The Randallstown boys basketball team closed out its game against Patterson in Thursday's 18th annual Basketball Academy with a couple erratic minutes of play.
The No. 11 Rams had costly turnovers, some inconsistent aim at the free throw line and the big court and environment at Morgan State might have given them jitters.
But the Rams' strong all-around performance, particularly in the second and third quarters, was enough, albeit just barely.
Senior guard Devin Smith made one free throw with 31 seconds left, the last of his team-high 23 points, and Randallstown had two defensive stops from there to pull out a 70-69 win over No. 5 Patterson.
The Rams, which also got 16 points each from Jerell Cooke and Jeremy Robinson, improved to 11-2, while Patterson lost for the second straight game to fall to 12-2 on the season.
"We pulled it out, but it was ugly," Randallstown coach Kevin English said. "We made too many turnovers, and you could tell the guys were starting to tighten up a little bit with the energy in the gym. We pulled it out and found a way to win, and that's what matters."
After trailing 29-18 midway through the second quarter, the Rams ended the half on a 13-3 run and went on to build a double digit lead in the second half. After Robinson scored on a drive to the basket with 3:58 left to play, the Rams led, 63-52.
But the Clippers, who struggled from the free throw line and from outside for most of the game, didn't quit. They chipped away at the Rams' lead, getting stops and hitting 3-pointers.
Down 68-60 with under two minutes to play, senior guard Rysheed Corbin (game-high 26 points) hit a 3-pointer that started a 9-1 run that finished when junior Dereck Oliver hit a bigger 3-pointer to tie the game, 69-69, with 39 seconds left.
The Rams answered. Smith charged to the basket, was fouled, and made the first of two free throws to give Randallstown a 70-69 lead, which they held.
Patterson's Dawan Bass (12 points) took an entry pass just in front of the free throw line, but his short jumper was off the mark in the closing seconds.
Patterson was 9-for-23 at the free throw line, while Randallstown finished 20-for-30. The Rams made 13 of 16 through three quarters, but were only 7 of 14 in the fourth — making 1 of 2 in each of their seven trips to the line.
No. 13 New Town 50, Aberdeen 35
Senior point guard Danny Shand finished with 13 points and eight assists, and junior guard Malik Jones added 11 points as the Titans (10-3) pulled away in the fourth quarter for the win.
(at Morgan State University)
No. 11 Randallstown 70, No. 5 Patterson 69
R – Atelefack 2, Cooke 16, Smith 23, Granger 8, Robinson 16, Banks 2, Ennals 3 . Totals: 25 9-23 69
P -- Corbin 26, Oliver 11, Bass 12, Brooks 7, Pointer 11, Brown 2 . Totals: 22 20-30 70.
Half: P, 32-31