Maryland 4A boys basketball: North Point, Patterson advance to title game

Magruder fell to North Point, 71-56, in the Maryland 3A semifinals.
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, March 11, 2011; 12:22 AM

Second-ranked North Point found itself in an unusual position Thursday night. The Eagles never trailed in the Maryland 4A semifinal, but they also never could shake eighth-ranked Magruder.

But midway through the final quarter, leading scorer Devonte Thomas made a three-point shot just before crashing into his own bench, then diminutive point guard Marquis Wright blocked a shot that led to a layup by Gerel Simmons and North Point's undefeated season was safe for one more night.

Edward Mouton scored 19 points and Thomas had 18 as North Point pulled away late to continue the finest season in school history with a 71-56 victory at Comcast Center.

The Eagles (26-0), making their first state tournament appearance, advanced to Saturday's title game against Patterson of Baltimore, which beat 16th-ranked Eleanor Roosevelt, 67-59.

"Our guys, when we get in tight ball games, we never panic," North Point Coach Jimmy Ball said. "We work on our half-court offense as much as we work on our full-court defense. . . . That's the big thing. We didn't panic. That's why we came out with the win."

Magruder finished 22-4.

PATTERSON 67, E. ROOSEVELT 59: For much of the first half of its Maryland 4A semifinal, No. 16 Eleanor Roosevelt had managed to execute its game plan.

The Raiders were better on the glass, forced shots from the outside and - most importantly - limited Patterson sophomore star Aquille Carr, who picked up his third foul with 4 minutes 34 seconds left in the half.

The reward was a five-point halftime lead against a team that had lost just once this season and outscored opponents by 25 points a game.

Patterson reversed every one of those trends in the second half, however, and behind Carr, a 5-foot-6 guard and highly rated recruit, the Clippers (25-1) used a dominant run in the third quarter to oust the Raiders (18-8).

Carr flashed the speed and ability to score from anywhere, putting up a game-high 25 points, dishing a few crowd-pleasing assists and snagging four steals.

"We seemed to have the momentum when [Carr] got in foul trouble but I don't think we really stretched the lead out when he got in foul trouble," Roosevelt Coach Brendan O'Connell said. "We've gone through some scoring droughts all year long and we had one in the third quarter and it hurt us a little bit."

Those struggles in the third sparked an 18-3 Patterson run that lasted nearly five minutes, with Carr pouring in nine of those points.

"Turnovers and rebounding," junior guard Akil Charles said. "We had the game. We just started to turn the ball over. For the first half we were boxing out, especially me, I missed some box outs. . . . And that was it."

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