Baltimore’s Patterson High School Clippers saw their chances of repeating as Maryland state 3A champions come to a close with a 64-50 loss to Baltimore County’s Milford Mill Academy on March 5 in the 3A North regional semifinals at Deborah J. Stephans Gymnasium in Baltimore County, Md.
Patterson defeated Milford Mill in the finals to claim the title last year, but Milford Mill earned sweet revenge in the rematch, thanks in large part to junior center Allen Costley.
Costley was unstoppable in the paint, and made Patterson pay even when they fouled him, sinking all 13 of his free throw attempts and finishing with a game-high 25 points.
Also key in Milford Mill’s victory was a stout defense led by senior forward Artise Jackson, who blocked two key shots.
Jackson said after the game that he still remembered how painful it was to lose to the Clippers last year, and that his team planned to do everything in its power to avoid that feeling for a second straight year.
“We talked before game about how they beat us and we were crying in the locker room,” Jackson said. “We said we weren’t letting that happen again.”
Patterson lost several stars from last year’s championship team, including former guard Aquille “the Crime Stopper” Carr, who now plays for Princeton Day Academy in Laurel, Md. Carr’s departure hurt Patterson’s chances of repeating, but head coach Harry Martin said he was proud of his team for making their eighth consecutive appearance in the regional semifinals.
“We gave ourselves a shot, but we just didn’t execute down the stretch,” Martin said. “But I’m proud of our boys for fighting their hearts out.”
Milford Mill advanced to face City College of Baltimore City in the 3A North regional finals on March 8. The winner will earn a place in the state 3A division’s final four.