HOMEWOOD, AL – It didn’t take long for spectators in the Pete Hanna Center to realize that Paul Bryant senior guard Jared Sherfield was feeling it on Thursday. After ten points and three-made treys within the game’s first few minutes against Wenonah, Sherfield set the tone for the defending 6A state champions as the Stampede cruised to a convincing 72-52 victory over the Dragons on the second day of action at the Steel City Invitational.
Sherfield, a Tennessee Tech commit, made a statement on one of the state’s biggest stages, as he scored 26 points (7-11 FG) in 25 minutes of play. He also converted six of his eight three-point attempts from the floor.
While his shooting performance was impressive, Sherfield also showed signs of overall growth in his game. Following his team’s first defensive possession of the game, the 6-foot-4 guard went up for a dunk in transition and was fouled. Last year, he would have simply laid the ball up on the same play – but not now.
Sherfield is playing with supreme confidence to begin his senior campaign. He looked like one of the best guards in the state on Thursday, and he played like he believed it, too. Tennessee Tech head coach Steve Payne has to be excited about the versatile, high upside guard that will make his way to campus next fall.
Wenonah guard Cam Tucker had a strong showing in the loss. The junior finished with 23 points, including a handful of 3's. Fellow junior Justin Minter showed growth in his game, too. The 6-foot-4 combo guard has an impressive feel for the game and passing ability.
SENIOR DUO LEADS PARKER TO CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
2018 scoring guard Jason King had his coming out party last year at the Steel City Invitational, as he lit up the scoreboard for Parker. He’s back this year and doing the same thing.
King led the Thundering Herd to a victory over Vestavia on Hills Thursday, scoring 19 points and lifting Parker to the Steel City Invitational championship on Friday.
The 6-foot-4 guard is an exciting athlete with the ability to play above the rim. King showcased his toughness and ability to score at the rim, as he played behind Vestavia’s zone defense throughout the day. The unsigned senior is wired to score the basketball but knows when to pick and choose his opportunities. A handful of JUCO programs are currently involved.
There is excitement surrounding the Troy basketball program after the Trojans’ trip to the NCAA Tournament. Phil Cunningham and his staff put together a strong 2018 recruiting class, and one of those signees was Parker’s Xavier Williams.
Despite only putting up 12 points and nine rebounds, Williams showed flashes of why he has a chance to be special at the next level. The 6-foot-8 4 man has an effortless game, never getting flustered or sped up. Williams used his good touch around the rim and was able to knock down several mid-range jumpers.
Parker looks like one of Alabama’s top teams this season and a lot of their success depends on the play of their two senior stars, King and Williams.
HUFFMAN HOLDS ON TO BEAT MIDFIELD
Huffman raced out to an early 15-point lead in the finale on Thursday at the Steel City Invitational, and, despite a heroic comeback from reigning 3A state champion Midfield, the Vikings were able to hold on to a dramatic 68-66 victory.
Huffman point guard Travarus “Bob” Carroll, who signed with Itawamba (MS) Community College in the fall, was terrific for the Vikings, scoring 19 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. The senior continues to make his case as one of the top guards in the state. He brings a nice combination of savvy, toughness, and scoring to the table for Huffman.
After two years of JUCO ball at Itawamba, expect Carroll to be a primary target in the backcourt for many low and mid-major programs in the South. He’s going to win a lot of games in college.
Midfield’s miraculous comeback was fueled by senior Keenan Isaac, a tough 6-foot-3 wing. Isaac was relentless around the rim, as he grabbed several offensive rebounds and made strong finishes at the rim. He led the Pates with 28 points in the loss.
With the victory, Huffman advances to the championship game on Friday. They will take on Parker at 5 P.M. Midfield and Vestavia Hills will play in the consolation game at 3:30.