Richwood used pressure defense and three-point baskets to upend Patterson, 73-54, in the quarterfinals Tuesday in Monroe.
The second-seeded Rams (29-6) hit 11 3-pointers and forced 12 second-half turnovers to secure the win.
“They had a good shooting night,” PHS coach Ryan Taylor said of Richwood. “Some of the shots they took were from deep, and we didn’t extend our defense enough.”
Richwood (29-6), winners of two Class 3A state titles since 2005, didn’t break the game open until the fourth quarter. Leading 49-46 after three periods, Richwood extended the margin to 61-50 behind Martez Carter’s sixth 3-pointer.
Patterson (24-4), the 10th seed, came out and jumped on Richwood. Senior Tremaine Lightfoot scored six early points to push the Lumberjacks to a 15-11 lead. PHS led 18-12 with 1:58 remaining in the opening quarter before Richwood answered with five straight points off ’Jacks turnovers. RHS led 19-18 after the first quarter.
Richwood big-man Reginal Johnson carried the scoring load early but had to go to the bench with two fouls early in the second quarter. But the Rams other scorer, Remond Brown, got going in Johnson’s absence.
Patterson center Deondre Skinner also picked up his second foul, forcing the ’Jacks to sub. Lightfoot, however, was a demon on the boards for PHS, keeping the undersized ’Jacks in the game.
Richwood turned up the defensive pressure just before the half, going on a 7-point run to take a 34-31 lead.
In the first half, Lightfoot and Trevon Stewart led the ’Jacks with 8 points each while Skinner had 6. Chris Ellis led Richwood with 11 while Carter had 9. The Rams hit six 3-pointers in the first half.
Patterson opened the third quarter with six turnovers and Richwood took full advantage, pushing the lead to 46-35. But the ’Jacks had a run in them too, scoring 9 straight points to pull to 46-44 with 1:15 to play. Richwood added another 3-pointer from Carter and Patterson got a layup from Stewart for a 49-46 Rams’ lead going into the fourth quarter.
While Patterson only trailed by three at the end of three quarters of play, the ’Jacks had turned the ball over 27 times through three quarters.
“We knew going into the game that we couldn’t turn the ball over in order to give ourselves a chance,” Taylor said. “We turned the ball over several times, and we weren’t even trapped. We just didn't handle their defense well. We didn't handle the ball with confidence at times.”
In the fourth, the ’Jacks limited its turnovers to just three, but RHS pulled away, outscoring the ’Jacks, 24-8, to advance to the semifinals for the sixth straight year They will face Glen Oaks, who defeated McMain, 49-46.
Patterson was led by Stewart, Lightfoot and Skinner, who all reached double figures. Stewart scored 16 while Lightfoot and Skinner added 12 apiece.
Other PHS scorers were Dylan Sanders, eight, and Tarrike Phillips, Gino Hall and Larry Turner, all with two apiece.
Richwood received 18 points apiece from Carter, Ellis and Johnson.
For Patterson, its season ends in the quarterfinals for the second consecutive season.
The loss also is the final game for seniors Lightfoot, Sanders, Stewart, Phillips, Hall, Traylon Jennings and Sherman Edwards.
“To the seniors … I just feel bad for them for the hurt that they are feeling,” Taylor said. “They put a lot of time and effort into this program, and right now all they see is that it’s over.”
Despite the loss in their last game, the seniors accomplished a lot in their four years, winning a district title three out of their four years of high school and advancing to the state quarterfinals in as many years, as well as a Top 28 appearance in 2009.
“They really have no reason to hang their heads,” Taylor said. “You have a lot of schools in the state that would love to accomplish that in 10 years, much less 4. I am extremely proud of them and love each and every one of them. The City of Patterson is proud of them as well as every member of the Lumberjack basketball family.”
Additionally, Taylor thanked the fans who made the more than four hour trip to Richwood.
“I know it was not easy for them to make it, but I appreciate the support they give the young men and women of Patterson High School,” he said.