Thanks to Tuesday’s 72-53 victory over the No. 7 Phillips Bears, the Tornadoes are back in a position to accomplish their ultimate goal of competing for a state title.
Four Parrish starters scored in double digits to lead the offensive effort — with Barry Hill and Trayvon Chatman each scoring 17 points. Hill added 13 rebounds and four blocked shots in a double-double performance.
Denzell Daley contributed with 12 points, while Reginald Harris had 10 points.
“I thought Phillips came out with a good game plan — we didn’t defend well at times, which led to them getting baskets they should not have. But when we settled down and picked up on our defensive play, I feel the tempo and momentum shifted in our favor,” Parrish coach Heath Burns said.
“In the second half we were able to get more easy baskets after our defense took up their intensity another notch. That helped us stay in control for the remainder of the game.”
Burns cited the play of Hill, Chatman, Daley and Harris for being instrumental in securing the win — as well as Isaac Chatman, who relieved starter Jermichael Harris due to foul trouble. He finished the game with eight rebounds and five points.
“Each one of those guys played a critical role in tonight’s win — they provided leadership that we needed on both sides of the ball,” Burns said. “Isaac’s been a cornerstone for us all year when we need him — he’s a 6-5 eighth-grader who plays fearless basketball and handles adversity very well.”
The Bears (23-7) provided a formidable challenge early in the game — with the lead switching between the two teams four times before the Tornadoes held a narrow one-point advantage, 19-18, to end the first period.
Following a brief 20-19 lead by Phillips to begin the second period, Parrish took command of the game and never looked back.
The Tornadoes outscored the Bears 21-10 to extend their lead to 12, 40-28, at halftime.
The points continued to add up for Parrish in the third period following a 14-10 run, allowing the Tornadoes to stay ahead 54-38.
Parrish added another three points to their total in the fourth period after outscoring Phillips 18-15, en route to the 72-53 final.
For Phillips, Jake Bonner had 17 points and Jacob Feltman added 16.
The Tornadoes (26-2) face the Belgreen Bulldogs (28-3) for the championship on Friday at 5:20 p.m. at Wallace State’s Drake Coliseum in Hanceville.
The Bulldogs beat Sumiton Christian on Tuesday, 66-48, to advance to the title game.