Patterson scored 12 straight points in the third and fourth quarters to erase a nine-point deficit and held on to beat Milford Mill, 75-72, to claim the 3A North title and earn a trip to the Comcast Center for the state tournament.
Aquille Carr led all scorers with 31 points and his dunk with the game tied at 53 highlighted the Clippers’ second-half rally. Carr stole the ball at half court, converted the one-handed dunk, drew a foul and completed the three-point play.
But a host of other Patterson players also contributed to the comeback. Myrek Lee-Fowlkes (16 points, five rebounds) hit two 3-pointers during the stretch. Shakir Brown, who finished with five steals in addition to his 10 points and eight rebounds, helped the Clippers (19-7) slow down Milford Mill on the defensive end. Devin Hebron (eight points) had a crucial offensive rebound off a missed free throw to give Patterson another possession.
And down the stretch, freshman Dereck Oliver (six points) and sophomore Kwynten Brooks hit key free throws that allowed Patterson to hold on to its slim lead despite its three frontcourt players fouling out.
In addition to scoring a little less than half of Patterson’s points, Carr added nine assists, three rebounds and two steals. Leonard Livingston helped control the paint with five rebounds, three blocks and two steals, while Eric Woods played in important defensive situations at the end of both halves.
Patterson, which is making its second straight trip to the state playoffs, will face 3A West winner Tuscarora at 5 p.m. on Thursday at Comcast Center. The winner advances to Saturday’s 3A championship game.