After struggling with his shot in a surprisingly close two-point quarterfinal win over Blue Mountain on Saturday, Rochester’s Pavin Parrish said he was looking to regain his form from the field in semifinals.
The top-seeded Rockets’ lightning-quick, sweet-shooting junior guard was nearly unstoppable on the Barre Auditorium court Monday night, torching Twinfield for 36 points (on 14-for-19 shooting) with 12 assists as Rochester advanced to Saturday’s Division IV high school boys basketball final with a 77-61 victory over the Trojans.
“I had an awful game the last time,” said Parrish, who keyed a 12-0 run from the end of the first quarter and into the second that turned a 9-6 deficit into an 18-9 lead with 6:41 left in the first half. “I knew I had to do better tonight.
“I’m exhausted, but happy,” said Parrish, whose team led 29-21 at the half before putting the game away with a 28-10 edge in the third quarter.
In addition to Parrish’s virtuoso work from the perimeter and on slashing drives to the hoop, the Rockets (22-1) got solid games from Mike Smith (10 points), Tanner Pratt (8 points, 11 rebounds) and Clay Walker (8 points).
Parrish said despite his impressive offensive performance, it was the contributions of his teammates that made his job easier.
“I love those guys. They are out there every night working very hard and doing all they can do to help us all be successful. They helped put us in a position where we get to play for a title and I couldn’t be happier,” said Parrish. “We worked really hard tonight and we deserved the win.”
For fifth-seeded Twinfield (15-8), which saw its reign as two-time defending champions come to an end, David Codling scored 19 points, including the 1,000th of his career, and pulled down a team-high nine rebounds.
“He’s as tough as they (get),” said Rochester coach Earl Kingsbury.
Brandon Gibbs scored 14, Brad Brickley chipped in 10 and Ethan Barnett had seven points and eight rebounds for the Trojans.
The Rockets shot 56 percent from the floor (29-for-52), a stat that Kingsbury said has much to do with Parrish’s passing ability as his shooting touch.
“You can try to double-team him all you want, but he’s going to find the open man,” said Kingsbury. “He’s so unselfish out there. Miguel (Gonzales) does a great job of defense against him, but Pavin is just head and shoulders over everybody else.”