The record will show that Patterson was simply a little better than Edmondson in the 2018-19 Baltimore City boys basketball season.
Friday’s Class 2A North region championship game, the third time the teams have met, was another highly intense, grinder that came down to fine details in the fourth quarter.
The host and No. 1 Clippers rebounded a bit better, took care of the ball a bit better, and made just enough baskets and free throws to pull away for a 58-49 win over the No. 6 Red Storm.
It’s the third time Patterson got the better of Edmondson, including a 60-52 win over Edmondson in the Baltimore City championship game on Feb. 21.
The Clippers (23-3) advances to their sixth state tournament in a bid to bring home the program’s third state title. They will meet Thomas Stone – a 69-60 winner over Oakland Mills for the South region -- semifinal round play, set for 7 p.m. Friday at Xfinity Center in College Park.
Leading 46-45 going into the fourth quarter, the Clippers limited the Red Storm (22-4) to just one field goal the rest of the way to gradually pull away. Senior Marvin Price scored 21 points to lead the way, including a one-handed slam off an alert inside feed by Gerard Mungo to make it 54-48 with 37 seconds to play.
“It was exhausting and took a lot, but we knew we had to just fight through because if we didn’t win, that’s it,” Price said.
The Red Storm found its offensive rhythm toward the end of the first quarter and it carried over into the second – Barry Jones and Daniel Frink each scoring four points in the stretch that turned a tie game into a 25-14 lead with 4:57 left in the half. But the Clippers got going to make the most of the last of the remaining time in the half. Price converted a three-point play, Zach Blackwell (10 points) hit a 3-pointer and was fouled for a four-point play. Then back-to-back 3’s from TJ Thomas (15 points) and Price helped put the home team ahead, 39-38, at the break.
The pace slowed in the third quarter with both teams in foul trouble and playing mostly zone defense with Edmondson claiming a 46-45 lead on Markus Hocker’s basket in the final minute.
The rest of the game was frustration for the Red Storm as they were unable to finish around the basket as the Clippers slowly pulled away. Patterson coach Harry Martin expected a significant run from his Clippers, but the Red Storm’s defense and tough work on the boards kept them from pulling away.
“Without a doubt, it was a grind playing Edmondson three times,” Martin said, whose Clippers also won the regular-season meeting. “Those guys battle, battle, battle and [Darnell] Dantzler is a good coach. So I told our guys they’re not just going to give it to you, that you’re going to have to make enough plays. There was no real key shot, but just a daily grind and we didn’t do too much of the dumb stuff.”
Dantzler got plenty of mileage out of a team that continued to get better. Along with reaching the Baltimore City title game, the Red Storm went on the road on Wednesday and knocked out Baltimore County champ and No. 4 New Town, 71-60, to reach the region title game.
“I’m proud of the kids -- they played well all year,” Dantzler said. “Just today, down the stretch, we had a lot of unforced turnovers and then we missed a ton of layups. My hat goes off to Patterson, but I think we beat ourselves down the stretch.
“It’s frustrating for the kids, but my whole thing is they fought as hard as they could fight all year.”
The Clippers got a significant second-half boost from Joe Jones, who kept them close with four third-quarter points and added 10 rebounds. Keith Bolden scored 13 points to lead Edmondson.