That scene was repeated throughout Saturday night’s game between Parrish and Decatur Heritage in Day 2 of the 78 Classic at Parrish High School.
Behind Jermichael Harris, Parrish jumped out to a 16-0 lead and never looked back, beating the Eagles 57-35.
Harris finished with 22 points as Parrish moved to 15-0 on the season with its second win over a ranked team in as many nights.
“Jermichael is just a winner,” Parrish coach Heath Burns said. “He’s one of those guys who wants the ball in his hands because he doesn’t think anybody is better than him. If you beat him once on defense, he will do everything he can to make sure it doesn’t happen twice. He’s just a competitor. We’re lucky to have him on our team.”
Harris scored two baskets and added a pair of free throws in the opening minutes as Parrish took a 7-0 lead. A Reginald Harris steal and score and another Jermichael Harris basket made the score 16-0 with 2:35 left in the quarter.
Decatur Heritage, which got no closer than 10 points the rest of the way, cut the gap to 16-6 after the opening quarter thanks to a pair of 3-pointers by Tyde Coffey.
Parrish, which edged American Christian 49-47 on Friday, opened the second quarter on a 8-2 run for a 24-8 lead. The Tornadoes led 26-9 at the break. The Tornadoes took a 41-22 advantage into the fourth quarter.
“Coming off a rugged game last night — a game where we played so hard from start to finish — it’s good to see us coming out and play with energy tonight. That was a good test for us, seeing how we do in a playoff-type situation — playing two good teams in back-to-back nights,” Burns said.
Barry Hill had another big night for the Tornadoes, recording 13 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. Tyler Sims added 10 points.
Next up for Parrish is an area showdown at Guin against Marion County, the team that ended the Tornadoes’ season last year, on Tuesday.
“We got a team effort tonight, but in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t mean much. Tuesday is the game that counts,” Burns added. “We’ve got to go back to the drawing board on Monday and get ready for Marion County. They are a good team. They’ve struggled some this year, but they’ve got three great players and it will be a rowdy atmosphere.”
American Christian Academy 66, Dora 60
American Christian Academy held off a furious Dora rally in the closing minutes en route to a 66-60 victory over the Bulldogs in the varsity boys opener Saturday night at the 78 Classic.
Dora trailed by as many as 23 points early in the third quarter at 39-16 following three consecutive 3-pointers from American Christian Academy (ACA).
From there, Dora began chipping away.
DeAngelo Pendleton led the charge, scoring 10 third-quarter points. Caleb May cut the gap to 10 points at 43-33 with a 3-pointer at the 2:53 mark of the third quarter. ACA took a 47-36 lead into the final quarter.
Kenton Pettis carried the load for Dora in the fourth quarter, connecting on a pair of 3-pointers and scoring 10 points in the period.
Dora cut the gap to five points at 55-50 with 2:04 left after baskets from Pettis and May and got as close as three points at 56-53 after Pettis’ final 3-pointers.
ACA pulled away over the final two minutes.
Collin Crowe knocked down five 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 31 points for the Patriots. Ross Hardin added 10 for ACA.
Pendleton led Dora with 15 points while Pettis and Deionte Smith each had 10 points.
Dora (9-5) plays at Oak Grove in a key area game on Tuesday.