During his historic freshman campaign a year ago, Aquille Carr didn’t understand why people flocked to high school gymnasiums around Baltimore City to see him play.

“Last year I was little excited but now it’s just normal,” said Carr. “I love packed gyms.”

In front of a captive audience at Patterson, Carr put on a performance for the ages. The sophomore guard scored 57 points, leading the second-ranked and host Clippers to a 103-71 decision over No. 11 Forest Park in the championship game of the Bill Miller Classic.

Myrek Fowkles added 20 points for the unbeaten Clippers (8-0 overall). DeAnthony McCormick led Forest Park (7-2) with 15 points, and sophomore forward Quintin Judd finished with 14 points.

The Clippers blew the game open early and led by as many as 38 points in the second half. With a couple of days remaining in 2010, Patterson coach Harry Martin said his team wanted to make a statement heading into the 2011 portion of the season.

“We want to be one of the top teams in the area and the region, and to do that you got to beat good teams,” said Martin. “Forest Park is a good team and they have a lot of good players.”

The Clippers were active defensively the entire game against Forest Park as Karrell Goines flustered leading scorer Judd, who’s one of the area’s promising underclassmen.

“There was a lot of trash talking saying we can’t play defense, but we proved them wrong,” said Carr. “We can play 90 feet man-to-man all game.”

Carr, the national freshman of the year by MaxPreps, provided further proof that he’s the area’s most dominant offensive player. The 5-foot-8 dynamo with the explosive first step and leaping ability turned the final eight minutes into his personal highlight package, scoring 28 points.

He dropped four three-pointers in the period including three straight, sending him over 50-point plateau and the Clippers past the century mark. Carr’s line: 19 field goals including seven three-pointers and 12-of-15 from the free throw line.

“I felt like I was throwing a rock into the ocean,” Carr said. “Everything that left my hand felt good.”

“It was just an incredible effort,” said Martin. “He’s got a lot of pressure on him, but every night he performs.”

patterson boys basketballThe Clippers got off to a 13-4 advantage as Carr’s steal and layup completed a 9-0 surge. He started a 12-0 run with a three-pointer and finished it with a near dunk, making it 40-16 midway in the second quarter. Patterson was in full command at intermission, 45-26, with Carr producing 25.

“Aquille is dynamic,” said Forest Park coach Greate White. “He brings a unique skill set to the game. He didn’t go off until the second half.

Other than the Digital Harbor game, we haven’t shown up in big games. We need to improve as teammates and believing and trusting each other.”

With the holiday tournament crown along with last week’s victory at City College, Patterson is confident heading into resumption of Baltimore City League play next week.

“The win is great. Now I can wait until we come back to school and get ready for Mervo,” said Carr. “It’s back to business.”