COLLEGE PARK, MD - The scene looked very familiar to the one that played out on the floor at Xfinity Center in 2017, with Marvin Price and his Patterson High School teammates celebrating a Maryland Class 2A state championship.
However, everything that transpired in the one-year hiatus between that title and this latest one - a 79-56 win over Wicomico - made Saturday’s win even sweeter.
Price - who left Patterson and spent the 2017-18 season at Huntington Prep (WV) and spent much of this season struggling to regain his form following a knee injury - starred for the Clippers Saturday, scoring a game-high 31 points.
“I feel like I appreciate this one more,” Price said, “just because - I mean, I had to work to even be in a position to play for it again, like, with therapy and all that. It just means more.”
The 2019 guard scored 21 of his points in the first half, with 10 coming in an absolutely dominant stretch that began to open the game up. He finished 12-of-18 from the field and also grabbed 10 rebounds.
The state title win was the third for Patterson coach Harry Martin, who joked that not a day goes by that he doesn’t text Price to remind him he’d have a fourth if he hadn’t left for Huntington Prep.
“Hats off to [Wicomico] Coach [Butch] Waller; their guys played a great game,” Martin said. “But over the years if you guys have followed us, usually the third or fourth quarter, we wear ‘em down a little bit and that’s what we did tonight again.”
2019 guard TJ Thomas had 14 points and 6 assists for Patterson, while 2019 guard Gerard Mungo had 12 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists, and 2019 guard Jalen Willis had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Thomas stepped up to carry the offense in the third quarter and help stave off a Wicomico rally.
“I wasn’t doing that much in the first half, and I was getting down on myself, but Jay Willis picked me up and he told me, ‘Just keep playing.’ So I just kept shooting my shot and it was dropping in the second half, so I just continued.”
2019 forward Jayson Handy had 14 points to lead Wi-Hi, while 2019 guard Keyshawn Marshall added 12 and 2019 forward Matt Lowe 10 points and 8 rebounds.
“The better team should win,” Wicomico coach Butch Waller said. “They don’t always win, but I think today - who knows if we played tomorrow what would happen - but today, they were the better team. And I think everybody that was here saw that.”