Parrish team to beat at county
by Johnathan Bentley
Jan 17, 2013 | 2040 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Parrish basketball coach Heath Burns talks to Reginald Harris (10) during a game against Decatur Heritage this season. The Tornadoes are the top seed in the Walker County Tournament, which opens next week at Carbon Hill High School. Carbon Hill’s boys have won back-to-back titles. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
Parrish basketball coach Heath Burns talks to Reginald Harris (10) during a game against Decatur Heritage this season. The Tornadoes are the top seed in the Walker County Tournament, which opens next week at Carbon Hill High School. Carbon Hill’s boys have won back-to-back titles. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
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Carbon Hill played for a state championship last season.

Dora advanced to the Northwest Regional Tournament in Hanceville.

Heading into the Walker County Basketball Tournament, neither of those teams is the favorite.

Instead, Parrish (19-1) holds the top seed going into next week’s tournament at Carbon Hill High School.

“To be a 1A team and be the No. 1 seed, that’s exciting for our fans and the community,” Parrish coach Heath Burns said. “Seeding really doesn’t matter. We just want to win the tournament.”

Last year’s boys county champion, Carbon Hill, is the No. 2 seed followed by Dora, Oakman, Curry and Cordova.

Carbon Hill has won each of the last two Walker County titles. Carbon Hill handed Parrish its only loss of the season a week ago.

“Since I’ve been in and around the county tournament, I really believe the teams are as equal as they’ve ever been. We’ve split with Carbon Hill and Carbon Hill has split with Dora. Then you’ve got a team like Curry which has beaten Walker twice this year and a team like Oakman that has 10 wins. There are some quality teams in each pool,” Burns added.

Parrish’s pool includes Oakman (10-6) and Curry (8-10). The other pool consists of Carbon Hill (13-7), Dora (12-6) and Cordova.

The two pool winners play for the title on Saturday, Jan. 26.

Parrish opens pool play on Tuesday with a 4:30 p.m. matchup against Curry. The Tornadoes face Oakman at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

“If you look at this tournament from top to bottom, every team has good players. You look at Carbon Hill, a team with some solid players surrounding a really, really good player in Gerald Smith. You look at Dora, which has 12 kids who could possibly start on any team in the county. To me they are the most athletic team 1 to 12. We aren’t too shabby either,” Burns said.

Behind the play of Jermichael Harris and newcomer Barry Hill, Parrish has a record of 5-1 against Walker County foes this season.

“It should be a good tournament. This tournament prepares you for what we will see down the road. It gives us a chance to play good competition. We are playing regional-type teams.

“We aren’t focusing on this tournament as much as we are on the area, regional and state tournament, but it’s always big because it’s for bragging rights,” Burns said.