Posted On: 12/6/17 7:45 AM
Last night, a large portion of the public schools around the Baltimore area tipped off and began their 2017-18 season. The defending 2A champion Patterson Clippers had a tough task of taking on an overlooked Digital Harbor team. After leading by more than 20 points in the first half, Digital Harbor’s lead diminished, but the Rams were able to hold on to a 85-81 final and make a statement to the rest of the city.
Donald Green steps into the spotlight
Green finished with a double-double that included 24 points, 13 rebounds to go with a handful of blocks. The 6’7 senior was dominant right out of the gates, scoring nine of the Rams’ 18 first quarter points. Green set the tone early after catching an off the glass alley-oop from sophomore guard Emmanuel Lubb and then proceeded to give the Clippers nightmares in the paint. Green went scoreless in the second quarter due to getting in foul trouble, but exploded again in the second half where he scored 15 of his 24 to ultimately help boost the Rams.
Undermanned and undersized makes no difference to Patterson
Patterson only had eight players suit up for their opener. With a lack of frontcourt depth, the head coach Harry Martin is forced to start four guards. In most cases, this would be an issue, but the Clippers play with a toughness that the majority of teams don’t have. Heading into the locker room at halftime, they trailed by 14 points with no momentum on their side. This is a team that has a championship background, so they fought and clawed back into the game thanks to tremendous efforts from Dasean Jones (25 points) and Gerard Mungo (21 points). Mungo fouled out with over four minutes left in the fourth quarter. The argument is strong that if he would’ve remained in the game, the Clippers would’ve continued their comeback and possibly stole the game at the end.
Marcus Hocker was key in the second half for the Rams
Hocker had a quiet first half scoring just one point, but with his size and skill at 6’7, it was only a matter of time before his impact was felt. That came in the second half when he scored 13 points. He had two huge baskets back-to-back in the fourth quarter to help halt the Clippers comeback.
Gerard Mungo makes plays everywhere
Due to their lack of size, Mungo is essentially forced to play the power forward position. At 6’2 this isn’t ideal, but his awareness and physicality allows the Clippers to get away with it. Mungo had a great effort in the rebounding category and being a part of the back line of Patterson’s press. He acted as a free safety would in football and was a big reason that the Clippers turned the Rams over often. Mungo’s 16-point effort in the second half gave life to not only the Clippers, but the fans. It’s no secret that he will be the energizer bunny this season for Patterson.
It’s only one win, but Digital Harbor shouldn’t be overlooked
There weren’t many people talking about the Rams prior to the season. Considering they have three players standing 6’7 (Donald Green, Marcus Hocker and Kyrie Young), they’ll give teams problems inside night in and night out. Their sophomore point guard Emmanuel Lubb plays with confidence and made a ton of great decisions with the ball. At 6’1, Lubb can also get up and finish over the rim with impressive athleticism. These players are complemented by a surrounding cast that can knock down shots and play with energy off the bench, which should bode well for them late in the season.