Basketball can be a complex game at times, but Lake Clifton coach Herman Harried offered a rather simple analysis of what happened when his team went to Patterson on Wednesday night for a Baltimore City contest.
A few minutes after watching No. 12 Patterson roll to a 69-47 victory over No. 8 Lake Clifton, Harried stood in the hallway outside the gym and summarized the game.
“They outplayed us,” he said softly. “They played well and we didn’t.”
On offense, five Clippers finished in double figures. T.J. Thomas (16 points), Zach Blackwell (13 points), Gerard Mungo (13 points), Daesean Jones (12 points) and Isaac James (12 points) took care of most of the offense for Patterson (4-3).
Thomas added seven rebounds and six assists as Patterson moved the ball around well on offense. Players kept hitting from inside and outside, and various players pitched in.
Jones provided the key spark early. Neither team shot well for much of the first quarter, and Lake Clifton held a 6-5 lead with under two minutes remaining before Jones took over.
He drilled a three that gave the Lakers the lead for good with 1:24 remaining. Jones followed that with two layups before Blackwell hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer that gave Patterson a 15-6 lead after one quarter.
Those were the first 10 points of a 12-point run, and the Lakers never drew closer than nine points again.
“[We] just moved the ball around, getting everyone involved,” Jones said. “Everyone was taking smart shots.”
They stretched the lead to 28-14 at halftime and locked it up in the second half, especially in a fourth quarter during which Patterson made 14 of 16 from the free-throw line.
Overall, the Clippers made 17 of 23 foul shots, which prevented the Lakers from making any kind of comeback.
What also stopped a Lake Clifton rally was the way it struggled on offense. Whenever the Lakers tried to drive, they found a few bodies in their way, often forcing them to kick the ball back outside.
When that happened, Lake Clifton usually missed. The Lakers hit just one 3-pointer — which didn’t come until early in the fourth quarter.
The Clippers just never let up on defense. They held Lake Clifton (7-2) to those 14 first-half points and that one 3-pointer, and made the Lakers fight for just about everything on offense — especially when they tried to go inside.
Lake Clifton just never found the range on offense.
“Part of the game plan was to pack it in, force these guys to hit some 3s and let’s see if we can get out in transition,” Patterson coach Harry Martin said. “I think we were smart with our defenses, mixing up our zones throughout the night [confusing] Lake Clifton.”
Thomas agreed with Martin in they were basically trying to make the Lakers beat them from the outside but needed to really play tough inside defense to do that.
“We were just trying to stop their penetration and force them to kick it out,” Thomas said. “We knew they were streaky shooters [outside].”
The Lakers played better on offense in the second half, scoring 33 points but they could not climb out of that early hole. Benjamin Carter, Ronald Lucas and Armon Harried each finished with 10 points to lead Lake Clifton.
L—Gray 8, Parker 3, Smith 2, Carter 10, Lucas 10, Harried 10, Barney 2, Jones 2. Totals: 19 7-17 47.
P—Jones 12, Thomas 16, Blackwell 13, Mungo 13, Frink 3, I. James 12. Totals: 23 17-23 69.
Half: P, 28-14