Blount Press Row


Harris, Tornadoes stay frosty at the line (and elsewhere) to reach state

Grainger guard Marquice Fifield attempts to strike up a conversation with Alcoa coach Joel Kirk during the fourth quarter of Monday’s Section 1AA championship game.

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

Rutledge — It’s an old-school trick.

Didn’t work very well when it was new, either.

Harris reacts to Fifield wanting in on the conversation. Check out the amused Alcoa fans to the right of assistant coach Jared Laverdiere.

Midway through the fourth quarter of Alcoa’s 72-64 sectional win at Grainger on Monday, Tornado guard Dante Harris walked to the Alcoa bench for some instruction from head coach Joel Kirk.

The Grizzlies were shooting free throws at the other end.

Along with Harris came Grainger guard Marquice Fifield.

In a genuinely baffling display, as Kirk leaned in to speak with Harris, Fifield leaned in, too!

Right between them!

“Have no clue,” Kirk said. “I asked him if he wanted to be a part of my squad, and he laughed. It was a little weird, though.”

Alas, the vintage ’Where-you-go, I-go’ tactic came to naught.

Forced to foul in an attempt to close the deficit, the Grizzlies could only watch as the Tornadoes drained 16-of-19 from the line in the fourth quarter to hold the lead. Harris, personally, was 11-of-13 in the frame.

It was all part of a balanced night that saw four Tornadoes reach double figures. Thanks in large part to his stay-focused free-throw shooting, Harris led with 17, with swingman Mekhi Carter burying four treys en route to 16.

Nick Roberts knocked down a pair of 3s on the way to 14, with attacking guard Mikael Ayl adding 12 and a trey.

The draw for the boys state tournament, which begins March 14 at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, will be held later this evening.

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