The pre-game introductions for Thursday’s Milford Mill High-Patterson boys’ basketball game at Coppin State University featured a spotlight show made popular by the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls in old Chicago Stadium back in the day. It was a smooth touch as the top team in Baltimore County and Baltimore City, respectively, closed out the opening day of the 15th annual Basketball Academy.

In a back-and-forth affair, the No. 1 Clippers emerged, 79-75, over the fourth-ranked Millers in front of an estimated audience of 1,100 at Coppin’s Physical Education Complex. Sophomore guard Aquille Carr scored a game-high 35 points for Patterson (11-1 overall), and Ricky Meekins added 22, 10 in the final period.

Trailing entering the final quarter, Patterson broke out to a 10-point cushion before the Millers made things interesting in the waning seconds. The Clippers said they were fortunate to overcome the defending Class 3A champions.

“Every time we made a run, they kept coming and coming which is a testament to Coach [Al] Holley,” said Patterson coach Harry Martin. “We jumped out and got complacent thinking it was going to be an easy time. They got back into the game and we didn’t respond energy-wise.”

“We came out sluggish, but we got it together and play defense,” said Carr. “Defense won the game for us.”

The Clippers held Milford Mill (9-2) scoreless for more than two minutes, turning a 58-56 deficit into a 67-58 lead after a steal and layup by Meekins. With under a minute remaining, the Kane Street school appeared in the clear at 75-65.

Thanks to second effort and a Clipper turnover, leading to a layup by Katrell Myers, Milford Mill closed to 75-71 with 37.8 seconds left in regulation. Patterson converted four straight free throws to close out the victory.

Despite a host of turnovers, Milford Mill closed the first half with a late surge to trail 42-39. The Millers continued controlling the pace in early in the third, building a 52-45 advantage after a layup by Chase Cormier with under three minutes left in the quarter.

A steal and layup by Meekins put Patterson back ahead in the early seconds of the fourth, but a layup by Isaiah McCray and a score inside by Tevin Hanner regained the advantage. Hanner, who was fouled on the basket, missed the free throw for a three-point play, and the Millers weren’t able to convert after getting three offensive rebounds off the missed free throws.

The Clippers ran off 11 straight before Myers’ offensive rebound and basket with 4:17 remaining. McCray led Milford Mill with 20 points with Hanner and Myers each finishing with 16 and 14, respectively.

aquille carr and ricky meekinsHolley said his team gave Patterson too many opportunities, including a pair of inbound attempts turned into a steal and layup by the Clippers in the final quarter. The defending Baltimore County champions also missed eight free throws in the period.

“All the things we couldn’t do we did, turned the ball over, missed free throws, missed defensive assignments,” said Holley. “We didn’t execute, the effort was there.”

The Millers return to Coppin State Saturday evening to close out the Basketball Academy against No. 6 City College in a matchup of defending state champions. Patterson takes on North Carolina’s Rocky Mount Prep (13-7) Saturday evening.

“We were fortunate to get the win,” said Martin. “We’re growing up a little bit. We had a tough game in New York [lost to Cardozo at Big Apple Invitational] last weekend that went the other way. Hopefully, they’ll learn something from this.”


No. 1 Patterson 79, No. 4 Milford Mill 75
Milford Mill1623152175
Milford Mill: Myers 14, Hanner 16, McCray 20, Parker 2, Cormier 10, Miller 11. Totals: 30 14-26 75.
Patterson: Carr 35, Meekins 22, Fowkles 9, Goines4, Carter 4, Williams 4, Taylor 2. Totals: 26 25-40 79.
Halftime: Patterson 42, Milford Mill 39