The Patteron Mill girls basketball team won its fifth region title in six years Friday night, defeating an overmatched and visiting McDonough team. The Huskies jumped out front quickly and cruised to a 72-43 win.
The Class 1A North champions will return to the state semifinals next Friday night, facing East champion Pocomoke at Towson University. Game time is 7 p.m.
Patterson Mill, now 24-1, fell behind 3-2 in the opening minute. More interesting, however, was senior Chyna Latimer going to the bench with two fouls with 4:47 left in the first quarter.
"At first I was a little disappointed, cause foul trouble's a big thing, you don't want to be in that," Latimer said. "Just had to keep the energy going and encourage my teammates and just keep pushing on, and I was able to do that once I got back in."
Even without Latimer, the Huskies were in control. Junior center Lucie Passwater scored six straight points in the paint and it was 11-5 Huskies. "I felt like I just went in strong, just stood my ground and I do what I know how to do and I was able to execute it and it worked out for me," Passwater said.
Moments later, senior guard Khayla Mitchell scored five straight, leading the Huskies to an 18-7 lead as the quarter ended.
An 8-1 run to begin the second quarter made it 26-8 and McDonough called timeout. The run was extended to 15-1 and the game was now a rout, 33-8.
Both teams scored six points each to close the quarter with Patterson Mill leading at the half, 39-14.
McDonough did start to find more success offensively in the third quarter, but its 16 points were still outmatched by Patterson Mill's 21. Latimer had eight points in the quarter and finished with a game-high 17.
The Huskies lead was 60-30 through three quarters and in the fourth, senior Gabby Chenworth, who has been out and in a walking boot with an ankle injury, got on the court momentarily to possess the ball in her final home game.
"It's a pretty cool feeling, it means a lot. It's pretty cool to have a good team that's so close and that we're hopefully going all the way to states to win it all and get a third title for our school," Chenworth said.
All nine Huskies that could play scored in the win. Mitchell finished with 16 points and Passwater added 14. Senior Kate Eckart added eight points, but her 12 first-half rebounds kept McDonough from any second chance shots.
"It's really amazing, being a part of this team for four years has been an awesome experience and being so successful in it, makes it even better," Eckart said. "And after losing last year at regionals, it really means a lot more this year to have won and to go onto Towson."
Rikiya Greene scored 10 points to pace the Rams (8-16), while Jordan McDuffie and Madison Tompkins scored nine points each.