All season, the No. 1 City boys basketball team has been able to capably handle everything sent its way.
On Tuesday, No. 9 Patterson provided a significant test through four quarters, only to see the Knights respond to each push.
Omari George scored a team-high 23 points, Kamau Stokes added 14 and Timmy Bond scored 13 as City stayed perfect at 16-0 with a resilient, 69-62, home win over the Clippers..
Answers for the Knights came at both ends of the court, taking the form of a big blocked shot attempt by Bond, an extra pass by George or Bond for easy baskets and a big rebound or two from Juwan or John Grant.
The balanced contributions of regulars is something City coach Daryl Wade has come to expect this season.
"It's all the way around. We go seven, eight guys and they all contribute in one way or another," he said. "Everybody has a role, nobody is a superstar and we play as a team. They're a family and they're all comfortable with each other, so it's good to be that way."
Tied at 29 in the third quarter, the Knights got consecutive baskets from John Grant (9 points, 5 rebounds) and Bond for a 33-29. In the closing minutes of the third quarter, they pulled away with a 7-0 run in which Juwan Grant (6 points, 6 rebounds) scored on the break after along outlet pass from Bond. Stokes scored the last five points to give City its first double-digit lead.
City had an eight-point lead in the first quarter, but Patterson (15-4) battled back. The Knights went up by nine in the second quarter before the visitors crept within two, 29-27, to go into the break.
After the Clippers opened the third quarter with the first basket to tie the game, City — poised and determined — methodically built a 50-40 lead going into the fourth quarter. The advantage was well maintained the rest of the way.
The Knights weren't surprised by the test they received from Patterson, which got a game-high 24 points from Dereck Oliver. After the Clippers tied the game early in the third quarter, the home team showed no panic.
"We just came together, refocused ourselves and played City basketball," said George, who also had six rebounds and four assists.
Bond finished with seven assists, six rebounds and two blocked shots.
In addition to Oliver's big scoring night, Patterson got 13 points from Rysheed Corbin and 11 from Dawan Bass. The Clippers shot 30 percent from the field, hitting 24 of 78 shots.
1 City 69, 9 Patterson 62
P – Oliver 24, Corbin 13, Bass 11, Brown 6, Brooks 8. Totals: 24 9-13 62.
C – George 23, Stokes 14, Bond 13, Jo. Grant 9, Davis 2, Williams 2, Ju. Grant 6.Totals: 23 20-29 69.
Half: C, 29-27Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun