klasek, psychology

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Paradise City Council to hear updates on sewer, store

During a relatively short agenda for its meeting Monday, the Paradise City Council will receive a couple of important updates.

City officials are scheduled to hear about progress on a sewer system and on work to expand a road to accommodate an anticipated Dollar General.

The council will also consider remodeling the city’s storage area.

They will also consider minutes, a financial report and reports from the economic development corp., the planning and zoning commission, the building department, the water department and code enforcement.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall. It is open to the public.

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Paradise board begins budget workshops

The Paradise ISD Board of Trustees will start the budget planning season with a workshop 6:30 p.m. Monday during its regular meeting.

The workshop will be led by former Superintendent Robert Criswell and is slated to review preliminary appraisal district values, discuss preliminary district revenue and the district’s budgeting priorities.

Also on the agenda:

  • Wise County appraisal district resolution for resell;
  • emergency operation plan;
  • breakfast and lunch prices for 2014-2015;
  • offer reasonable assurance of employment for auxiliary and para-professional employees;
  • graduation ceremony.

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Chocolate fuels headline machine

Avery Caddell’s path to the UIL state academic meet is strewn with candy wrappers.

The Paradise freshman will compete in the state headline writing contest next week, and UIL Academic Coordinator Megayla O’Rear said chocolate is behind his witty word choices.

Heading to Austin

HEADING TO AUSTIN – Cimmi Alvarez (from left), Avery Caddell and Jennifer Welch are going to the UIL state academic meet in Austin Monday. Caddell is competing in headline writing, and Alvarez and Welch are on the Honor Crew. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

O’Rear said she brings bags of Hershey’s miniatures to every contest, and Caddell consumes inordinate amounts.

“I find all these little wrappers,” she said with a smile. “But I think it gets him going.”

Caddell admitted to indulging on contest day.

“I get kind of hyper,” he said.

Caddell said he’s never done anything like headline writing before, but writing is one of his strengths. He placed second in district competition and second at regionals to advance to state.

He also placed third in news writing at district but says he likes headline writing because “he gets to be stupid.”

“He’s really very clever,” O’Rear said.

And that’s the key to the competition.

Contestants are given six stories to read and the size headline to write for each one. Caddell said one of his tricks is to look for the pun within the story and try to use that.

“I just kind of wing it,” he said nonchalantly. “This is my first year.”

Caddell also competes in math and science UIL events, plays football and basketball, runs track and is in band.

Traveling with Caddell next week are seniors Jennifer Welch and Cimmi Alvarez. They were selected for the State Speech Honor Crew and will serve as volunteers during the speech and debate contests next week.

According to the UIL website, the Honor Crew was designed to recognize outstanding speech students who aren’t already involved in the state meet.

Welch and Alvarez advanced to state earlier in the year in cross examination debate. Their subject was: “The U.S. federal government should substantially increase economic ties with either Cuba, Venezuela or Mexico.”

The girls had to pick a country and then prepare to debate and defend their choices.

“You debate it … and listen to everyone tell you what’s wrong with your plan,” Welch said. “And how it’s going to end in nuclear war.”

“Everything ends in nuclear war in cross examination,” Alvarez said, laughing.

Welch had competed in this event last year, but this was the first year for Alvarez. The duo won district, advancing to state, and although they didn’t place at the big meet, they did their personal best.

O’Rear said they’re looking forward to the trip to Austin, and she plans to take them to a favorite restaurant or two and on a tour of the Capitol.

The chocolate is packed – along with a bag for the wrappers.

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Wanda Sipes

Wanda Sipes

Wanda Sipes, 86, of Paradise, died Thursday, May 15, 2014, in Bridgeport.

Funeral is 11 a.m. Saturday, May 17, at First United Methodist Church in Bridgeport, with burial in East Bridgeport Cemetery. The family will receive friends 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the church.

Rev. Larry Potts will officiate and Joe Sipes, Travis Vinzant, Steve Stokes, Jonathan Holder, Ed Black and Karl Black will serve as pallbearers.

Wanda was born Jan. 31, 1928, to Blan and Marie (Cox) Waters in Weatherford. She married D.C. Sipes Feb. 16, 1946, in Weatherford. Wanda was a homemaker and a member of the First United Methodist Church in Bridgeport.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, D.C. Sipes; sons Eddie and Danny Sipes; sisters Nona Mae and Ann; and brothers Dick and Jimmy.

She is survived by her daughter, Jackie Hutto and husband, Mike, of Paradise; daughter-in-law Sharon Sipes of Decatur; grandchildren Joe Sipes and wife, Mary Lois, of Boyd, Shelly Vinzant and husband, Travis, of Decatur; great-grandchildren Trinity, Wyatt and Eden; sister Billie Stokes of Bridgeport; granddaughters Keitha, Deedee, Christi, and Kimberly; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends.

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Eva Maria Medina

Javier and Evangelina Medina of Paradise announce the birth of a daughter, Eva Maria, on May 14, 2014, at their home.

She weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces and was 20 inches long.

She has two sisters: Martha, 7; and Arianna, 4.

Grandparents are Javier and Rosa Medina of Fort Worth.

Great-grandparents are Jose and Luz Maria of Medina.

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Paradise reaches end of the line against Raiders; Sunnyvale sweeps Panthers in area series

Austin Hogan’s solo homer in the first inning gave the Paradise Panthers a 1-0 lead Friday.

Unfortunately, it was the Panthers’ final run of the game and the season as they lost 7-1 to the Sunnyvale Raiders at Ponder High School.

Making a Sacrifice

MAKING A SACRIFICE – Paradise’s Austin puts down a bunt during the Panthers’ 1-0 loss Thursday against Sunnyvale. He hit a home run in the Panthers’ loss Friday. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Paradise managed only four more hits against Sunnyvale hurler Nathan Hawkins, who struck out nine in seven innings.

“He was good. He kept us off balance with a good off-speed pitch and curveball,” said Paradise coach Mike Fehler. “We hit a lot of ground balls at them.”

The loss ended the Panthers’ season at 22-8-1.

“I feel good about the season,” Fehler said. “We’ve got a good set of kids coming back, and they will know what to expect next year. Hopefully we can make a good run next year.”

The Panthers do lose four seniors – Jarret Holt, Tanner Valentine, Corbin Holt and Kristoff Pewitt.

Holt drew the start against Sunnyvale and allowed five runs – four earned – on seven hits. He struck out five and walked four.

Caiden Berry pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief, giving up two runs on a hit and two walks. Hogan turned in a scoreless inning.

Paradise’s 1-0 lead held up until the third when Sunnyvale scored three. Lawson Ayo led off the third with a double and came around to score on Ryan Cottingame’s single. Wesley Phillips and Sam Shaver added run-scoring hits in the frame.

Sunnyvale piled on four runs in the sixth. After Paradise pitchers walked the bases loaded, Ayo cleared them with a three-run triple. He scored on Cottingame’s sacrifice.

Ayo finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

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