Being forced to watch someone celebrate a championship in front of you is one of the toughest things in sports. The basketball program had to do it twice last weekend.
The Millers lost in the both boys and girls Class 3A North Region finals. The girls came first, dropping an 84-66 decision to Aberdeen on the road Friday night. Then, on Saturday afternoon, Patterson’s boys rallied to edge host Milford Mill, 75-72.
The girls ran into a very strong Aberdeen team that heads into the state semifinals with a 25-1 record. Center Bri Jones scored 40 points and was just too much for Milford Mill, which had won 25 in a row itself before this game.
The 6-foot-3 Jones is drawing a lot of college attention and can be a dynamic player inside. Milford Mill (25-1) has got plenty of talent but just couldn’t match up well with her—a big reason Aberdeen’s been so successful this year.
Akiri Lewis led the Millers with 20 points, and Dionna White added 18 as this is a young team that will be back again next year.
But the boys’ loss was more painful.
They were playing against Patterson and YouTube favorite Aquille Carr, the 5-foot-6 junior guard who’s already committed to Seton Hall and can make highlight video moves every time he touches the ball.
The Millers (21-3) controled him for much of the first three quarters, but Carr sparked a 25-point fourth quarter for Patterson, which helped the Clippers rally for the win.
“Just mental mistakes,” said Milford Mill coach Albert Holley. “When you let a team that can score score, [it hurts].”
Milford Mill had a 53-44 lead with just over a minute left in the third quarter. But Carr (31 points) and Myrek Lee-Fowlkes combined for three consecutive three-pointers to tie the game early in the fourth.
Carr then brought down the house with a big dunk to end the 12-0 run and put the Clippers on top.
The game swung back and forth throughout the final period. Carr kept making big plays, including the alley-oop pass that Lee-Fowlkes slammed home for a 69-67 lead with 2:28 left.
Milford Mill never got back the lead.
But the Millers had their chances. They missed three of four from the free-throw line in the final 2:37. In addition, they had two costly turnovers, and Patterson held on.
Chase Cormier topped Milford Mill with 16 points. Katrell Myers added 12 while Kyle Thomas (11 points) and Bruce Watkins (10) also helped out. But it wasn’t enough.
When asked what he’d tell his disappointed team in the locker room, Holley never blinked. He said they would have to learn that this was just another chapter in life, and that they had nothing to be ashamed of.
Yes, their run at trying for a third straight state championship was over, but they had given it their best shot.
“Just keep your heads up,” Holley said he'd tell them.
Athletic director Joe Sargent was at both games and had to set up the presentation of the region championship trophy to Patterson.
Watching another team celebrate in front of you is terrible, but to do it in your own house, well, that might be the worst thing of all.
And the Milford Mill players sat there on their bench, watching Patterson take the trophy and celebrate wildly with the large group of fans that came up from Baltimore City to see the game. Several of the Millers couldn’t even look.
“It hurts to lose the last game,” Sargent said. “I don’t think we ever game up in either game. I’m proud of both teams.”
As for the other local team, boys lost to Western Tech in the second round of the Class 1A North Region last week.
The Pikesville girls got a first-round bye and lost to FAST (Friendship Academy of Science and Technology) from Baltimore City in the second round.