Parrish wins epic battle
by W. Brian Hale
Jan 27, 2013 | 4299 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Parrish’s Barry Hill, left, and coach Heath Burns share a hug following the Tornadoes’ come-from-behind 54-48 victory over Carbon Hill in the boys championship game at the Walker County Tournament Saturday at Carbon Hill High School. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
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CARBON HILL — Saturday night’s epic battle between the Carbon Hill Bulldogs and the Parrish Tornadoes lived up to championship billing.

The top-seed Tornadoes, down by seven points late in the game, turned in a memorable fourth-period performance to beat the two-time defending champion Bulldogs, 54-48 at Carbon Hill.

Parrish scored the last 13 points of the game, holding Carbon Hill scoreless over the final 2:41 to rally for the victory.

Parrish’s Jermichael Harris earned MVP honors for his double-double performance, scoring 21 points and recording 10 rebounds on the night and finishing with 62 total points for the tournament. He was also a perfect 7 for 7 at the free-throw line against the Bulldogs.

“We won the county championship as a team, and everything I did on the court was for my teammates. We believed in each other, overcame adversity and did what we had to do to become the champions,” Harris said. “When I was a freshman, I always wanted to win a county title, but we never had the opportunity to do it. Tonight, we earned it as a team and as a family.”

Harris’ All-County team members Barry Hill and Tyler Sims also turned in great performances on the night. Hill recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Sims had 12 points, including two baskets from three point range and connected on all four of his free-throw shots.

Carbon Hill’s Gerald Smith earned his spot on the All-County team after a stellar night, posting 16 points with eight rebounds and five blocked shots.

Garrett Kirkland also had a great night for the Bulldogs, with 11 points.

Parrish coach Heath Burns, having won his first county championship with the program, said that the title was the culmination of the hard work put forth by his players and the coaching staff.

“When we first got these young men, we knew they had an outstanding amount of talent, but that were raw. They have been so dedicated to constantly improving — they’re experienced now and it speaks volumes about their work ethic and ability to progress as a team,” Burns said.

“They don’t miss practices and their good students too. I’m so proud of what they have done and it’s wonderful to see them with their championship plaque.”

The first period was a furious battle that would see eight lead changes before Parrish took a 13-12 edge. Carbon Hill took control of the game in the second period, outscoring the Tornadoes 16-8 for the 28-21 halftime lead.

Parrish was able to cut the lead to three points in the third period on a 13-9 scoring run, with Carbon Hill still on top 37-34.

With six minutes left in the fourth period, the Bulldogs were able to extend their lead to 43-36 before the Tornadoes’ rally began. Parrish mounted a 10-5 scoring run, ending with Brodrick Sanders’ two free-throw shots to cut the lead to 48-46.

Hill tied the game at 48-48 following two free-throw shots before Parrish took the lead after two successful free throw shots, 50-48.

Harris was fouled two more times in the final 20 seconds of regulation, connecting on all four free-throws for the Tornadoes’ 54-48 title-clinching win.

Class 1A No. 4 Parrish (22-1) hosts the sixth-ranked Marion County Red Raiders on Tuesday in an area matchup. Carbon Hill (16-8) travels to Winfield on Monday.

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Third-place game

Dora 59, Oakman 54

The Dora Bulldogs overcame a four-point deficit to defeat the Oakman Wildcats, 59-54, on Saturday in the Walker County Tournament’s third-place game at Carbon Hill.

Oakman took an 11-9 lead in the first period before Dora outscored the Wildcats 21-19 in the second period to tie the game 30-30 at halftime. The Wildcats regained the lead in the third period after holding a 15-11 scoring edge, 45-41, before the Bulldogs rallied in the fourth period on an 18-9 run for the 59-54 victory.

Deionte Smith and Keliel James led Dora with 11 points each, while Oakman was led by Case Key’s 16 points.

Dora travels to Haleyville on Monday, while Oakman travels to Lamar County.

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Fifth-place game

Curry 83, Cordova 54

The Curry Yellow Jackets established early control of the game with a 23-11 lead before the Cordova Blue Devils held the scoring edge 22-21 in the second period, with Curry taking a 44-33 lead into halftime. Curry caught fire offensively in the third period, outscoring Cordova 29-13 for the 73-46 edge before securing the 83-54 win.

Wesley Key led Curry with 23 points and 7 rebounds, while Spencer Fikes contributed with a 17-point effort. Jamaal Cooper scored 19 points to lead the Blue Devils.

Curry travels to Meek on Monday, while Cordova hosts Parrish on Feb. 1.

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JV Boys Championship

Dora 77, Oakman 36

Dora drove to a 19-10 lead in the first period before outscoring Oakman 30-8 in the second period for the 49-18 edge at halftime. The Bulldogs continued to find the basket in the third period, holding a 71-33 edge over the Wildcats on the way to the championship-clinching 77-36 victory.

Charles Clay led Dora with 23 points, while Dalton Vines contributed with 19 points.