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COLLEGE PARK -- For the fourth time in five years, Thomas Stone leaves states without an elusive championship.

Three of those times, Stone has failed to protect second-half leads.

Like the 2008 state final, Stone was forced to deal with another heartbreaking loss in Saturday afternoon’s Class 3A title game.

Patterson (21-7 overall), the same team that Waldorf archrival North Point defeated in last year’s 4A state final, authored an 86-75 comeback victory over Stone, giving the school, under head coach Harry Martin, its first state crown in school history.

The Baltimore powerhouse outfit erased a 43-34 Stone intermission lead and a 64-61 deficit in the final seven minutes, dealing with foul trouble to junior star point Aquille Carr the whole second half.

After outscoring each other in the first and second periods, Patterson responded with a 52-point second half versus Stone’s 32, its defense also forced 24 Stone turnovers.

Carr, despite his four personal fouls in the game, finished with 28 points, eight assists and six steals.

“It hurt last year losing to North Point, so I dedicated my whole season to come back here to states and get it done,” Carr said. “My teammates help me get it done. I give credit to Thomas Stone, they played good defense on me in the first half.”

The Clippers received the biggest surge from senior Devin Hebron, who exploded for 17 of his 23 points in the third quarter, and scored the last five points of the period to give Patterson a 61-60 lead heading into the fourth.

“No sir,” Hebron said when asked if he expected to score that many points. “Basically, coach said we had to step up because we didn’t want Aquille struggling by himself. So I wanted to take the initiative to step up.”

Forward Shakir Brown had a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds and 6-foot-10 Leonard Livingston (8 points) was a force defensively with 11 blocks, and caught two alley-oop dunks from Carr.

Patterson led 22-14 after one quarter, but the Cougars (25-2) outscored it 29-12 to take a nine-point point halftime lead and took its biggest lead of 11 after senior 6-foot-6 center Brelin Elliott opened the second half with a layup.

“Each team was different in our state title runs,” Stone head coach Dale Lamberth said. “I can honestly say that with this group we had, not a lot of people thought that these guys could make it this far. We did some things well in the first half, but Patterson got more hands on balls in the second half.”

“It was my fault when we were down double digits, I thought we should’ve went zone, I didn’t think they were a good shooting team,” Martin said. “But Dale has done a great job with the program, he’s gotten here four times in five years.”

Leading Stone was senior Emeka Mbawke with 18 points, while Michael Briscoe had 15 points. Elliott was a force in the paint with 14 points and 10 boards. Brandon Stewart and Devin Mainor contributed with 10 and seven points, respectively.

“We put in a lot of hard work since Nov. 15,” Elliott said. “We were the underdogs and no one expected us to be back in the state finals, so this year was special for me and the team.”

Stone outrebounded Patterson 41-39 and had an 18-11 edge in second-chance points. However, Patterson had a 46-38 advantage in points in the paint, and an 18-6 lead in fast-break points. Stone scored 17 points to Patterson’s three from the bench.

Patterson shot 46 percent from the field, while Stone shot 44 percent for the game.

ajmason@somdnews.com

Patterson 86, Thomas Stone 75

Patterson 22 12 27 25

Stone 14 29 17 15Patterson: Carr 28, Hebron 23, Brown 18, Livingston 8, Fowlkes 6, Manns 2, Oliver 1

Stone: Mbawke 18, Briscoe 15, Elliott 14, Stewart 10, Mainor 7, Chisley 6, Aderinkola 5

Free throws: Patterson 21-30 (Carr 8-11, Brown 7-10); Stone 20-30 (Briscoe 7-11, Stewart 5-6, Mbawke 4-5)

3-point goals: Patterson 5 (Hebron 3, Brown, Fowlkes); Stone 1 (Stewart)