COLLEGE PARK – After a dominant first quarter in Friday’s Class 2A state semifinal game against Thomas Stone, the Patterson boys basketball team looked primed to roll to Saturday’s championship game.
It didn’t quite turn out that way -- the Cougars from Charles County settled in to make it close for a bit – and that was just fine with the No. 1 Clippers, too.
Every push Thomas Stone made, Patterson had answers with senior Marvin Price finishing with 21 points and eight rebounds to lead the way for a 74-54 win at the Xfinity Center.
Patterson will take a 24-3 mark into Saturday’s 6 p.m. championship game, set to take on Wicomico, which defeated Oakdale, 57-51. The Clippers will be aiming for their third state championship and second in three years.
After jumping to a 17-4 advantage after a basket on the opening possession of second quarter, the Clippers saw their lead go down to 20-17 midway through the frame. No matter, the Clippers simply went about their business to completely take hold by the start of the fourth quarter. Zack Blackwell and Jalen Willis each had 14 points and Gerard Mungo was the fourth Clippers in double figures with 11.
Already this season, the Clippers have beaten No. 2 Poly and No. 6 Lake Clifton – two Baltimore City teams that are also playing for championships on Saturday -- along with No. 5 Edmondson three times, including for the city championship and North region.
“You just look at the three battles vs. Edmondson, the battles against Poly and Lake Clifton – both those teams are playiig tomorrow for championships…” Patterson coach Harry Martin said. “And our guys come from a lot of tough situations. I tell them all the time, the only motivation really is to step out the front door,”
“They’re incredibly though and that comes with other challenges and in terms of the [basketball] court, they keep coming and coming. I wouldn’t want anybody else out there.”
After the Cougars pulled within, 20-17 midway through the second quarter, Price and Willis both answered with two baskets and Mungo scored to make it 30-20. The lead would again be cut to 30-27 early in the third quarter, but five different players scored to push the lead to double digits again and the Clippers would never look back. Now, they are looking forward to Saturday.
“[We need to play with] the same energy from today – defense and just keep working,” said Blackwell, who finished with six steals.
P – Price 21, Mungo 11, Willis 14, Blackwell 14, Thomas 6, Jones 8. Totals: 29 13-21 74
TS -- Lowes-Wilson 3, Grant 22, Locke Jr. 4, Wilkes-Blakeney 4, Barclay 19, Wallace 2. Totals: 22 7-10 54
Half: P, 30-24