Shortly after the Patterson boys basketball team finished its game with Baltimore City rival Dunbar on Tuesday, senior point guard Gerard Mungo talked about the grind and intensity that came with playing against the Poets the past two seasons.
But that wasn’t the case this time.
Instead, the No. 4 Clippers took hold of the game early and faced little resistance the rest of the way to claim a dominant 90-58 home win.
With double doubles coming from seniors Marvin Price (24 points, 13 rebounds) and Jalen Willis (11 points, 11 rebounds) and Mungo’s 16 points, Patterson improved to 9-2 overall and 3-0 in Baltimore City.
Dunbar, which got 19 points from Jamal Cannady, fell to 4-5 overall and 2-2 in league play.
Asked how surprised he was to have such an easy game against the Poets, Mungo hesitated for a bit before responding: “Yeah, it’s not normal.”
The Clippers methodically built a 53-34 halftime lead with Willis scoring the team’s first five points and Price adding 15 points in the first half.
Patterson provided a slight opening at the start of the third quarter, going three minutes without a point, but the Poets could only muster three points of their own. Soon after, the Clippers poured it on with Leroy Noble hitting three baskets in quality minutes off the bench to help Patterson take a 73-47 lead into the fourth quarter.
Dunbar’s 12th-year coach Cyrus Jones Sr. can’t recall the last time the Poets were under the .500 mark this many games into a season, and last year’s Class 1A state championship — the program’s state-record 16th — seems like a distant memory.
“Our kids have to understand the tradition and, at the same time, you can’t disrespect it and just come out and think you deserve to be on the court,” he said. “Hopefully, this will show them they are not as good as they think they are. They need to work hard to improve and concentrate on listening to the coaches instead of the bad advice from outsiders.”
The Poets returned only one starter from last year’s title team, senior guard Malik McCormick, and have a few others with extensive varsity experience. When asked what the biggest difference was Tuesday, Jones said his team didn’t match the Clippers’ toughness.
“It’s very disappointing,” he said. “Being an alumni and having to go through losses like this, it’s not fun at all. It’s OK if you’re losing and you’re giving an effort, but right now our guys are not giving effort. Today, we basically just got outplayed in all facets of the game, so we need to come back and work on some things at practice to be ready for the next one.”
On the other side, the Clippers look to continue to build on what’s working.
“We just got to keep playing as a team, playing tough on defense and sharing the ball and keep bonding together,” Mungo said.
Both teams return to the court Friday, with Patterson hosting Reginald Lewis and Dunbar at home against ACCE.
4 Patterson 90, Dunbar 58
D – Cannady 19, McCormick 8, Jones 5, Scott 6, Davis 9, Barney 8, Miller 3. Totals: 23 5-12 58
P – Price 24, Willis 11, Blackwell 13, T. Thomas 5, Mungo 16, J. Thomas 6, Jones 6, Noble 8, Anderson 1. Totals: 32 19-36 90
Half: P, 53-34