Parrish’s Hill bounces back with big 2nd half
by Johnathan Bentley
Feb 25, 2014 | 1267 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Parrish’s Barry Hill had 14 points, four rebounds and four blocks — all in the second half — during the Tornadoes' 60-46 victory over No. 2 Sunshine on Tuesday. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
Parrish’s Barry Hill had 14 points, four rebounds and four blocks — all in the second half — during the Tornadoes' 60-46 victory over No. 2 Sunshine on Tuesday. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
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BIRMINGHAM — Two minutes into Tuesday’s state semifinal matchup, Parrish’s Barry Hill was already on the bench.

Hill drew a pair of fouls during a four-second stretch early in the opening quarter against Sunshine. The 6-foot-8 senior spent the rest of the half waiting for his chance.

When that opportunity came in the third quarter, Hill made the most of it.

Hill threw down a dunk seven seconds into the second half to break an 18-18 halftime tie. The Tornadoes went on a tear from there, earning their first ever trip to the state championship game with a 60-48 victory.

Hill, who played just over two minutes in the opening half, scored eight points in the third quarter and finished with 14 points, four rebounds and four blocks — all in the second half.

“When I got back in, I wanted to step up my game and stay out of foul trouble,” Hill said. “Once we got that dunk. We got all hyped and ready to go.”

Sunshine coach Walter Jones knew his team was in trouble at the half.

“I felt like we needed to take advantage of the situation when he was out of the game,” Jones said. “When it was 18-18 going into the lockerroom — knowing that he didn’t play very much — I knew it was going to be a struggle when he got back.

“It was a win for them to be tied at the half. (Hill) came out in the third and made some tough shots around the basket.”

Hill put Parrish on top for good with a layup at the 6:07 mark of the third quarter. He added a pair of free throws midway through the quarter and his basket with 2:14 left in the period put Parrish up 36-29. It was more of the same in the final quarter, Hill had a putback dunk and his layup with 6:21 left gave the Tornadoes a 12-point lead at 49-37.

Sunshine didn’t get within single digits the rest of the way.

Parrish held the Tigers to just 28 percent shooting (18-of-64) in the game.

Hill, who tallied just 18 minutes in the game, gave Sunshine’s post players fits in the paint. Cletrell Pope (6-7) and Keonta Edwards (6-5) combined to shoot 9-of-25 from the field.

“You can’t replace a LaBarrius Hill,” Burns said. “To me, he’s the best player in the state. He does a great job in the lane. When he came in during the second half, you saw the difference he made. He gives us a lot of length when he’s in there.”