By Will Knight
Special to the Dispatch
Despite five first half three pointers, Heritage Academy fell to Hillcrest Academy 67-47 in the semifinal round of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, Division II Tournament Friday night.
The Patriots will now play Washington School at 6 p.m. tonight in the third place game. Win or lose, Heritage still qualifies for next week’s overall Class AAA state tournament.
Hillcrest came out of the gate strong against the Patriots and posted a huge lead that reached as much as 12 points during the first quarter. But with the help of a few three pointers by junior guard Parker Turner and senior guard Brad Dickey brought the Patriots back within seven during the second quarter.
Turner, who was described by head coach Yandell Harris as “streaky,” sank four from three-point land during last night’s loss.
“At the beginning of the game (Hillcrest) was showing a zone, and so I just camped out at the wing, got some passes to me, and I was open,” Parker said. “I got the first shot and was feeling pretty confident. I got more confidence as I kept shooting.”
After shooting lights out, the Hillcrest defense picked him up and took him out of the equation for the Patriots. Harris joked and said that Parker was not in Hillcrest’s scouting report.
“I hit about four three’s and they started putting pressure on me and switched to a man defense – that is when I started getting cold,” Parker said.
Once Heritage got within seven points of Hillcrest, Hillcrest turned up the defensive pressure and started sinking shot after shot. Hillcrest ended the first half on a 14-5 lead after the Patriots cut the lead to seven.
Hillcrest’s defensive pressure wore down the Patriots’ offense and forced them to speed the game up and force passes.
“They were really quick and played tough defense,” Dickey commented on the Hillcrest team. “The press on me wore my legs down.”
Junior forward Cade Lott was uncharacteristically quiet during the first half.
He posted only two points and had to come out due to foul trouble.
“It was a tough loss tonight, but we just need to rally together, stay strong and work our way to get a victory tomorrow,” Parker said.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.
You can help your community
Quality, in-depth journalism is essential to a healthy community. The Dispatch brings you the most complete reporting and insightful commentary in the Golden Triangle, but we need your help to continue our efforts. Please consider subscribing to our website for only $2.30 per week to help support local journalism and our community.