VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS FROM GERRARD SHELLEY
No. 1 Patterson High added another notch to its season of firsts in Friday night’s 93-55 victory over Urbana in the Class 4A North Region boys’ basketball finals at Morgan State University’s Hill Field House.
With 5-foot-7 sophomore sensation Aquille Carr leading the way with 43 points and five assists, the Clippers avenged last year’s loss to the Hawks in the regional finals and captured the east Baltimore school’s first region crown. Patterson will play either Eleanor Roosevelt or Charles Flowers in a 4A state semifinal Thursday evening at the University of Maryland’s Comcast Center.
“At the beginning of the year, we talked about our season being from November 15 to March 12, and this was another step in the process, in terms of winning a state championship,” said Patterson coach Harry Martin. “We’ve had some good achievements along the way, capturing our first championship since 1976 and now winning the first regional championship in school basketball history with this win.”
Carr, one of the nation’s top sophomores, did not wait long to elicit roars and bring the crowd to its feet.
On his first basket, he gathered the outlet pass after an Urbana turnover and, utilizing a burst of speed that’s hard to believe unless it’s seen in person, penetrated into the lane and propelled himself toward the basket as if shot from a cannon. As he gained altitude, rising above the flailing arms of Urbana’s defenders, his legs swiftly spread apart like a pair of scissors before he dropped the ball over the rim and softly through the net, all in the blink of an eye.
Seconds later, after another Hawks turnover, Carr executed an incredibly difficult spin move that lost his defender in traffic as he honed in on the basket. Jumping into a tight open space in mid-air, he exhibited some remarkable hang time while bouncing off of bodies like a pinball. As the ball dropped through the net, the audience stood up in disbelief.
His next basket was a stand-still three-pointer from the right wing, where his hesitation dribble and head feints froze his determined Hawks defender, creating just enough separation to squeeze off the shot.
“We tried to prepare for what we’d face tonight but, I mean, ‘what can you do?’” said Urbana coach John Cooper. “Aquille Carr had 43 and what are you supposed to do? Zone him and he hits three’s, get up on him and he goes around you. I probably talked to 20 coaches about how to defend him and they all said he’s just a freak of a player, a great player that can just make you look ridiculous.”
Patterson led 28-11 after the opening quarter. Urbana never recovered.
“I always come to bring my all and help my team win,” said Carr. “This game was about business because they beat us in the playoffs last year and we wanted this one real bad.”
Senior guard Ricky Meekins notched a double-double for the Clippers with 21 points and 10 rebounds, along with four steals. Sophomore forward Myrek Fowlkes chipped in with 12 points while senior guard Karrell Goines harassed Urbana’s senior marksman Jude Merkel on the defensive end.
“Aquille continues to separate himself as the best player in Maryland with these performances over and over again,” said Martin. “Along with Myrek Fowlkes and Ricky Meekins, those guys handle the bulk of our scoring and the rest of our guys have a good understanding of their roles.
Merkel, a 6-2 senior guard, led Urbana with 20 points. The Hawks opened the second half on an 8-2 run. Carr quickly responded, scoring 12 of Patterson’s 18 third quarter points.
“Sometimes in practice, we talk about making history and putting Patterson on the map,” said Carr. “And we aren’t done yet. We haven’t accomplished our goal yet. We’re not trying to clean out our lockers anytime soon. We’re going to make sure that we don’t get a big head because we realize that we have two more games to go.”
|No. 1 Patterson 93, Urbana 55|
|Urbana: Erichsen 9, Merkel 20, Disciulio 4, Atmonauage 5, Bing 3, Lane 5, Liang 2, Johnson 2, Byrd 2, Deegan 3.|
|Patterson: Carr 43, Meekins 21, Williams 6, Lee-Fowlkes 12, Marshall 5, Woodard 5, Taylor 1.|