The Central Catholic-Patterson basketball game has become a real rivalry, complete with a jam-packed venue and dueling fans.
Central Catholic used three-point shooting to grab an early lead and held on to beat Patterson, 52-42, Friday at Central Catholic.
Nick Case and Dontrell Brown’s big three-point baskets sparked the Eagles in the first half.
The Eagles led 27-17 at halftime. Brown had 11 first-half points while Case added six.
“All season the three-point shot has been a big part of our offense,” Central Catholic head coach Ree Case said. “We really have one true post player and four guards, so we try to spread the defense out or penetrate, and if you help then we want to kick and shoot threes. Tonight, we were able to make them.”
CCHS (11-3) came out of the halftime roaring behind two straight baskets by Case that forced an early Patterson timeout.
After the timeout, Patterson went inside to Deondre Skinner for a basket, but the Lumberjacks continued to struggle shooting the ball.
“We had some defensive breakdowns where we left their shooters open, and we just couldn’t put the ball in the hole,” Patterson head coach Ryan Taylor said. “We ran our sets and plays, but we just couldn’t get shots to fall.”
Trailing 34-24 with 2:47 remaining in the third quarter, Patterson turned to full-court pressure.
“Patterson is so athletic and quick and we really hadn’t been pressed this year, so the pressure rattled us a bit,” Case said. “To be honest, it rattled us more than I thought it would since we have four guards on the court.”
But the Eagles battled through the pressure to take a 12-point lead into the fourth quarter.
Patterson continued to press, but the ’Jacks’ shooting woes remained.
“We went to the press to try to generate some easy baskets,” Taylor said. “But we worried about getting into foul trouble and putting them on the free-throw line.”
Taylor’s concerns were justified late in the game as CCHS hit big free-throws to secure the win.
“It’s been one thing that we’ve consistently done all season,” Case said. “We’ve made them down the stretch to keep a lead or to extend a lead, and the kids take a lot of pride in their free-throw shooting.”
Patterson (8-5, 4-0 District 9-3A) has lost two of their last three games.
“I think we are learning a lot and getting better,” Taylor said. “We are getting ourselves into tight situations, and I feel like we are learning from it. We just have to continue to grow. We’ve lost some games, but this will all be valuable when we get to the playoffs. “
Patterson plays several freshmen in its rotation.
The ’Jacks will face another local rival Tuesday when Franklin (9-11, 3-1) comes to town in district play.
Central Catholic opens district play Tuesday at Ascension Episcopal (15-3-0).
“This was a great game going into district play,” Case said. “It was a playoff atmosphere with two well-coached teams that play hard. You just can’t practice this or recreate this anywhere but in a big game like this. And the good thing is it’s in January, so if you win, it’s nice, but if you lose, you still learn something that will help you in district and the playoffs.”
Brown led Central Catholic with 16 points, while Case and Josh Singleton also reached double figures with 10 points apiece.
Other top scorers for the Eagles included Tyler Hoffpauir with eight and Lamar Grogan, seven.
Denzel Johnson and Nehemiah Augustus led Patterson with nine points apiece, while other top scorers included Deondre Skinner with eight, Daylon Charlot, seven; and D.J. Jones, three.