“That’s the way it’s going to be when we play,” Patterson head coach Ryan Taylor said. “It’s going to go down to the wire because the kids know each other and both teams know what the other is going to do.”
Patterson (10-1) jumped out to an early lead and extended it in the second quarter when the Jacks went to full-court pressure. PHS led 17-7 with just over seven minutes remaining in the half but that’s when Morgan City’s Tyrin Watts found his shooting stroke.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Watts pulled MCHS to 19-17 with 3:18 to play. The Tigers other scoring threat, Jalen John-son tied the game 19-19 on a layup at the 2:30 mark. While Morgan City was surging, Patterson went cold on the offensive end.
Watts hit another 3-pointer with 58 seconds left to give Morgan City its first lead of the game, 22-19. The Tigers took the three-point lead into the half.
Watts, a senior, scored 17 of Morgan City’s 22 first-half points. Tremaine Lightfoot and Dylan Sanders had four points each to lead Patterson.
The game continued to go back and fourth early in the third quarter. Patterson regained the lead, 27-26, on a Sanders’ 3-pointer and a Trevon Stewart free-throw with 3:34 left in the quarter. The Jacks pushed the lead to three (29-26) on an offensive rebound and put-back by Deondre Skinner with 1:30 left.
Watts answered again with yet another 3-pointer to tie the game at 29 with under a minute to play. Patterson answered again with another offensive rebound and put-back by Skinner and a steal and layup by Lightfoot. PHS led 33-29 going into the final eight minutes.
“We didn’t play with enough momentum throughout the game,” Morgan City head coach Jeremy Whittington said. “We played hard in spurts and we can’t do that and beat good teams.”
The young Tigers found their momentum again late in the fourth quarter. Watts hit yet another 3-pointer and Johnson hit a floater on the baseline to cut the Patterson lead to 40-39 with 1:40 to play.
After a PHS turnover with 38 seconds to go, Morgan City broke the Jacks’ pressure and found Brannon Randle under the basket for a layup that tied the game 42-42 with 10 seconds remaining.
Sanders darted through the Morgan City defense and kicked the ball out to Hall who hit the game-winner at the buzzer.
“Dylan got the ball and he was under control with the clock running down and he called for his ball screen and he made the pass to Gino who hit a big shot,” Taylor said.
“We have senior ball players who have done it for four years and they’ve seen it all. A game like this wasn’t too big for them.”
Morgan City (9-8) isn’t so lucky. The Tigers lost eight players to graduation last season.
“We are a young team,” Whittington said. “We have just one senior on this team and we aren’t very deep. Our bench really hurt us tonight, but I’m very proud of the team’s overall effort.”
Watts led MCHS with 25 points, while Johnson had 10. Lightfoot led Patterson with 10, while Sanders and Tarrike Phillips added seven each.
PHS starts District 9-3A play Friday hosting North Vermilion, while Morgan City also returns to action Friday in the I-49 Shootout.