College Park—Patterson Mill’s ride to the school’s first-ever appearance in a boys basketball state final was derailed in a major way Friday inside the University of Maryland’s Xfinity Center.
The Huskies (19-8) got off to a fast start, eventually, too, fast, and Fairmont Heights (20-8) was just, too, tough. The Hornets, the defending Class 1A state champions, took control with a strong second quarter and rolled past the Huskies, 72-49, in a 1A semifinal.
“You can’t be in a situation when you a play a team that’s, that good wothout bringing your A game,” Huskies head coach Jeroud Clark said. “Tonight we had 25 turnovers, you turn the ball over like that against a team like that and you’re gonna be a bad spot. I think that kind of sums up the game.”
The Huskies opened the game with a fast pace, pushing the action. Senior Rashawn Clowney had three strong drives to the basket for points and the first two gave Patterson Mill a 4-0 lead.
Unfortunately, Rashawn Clowney didn’t score again and he played just a little bit more, suffering a knee injury that forced him out of the game in the second quarter. “Down the stretch, the last four game’s, he’s been our leading scorer. He’s probably one of the more dynamic kids on the floor on both teams tonight,” Clark said. “Then he goes down, now were rotating kids in and it meant everything.”
Fairmont Heights, which struggled early with its shooting, found itself trailing the Huskies, 10-8, with 2:40 left in the first quarter. The Hornets, though, out of a timeout, scored the final five points of the quarter to lead, 13-10, at its end.
The Hornets also scored the first six to begin the second quarter and the lead quickly grew to 19-10. Patterson Mill slowed the game down, but Fairmont Heights didn’t seem fazed.
Turnovers aided the Hornets, 25 by the Huskies for the game, which led to 35 Hornets points. A three-point shot from Shemarri Miles and a three-point play by Mandell Quigley (11 points) pushed the Hornets lead to 29-17.
The score was 33-19 as time ran down in the half. The Huskies should have had the last shot, but one of those turnovers gave the ball back to the Hornets and all they did was score five points in the final three seconds.
Yearlarndo Reed, II, the tallest player on the court at 6-6, drained a three as time was running out. On the inbounds pass, Kimani Benjamin (17 points, four steals) stole the ball and put up a short jumper that found its way in and was questionably called good.
The five-point spurt doubled up the score, sending the Huskies to the break, down, 38-19.
It was Benjamin who stole the ball and scored again to open the second half as the Hornets zeroed in on the win.
The Huskies didn’t have a bad third quarter, scoring a game-best 16 points, but Fairmont Heights scored 19 as both teams began subbing at will. The score after three was 57-35.
Rashawd Clowney scored 10 of his team-high 13 points in the third quarter.
The Hornets had the lead as high as 28 before settling in for the 23-point win.
Max Elliott added 12 points a team-high eight rebounds for the Huskies, who had had all 14 players see action, including junior Nathan Roussey who scored five points. “
Senior Dale Harris also scored five points, despite getting off just four shots. “First time playing on a big college, university court, maybe we were distracted, weren’t focused,” Harris said.
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