Parrish Barry Hill, who will be a senior this year, proved to a vital force on defense for the night, grabbing seven rebounds, four blocked shots and a steal, while adding four points in 12 minutes of playing time.
Tornadoes coach Heath Burns, who made his All-Star debut as one of the North’s two coaches, helped guide the squad’s stellar play on offense and defense that produced 24 points per period and limited the South’s field goal shooting to just 37 percent.
The experience of playing in the All-Star game for Hill was matched by more good news for the 6-foot-8 rising star — a scholarship offer he received from Ohio Valley Conference powerhouse Murray State earlier in the day.
“This entire week has been a rewarding experience. For all of the great players from our state to come together and play on the same court is something I’m very proud of and will never forget,” Hill said. “This is a wonderful group of guys who I have played with this week — they know the game of basketball and we all came together, played and practiced hard. I think the level of competition was unbelieveable as well. I was able to go out and prove I was able to play with the best in the state.”
Lewis Sullivan, the 6-foot-7 Hazel Green forward, scored 22 points on a 7-of-9 shooting performance and added nine rebounds to earn North MVP honors. He was 3-of-3 on 3-point goals. Wenonah guard Justin Coleman added 15 points and four assists and Athens’ Nathaniel Potts added 15 points, including three treys. The North was 10-of-24 from the 3-point line.
Jordon Gandy of East Limestone and Riley Norris of Albertville also had 10 points each. Isaac Haas, the first 7-footer to play in the All-Star series since its return in 1997, had four points, two blocked shots and five rebounds.
Demetrius Houston of Carver-Montgomery was South MVP with 10 points and two steals. Carver teammate Brandon Murphy added 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, and Devin Pugh of Central-Phenix City also had 10 points.
With the win, the North improved to 45-25 in the series.
The event and the week surrounding it proved to be an excellent experience for Burns was well, who stated his pleasure in working with the cast of future collegiate stars.
“Our big guys, both Barry and Haas did a great job against the South’s big men — blocking shots and grabbing the key boards to keep them from scoring. Sullivan had an MVP performance and brought so much to the team offensively and defensively and anytime you have a point guard like Coleman who creates so many plays, you’re going to have excellent options open to you,” Burns said. “It was a fun experience and I’m so proud of the way that these young men played and fought tonight. There’s no doubt in my mind that each one of them will be playing college basketball somewhere.”