Aquille Carr admits he was pressing when he came off the bench to enter Thursday night's Class 3A North Region semifinal at City.
But, luckily for Patterson, the junior point guard fared much better in the second half.
Carr took command and scored 17 of his game-high 23 points after the break as the No. 5 Clippers defeated No. 9 City, 67-59.
Patterson (18-7) will play at No. 1 Milford Mill in Saturday's regional final after the Millers defeated Woodlawn, 59-41, Thursday night.
Carr, who also finished with eight rebounds and three assists didn't start after he got to City about 30 minutes before game time due to some classwork issues. He made only one basket in the first half and picked up three fouls.
"I felt myself going too fast," Carr said. "I [realized] I've got to settle down. I know my team needed me."
City (19-6) held an 11-8 lead when Carr entered the game with 2:26 left in the first quarter. He quickly fed Myrek Lee-Fowlkes (15 points) for the first of two straight 3-pointers.
The Clippers got 10 points in just under three minutes, and took the lead for good, but Carr didn't score until his three-point play 30 seconds into the second quarter.
Clinging to a 33-28 lead, Patterson coach Harry Martin started Carr in the second half despite his having three fouls. The Clippers then spread the court and repeatedly put the ball in Carr's hands.
He scored eight points in the third quarter and nine more in the fourth as the Patterson pulled away in a physical game that featured four technical fouls.
"We tried to spread the court and let him do his own thing," Martin said.
Carr's alley-oop pass to Leonard Livingston (11 points) gave Patterson a 64-50 lead with 2:23 left. That all but locked up the win, which sends the Clippers on to a fourth consecutive road playoff game. (They earned the No. 15 seed in the region by random draw after not having a strong enough regular-season record to be seeded in the top four.)
"We've been around the country this season, so traveling to Baltimore County's not going to faze us too much," Martin said.
Charles Tapper led City with 22 points, but the younger Knights hurt themselves with a number of mistakes.
"We beat ourselves," City coach Daryl Wade said. "We missed lay-ups, we missed free throws. We had turnovers at crucial times."
The game was delayed for several minutes with 24 seconds left when police and security went into the stands to deal with an altercation. They cleared out several fans, and the game was finished.
Class 3A North Region
No. 5 Patterson 67, No. 9 City 59
P—Brown 6, Carr 23, Lee-Fowlkes 15, Oliver 2, Manns 7, Livingston 11, Hebron 3. Totals: 23 17-27 67.
C—Davis 2, Bond 9, Morgan 7, Tapper 22, Johnson 9, Richburg 3. Totals: 16 22-30 59. Half: P, 33-28.