Patterson Clippers star guard Aquille Carr had one priority heading into the 2011-’12 high school basketball season: win the Maryland state championship. It was the only thing he focused on ever since his team fell just short last season. This year, Carr wasn’t going to let that happen again as he scored 28 points to push the reigning Baltimore City champs to a 86-75 victory over the Thomas Stone Cougars of Waldorf, Md. in the 3A state championship on March 10 at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md.

“I think I sat right here in the same chair when I cried here last year, “Carr told reporters after the game. “So it feels great to know I don’t have to cry now.”

The win didn’t come easy at all for Patterson; Thomas Stone led, 43-34, at halftime; the Cougars had four different players score double digits and took advantage when Carr got into foul trouble in the second half.

Fortunately, Patterson leaned on its other teammates to contribute when Carr sat on the bench. Senior guard Devin Hebron scored all 23 of his total points in the second half for Patterson; Clippers senior forward Shakir Brown also contributed well, scoring a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds. Senior center Leonard Livingston added eight points and 11 blocked shots to Patterson’s team total.

“I’m speechless,” Carr continued telling reporters after the game. “It hasn’t hit me yet, but I know we worked hard, we deserved it. Guys on our team didn’t come all this way to lose. They came to win a state championship and make school history.”

The Clippers weren’t the only team to bring a title back to Baltimore, Md. The Dunbar Poets made their own history, blasting the New Town, 60-36, on March 10 for their third straight 1A Maryland state title. Dunbar now has 14 state titles in school history, tying Albany for the most of any school in Maryland.

Dunbar was led by senior guard Evan Singletary with 19 points; no other Poet scored more than 10 points but they wouldn’t need many points because New Town was completely strapped by Dunbar’s defense.

After the game, former Dunbar player and NBA legend Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues handed out the championship trophy and awards.

“When you first come to Dunbar and hear about the tradition and the history and you learn about everything that happened, that’s motivation for us to keep it alive because we know what’s expected,” said Dunbar senior guard Donte Pretlow, who told the Baltimore Sun he will play for Morgan State University next fall. “That means us playing hard every game. And when you actually see the people that laid the foundation, that’s a thrill for us and that makes us feel good.”

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor