No. 1 Patterson boys rally, advance to Class 4A title game

March 10, 2011|By Glenn Graham, The Baltimore Sun

COLLEGE PARK — — All season long — from its 20 regular-season wins, to its first Baltimore City championship and first regional title — the Patterson boys basketball team talked about March 12.

Led by a special player in All-Metro sophomore guard Aquille Carr and a supporting cast that's both talented and resilient, the No. 1 Clippers have reached that date and are just one win from a history-makingseason.

Overcoming Carr's early foul trouble, a rare halftime deficit and a determined Eleanor Roosevelt team, the Clippers used a dominating third quarter to come away with a 67-59 win over the Raiders from Prince George's County in Thursday' Class 4A state semifinal at Comcast Center.

Patterson (25-1) will make its first state championship appearance on Saturday when it meets the Magruder-North point winner at Comcast Center at 8 p.m.

"When we first started practice, first had tryouts, we had three goals. We have two of them and now we just need one more — March 12, Saturday— we're coming back to play," said Carr, who finished with a game-high 25 points. "So we're trying to not celebrate too much. We're happy for this win, but we got to get the next one to make our season."

Getting past Thursday's semifinal was no easy chore.

Trailing by 10 points in the middle of the second quarter and 31-26 at the half, the Clippers opened the third quarter on an 18-3 run that provided a 44-34 lead. The Raiders (17-9) would not get closer than six points the rest of the way.

The Clippers came out aggressive on defense in the third quarter. Rickey Meekins (16 points, 10 rebounds) took a charge on the Raiders' opening possession, and sophomore Myrek Lee-Fowlkes (nine points) blocked a shot on their next one.

At the other end, Carr was the catalyst, with seven points, two steals and two assists during the run. Lee-Fowlkes gave the Clippers their first lead since the first quarter at 35-34 lead with 5:01 left in the third quarter. – Carr followed with a basket and a 3-pointer to push it to 40-34.

"I knew when I came out in the second half I had to put the team on my back bcause they look to me to dish the ball and make open shots," said Carr. "So I just felt I had to take the team on my back and get the 'W.' "

The Raiders proved up to speed at the start, staying on even terms for the first quartet. Then, after Carr was sent to the bench after his third foul midway through the second quarter, they built a 27-17 advantage on Akil Charles' basket with 3:08 to play in the half.

Meekins hit a key 3-pointer to end the run and help the Clippers pull within 31-26 at the half.

"We just had to play our game. When Aquille goes to the bench, he knows we can keep the game in hand, so he just told us to keep playing hard," Meekins said.

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