Opening-season nerves appeared at the start for the No. 1 Patterson boys basketball team on Monday, but they didn't stick around for long against Washington D.C.-based Coolidge.
The Clippers' first field goal didn't come until the 4:39 mark of the first quarter, but plenty came after as junior guard Aquille Carr scored a game-high 27 points to lead Patterson to a convincing 100-76 win at the Spark in the Park Mixer at Forest Park.
Myrek Lee-Fowlkes added 23 points and transfers Shakir Brown (11 points), Leonard Livingston (10 points), and Devin Hebron (10) also reached double figures for the winners.
With Carr and Lee-Fowlkes returning to the lineup with three new starters — Brown, Livingston and Hebron — there wasn't much time needed to adjust. Much like in the team's run to the Class 4A state title game last year, the Clippers overwhelmed the Colts with their quickness, athleticism and Carr's play-making ability.
After the slow start, Patterson was able to build a double digit lead when Livingston scored an inside basket with eight seconds left in the first quarter for a 20-10 advantage. The Clippers put the game away in the second quarter with a 16-0 run that gave them a 36-14 advantage. Brown scored two key baskets at the start of the run and Carr added six straight free throws.
With the outcome not in doubt in the fourth quarter, the only question that remained was whether the Clippers' bench could push the score to 100 points. Reserve Anthony Lee scored on a layup in the closing second to reach that mark.
With his team up against one of the finer teams in the D.C. area, Patterson coach Harry Martin was pleased to see his squad come together so quickly.
"It surprised me a bit because we hadn't played as well as I thought we could in our scrimmages. I told the kids maybe we're the kind of team that, when the lights come on, we are ready to play," he said.
The Clippers, who cleared the bench midway through the fourth quarter, had 11 players score points.
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