Before heading over to Morgan State University for Thursday’s evening Baltimore City Division I finals, Patterson High boys’ basketball team was shown the Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference championship banner for the 1975-76 Clippers squad, the last won by the Kane Street school.
It’s time to make a room in the trophy case. Top-ranked Patterson ended its drought with a 75-59 decision over No. 6 City College at Morgan State University’s Hill Field House.
Sophomore guard Aquille Carr scored 32 points for Clippers (21-1 overall) and sophomore Myrek Lee Fowkles senior Ricky Meekins added 16 and 15, respectively. Nick Faust had 25 points for City (14-8) and senior guard Mike Cheatham finished with 13.
Tied at halftime, Patterson dominated the Knights over the final 16 minutes of regulation to complete a perfect run in arguably the toughest city league in years. The Clippers defeated reigning state champs City (Class 2A) and Dunbar (1A), then-defending city champ Edmondson, in addition to Digital Harbor, Douglass, Lake Clifton. All six spent time in VSN’s Top 20.
“It was all work and we never gave up,” said Carr. “We always play hard until the last minute.”
“Before we left the gym we look at the banner and showed them it’s been since 1976 that we won a championship,” said Patterson coach Harry Martin. “They took a lot of pride in the school and all the support we’ve been getting.”
The Clippers have attracted huge audiences all season with two games moved from school sites to Morgan and Coppin State. An estimated audience of 4,000 witnessed the penultimate game of the city league campaign.
Once again, Carr owned the spotlight. Slowed by two early first half fouls, the 5-foot-6 supernova led the Clippers’ second half surge with 25 points.
“I was trying to figure out how I was going to get myself back into the game,” said Carr. “At halftime, my team told me I’m the leader and had to take over. Coach told me to swing the ball around the zone and take easy shots.”
“He was a little less aggressive in the first half then in the second half, he was back to himself,” said Martin. “Once he got into a rhythm, it was hard to stop.”
Tied at 33 at intermission, Carr opened the second half with a steal and layup. The Clippers scored nine straight with Carr hitting a nifty midair runner followed by a three-point play by Meekins for a 45-35 lead with 3 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in the third.
A dunk by Faust, who’s headed to Maryland, got City to within seven, 51-44, late in the quarter, but Carr was fouled on a three-point attempt on the ensuing possession. He converted all three free throws, pushing the lead back into double digits.
The Clippers advantage never slipped under double digits as Carr opened the fourth with a drive and score in the lane. After watching Carr scored 38 points against his squad back in December, City coach Mike Daniel had no answers in the second half Thursday.
“Aquille Carr asserted himself, that’s it. He did what he usually does the whole game,” said Daniel. “You can’t stop the kid, he can shoot it from deep; he’s probably the best passer in the city. He’s a special player.”
Within the opening three minutes Thursday, Carr had two fouls. Thanks to good ball movement and passing, City opened up a five-point advantage at 26-21 in the second quarter. A steal and layup by Carr started an 8-0 response, capped by a three-pointer by Meekins for the lead.
“We just told him [Carr] play his game and don’t get caught up with the refs,” said Meekins. “He settled down, got us into the game and we just helped out.”
With the city title in its possession, Patterson turns to the next goal on its checklist: winning the Class 4A North Region title. The Clippers will host either Dulaney or Frederick’s Thomas Johnson in a quarterfinal match, Monday at 5 p.m.
“All we got to do is keep working, don’t give up,” said Carr. “We want to be playing on March 12.”
Baltimore City Division I Boys’ Basketball Championship
at Morgan State
No. 1 Patterson 75, No. 6 City College 59
|City: Faust 25, Greene 4, Cheatham 13, Greer 5, Amos 2, Rasheed 6, Press 2, Freeman 2. Totals: 24 7-16 59.|
|Patterson: Carr 32, Goines 6, Meekins 15, Fowkles 16, Williams 2, Carter 2, Marshall 2. Totals: 28 13-20 75.|
Halftime: City 33, Patterson 33