The Patterson boys basketball team is putting stock in playing scrappy and smart defense, conditioning and finding balance on offense.
Taking on Baltimore City rival Dunbar on Monday, all those things added up to a thorough win.
Senior guard John Thomas led the way with 21 points and sophomore wing Caleb Burguess finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds to lead the No. 12 Clippers to a 60-39 win over the visiting Poets.
Patterson improves to 9-1 overall and 7-1 against league competition, while Dunbar falls to 4-3 in both.
After a sluggish start, the Clippers showed positive signs in the second quarter and then dominated the second half to win going away. An 8-0 run early in the second half capped by a dunk from Thomas put the home team completely in charge with a 37-21 advantage midway through the third quarter.
“We were eager to play them and we focused on a lot of little things and making sure we execute the game plan well,” said Thomas. “I think we erased our mistakes quickly instead of making them consistently and came out and played together and play team basketball.”
Patterson coach Harry Martin was pleased with his team’s execution at both ends, particularly in the second half. The Clippers employed a 1-3-1 zone that forced outside jumpers from the Poets. Many of the misses turned into long rebounds, outlet passes and easy points. Junior guard Mekhi Dukes added nine points and senior guard Jose Sabastro had eight points and five assists.
“Our defensive effort — the 1-3-1 zone defense forced them into some long threes and we were able to get into transition. And then in the third quarter, I thought our conditioning took over a little bit,” Martin said. “Overall, it was a scrappy game. I thought the overall production we had … for us to be successful, we’re going to need like six guys to score consistently.”
Dunbar senior forward JuJuan Gibson scored a team-high 13 points, while junior forward Tony Hart added 10. With only two players with varsity experience and the continued challenges COVID-19 has posed with missed practices and games, coach Dana Johnson said the aim is to get better every chance the team is together. She added Monday’s struggles are part of maturing as a team.
“We didn’t stay together as a team — we got frustrated and that’s one of our weaknesses,” she said. “We have to learn how to work through runs, deal with adversity. It’s something that we’re getting better with, but I know my team and I know that sometimes they just don’t know how to snap out of it. … But that’s just maturity and we’re working on it.”
Patterson will next travel to Douglass on Tuesday, while Dunbar looks to bounce back Wednesday at home against Poly. Both games are tentatively set for 5:15 p.m., following junior varsity games.
D – Hutchinson 1, Bookman 5, Hart 10, Gibson 13, Toney 3, Roberts 1, Green 3, Harding 3. Totals: 14 5-13 39
P – Thomas 21, Wilson 5, Sabastro 8, Dukes 9, Burguess 14 , Dobbins 3. Totals: 24 7-15 60
Half: P, 29-18