Edmondson's Sean Thomas drives to the hoop for a layup… (Baltimore Sun photo by Colby…)
Edmondson coach Darnell Dantzler starts and ends his team's practices with free-throw drills. The Red Storm also regularly works on how to handle a variety of pressure situations.
All of that practice paid off Friday night, as No. 10 Edmondson made nine straight free throws in the final 80 seconds to hold off host Patterson's late comeback bid and hang on for an 80-77 victory.
Edmondson (4-0) struggled with free-throw shooting at times during the game, making 29 of 43 overall, but the Red Storm converted nine of 10 free throws down the stretch. Rodney Pratcher (24 points) made four in a row to start the run, and Kavon Pyatt (15 points) then made more four more before Sean Thomas (11 points) made one of two to give the Red Storm an 80-77 lead with 6.4 seconds left.
Patterson freshman Aquille Carr, who finished with a game-high 27 points, missed a running 3-point shot at the buzzer.
"The key was everyone playing together and hitting our free throws and playing good defense," Pratcher said. "We like to take over."
Edmondson took over in the fourth quarter despite watching Patterson (2-2) rally. The Red Storm slowed the pace of the game to let the clock run and stop the Clippers from getting out on fast breaks.
The Red Storm played good defense, made crucial free throws and rebounded well.
"Our team came together and played hard," Dantzler said. "That's what it takes to win games, the little stuff."
Patterson and Edmondson both had runs in the first half, as the Red Storm took a 39-36 lead at the break.
Edmondson appeared ready to break the game open in the third quarter when it stepped up the pressure on defense. The Red Storm forced eight turnovers in the first five minutes and appeared in command when Stanton Kidd (17 points) made a layup that gave it a 61-46 lead with 2:10 left in the quarter.
But Patterson slowly cut the lead throughout the fourth quarter and made it 71-68 on Carr's 3-pointer with 1:54 left. Brian Lewis (19 points) made it 73-72 when he scored on a follow for Patterson with 58 seconds remaining.
The Red Storm's free throws proved to be too much in the end. Edmondson also got help from Jerry Lovelocke (10 points) and took advantage of its taller and more athletic lineup to force 20 turnovers and disrupt the Clippers' offense.
"They're very long and athletic ... and they hit their free throws," Patterson coach Harry Martin said. "I'm proud of our guys for fighting back. We took them right to the wire."
E-Kidd 17, Ro. Pratcher 24, Thomas 11, Lovelocke 10, Pyatt 15, Ra. Pratcher 2. Totals: 23 29-43 80.
P-Carr 27, Carter 9, Lewis 19, Williams 9, Addison 11, Taylor 2. Totals: 24 21-32 77. Half: E, 39-36.