The Tornadoes’ athleticism, length and quickness spelled doom for Belgreen on Friday night at the Northwest Regional Tournament.
Belgreen — whose offense is based on making 3-pointers, and plenty of them — connected on just six 3-pointers against a tenacious Parrish defense.
The result was a dominant 62-37 Parrish victory. The Tornadoes led by 11 points at the half and had the game wrapped up by the end of the third quarter.
Parrish is in the Final Four for the first time in school history. The No. 3 Tornadoes take on No. 2 Sunshine at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the BJCC.
On Friday, Belgreen had no answer for Parrish’s stifling defense.
Belgreen’s Dustin Smith kept the Bulldogs in the game in the first half, making 5-of-8 shots from 3-point range.
Parrish shut Smith down in the second half, holding the sharp-shooter to just 1-of-6 from 3-point land.
While Smith was 6-of-14 for the game, the rest of the Belgreen team struggled to find any success from distance. Smith’s teammates were a combined 0-of-19 on their 3-point attempts.
“We are a team that lives and dies by the 3-pointer — we’ve been like that all year. We just didn’t make them today,” Belgreen coach Patrick Odom said.
Belgreen’s Chase Landers, who lit up Sumiton Christian for 32 points in the opening round of the regional tournament - was 0-of-13 on 3-point attempts and finished with four points.
With Parrish’s defense forcing turnovers and contesting shots, the Bulldogs scored just 16 points in the second half.
In two Northwest Regional Tournament games (Phillips and Belgreen), the Tornadoes held the opposition to 25 percent (29-of-116) shooting, including 24 percent (13-of-53) from 3-point territory.
Next up for Parrish is a Sunshine team led by 6-foot-7 Letrell Pope. The Tigers advanced by outscoring Brantly 28-21 in the fourth quarter Friday night in a 82-80 victory.
Pope had 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead Sunshine, which overcame a 55-point performance from Wesley Person Jr. in the win.