The Patterson boys basketball team experienced an ultimate high followed by a difficult low in the final three seconds of regulation at Edmondson on Tuesday.
From there, the No. 4 Clippers had to find a way to regroup for overtime.
And even when the visitors were down three points with less than a minute left in the extra period, they kept their composure. Patterson made big free throws, grabbed important rebounds and hassled the No. 6 Red Storm into costly turnovers.
Dereck Oliver, who was set to be the hero after hitting a jumper with 2.5 seconds in regulation to give the Clippers a brief lead, hit two free throws with 13 seconds left in overtime to send Patterson to a thrilling 66-63 overtime win over Edmondson in another grind-it-out Baltimore City Division I game.
Patterson (15-3) improves to 8-2 in league play, tied with No. 2 Lake Clifton, which went to 16-2 and 8-2 with its win over City on Tuesday. Edmondson (14-5) dropped its second straight league game to fall to 8-3.
"I really wasn't worried about any adversity," said Oliver, who scored 16 of his game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. "The only thing that was in my head when we came here was to just win.
"I want to be in the Baltimore City championship game — I haven't been since my freshman year, and we got to win it. It took all of us fighting, just pushing each other."
As has been the case for much of the season among the top teams in Baltimore City, the game was tightly-contested with defense at the front. Edmondson had a 15-14 lead after one quarter and then the game was tied at halftime and going into the fourth quarter.
The Red Storm was first to seemingly have hold of the game when Kani Coles spun to the basket to make it 45-38 with 4:31 left in the fourth quarter. But the Clippers answered with a 3-pointer from Richard Hibbert followed by Oliver busting out. He scored seven straight points for Patterson, including a 3-pointer with 1:59 left to give the Clippers the lead at 50-48.
With 23 seconds to play in regulation, Edmondson's Korie Bowie hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 53. After each team had a scoreless possession, Oliver hit the gutsy jumper with 3 seconds left.
As some shocked fans spilled onto the court, the Red Storm got a timeout called with 2.5 seconds left. An inbounds pass the length of the court found its way to Keandre Cook, who beat the buzzer with a short jumper just in front of the foul line to send the game into overtime.
"That was definitely tough because I thought we got out of there with a win," said Patterson senior guard Gary Blackston, who finished with nine points, 10 rebounds and five assists. "They got the long pass, it bounced off a foot and then he makes the shot to send it to overtime. Coaches said 'New game, 0-0, first quarter — let's just grind it out.' "
The Clippers did just that — a steal by Oliver, a key offensive rebound from Blackston and nine out of 12 makes at the free-throw line in overtime to claim the win.
Patterson senior forward Demetrich Williams scored nine of his 12 points in the first half when Oliver and Blackston were struggling offensively. Hibbert hit three 3-pointers in the second half to finish with nine. The Red Storm got a strong game from Cook, who finished with 21 points, to go with 14 from Coles and 10 from Demitrius Hoskins.
"We played well, but just [had] dumb turnovers down the stretch," Edmondson coach Darnell Dantzler said. "Patterson hit some big shots to keep them in the game. Every time we went up three or four and I thought we had some momentum, we turned the ball over, so we didn't execute down the stretch like we should have."
Patterson travels to Dunbar on Friday before closing out the league schedule against City on Tuesday. Edmondson will try to rebound at City on Friday in its final league game. Lake Clifton is at Poly on Friday before finishing against Digital Harbor on Tuesday.
4 Patterson 66, 6 Edmondson 63
P – D. Williams 12, Moore 4, Ross 4, Blackston 9, Pointer 6, Oliver 20, Hibbert 9, Adams 2. Totals: 19 23-33 66.
E – Lloyd 3, Cook 21, Coles 14, McClain 6, Hoskins 10, Holmes 2, Bowie 5, Jones-Harris. Totals: 27 27-39 63.