Anyone around the Edmondson High boys basketball program will tell you this season has been similar to a roller coaster ride. Despite the inconsistent play, mainly from the team’s overall youth, the Red Storm are in play for a state championship.
The No. 8 Red Storm advanced to the Class 1A state semifinals with a 65-45 victory over Patterson Mill in a quarterfinal contest Saturday in West Baltimore.
The Red Storm broke away from Patterson Mill in the second half, securing their spot in the state Final Four. Edmondson will join fellow Baltimore City programs City and Lake Clifton in the semifinal round.
No. 3 City kept its unbeaten season intact with a hard fought victory over Centennial in a Class 3A quarterfinal. The defending state 1A champ Lakers eliminated Loch Raven, 65-57, in East Baltimore.
Marcus Jackson led the way with 21 points for Edmondson (18-7 overall), and Kyrie Sherrod added 12. Freshman James Hammond finished with 15 points for Patterson Mill.
Leading 25-21 at halftime, the Red Storm outscored the Harford County school, 25-8, in the third quarter. Freshman post Harris added 10 points.
“It seemed like we weren’t into it. We told the kids this could be your last game,” said Edmondson coach Darnell Dantzler. “We came out of our zone and picked it up on the defensive side. We got some steals and some transition baskets.”
Jackson, 6-foot-8, poured in 14 points, including three dunks, and Sherrod dropped a pair of 3-pointers in the third, leading to a 50-29 cushion. The Red Storm got its largest lead, 61-35, in the fourth on a Jackson score.
It’s the second straight season Edmondson ended the Huskies’ season. The Red Storm defeated Patterson Mill, 47-42, in last year’s state semifinals at Prince George’s County’s Henry A. Wise.
The Huskies (16-7) stayed with Edmondson in the first half, trailing just 19-17 late in the second after Andrew Pape’s basket. The Huskies’ inside support ran into foul trouble and couldn’t match Jackson and Harris.
“That third quarter was pivotal…if you can’t slow them, it’s going to get out of hand real quick,” said Patterson Mill coach Jeroud Clark.
Clark commended his seniors’ leadership for stabilizing a young roster.
“If your culture isn’t good it will implode when you have seniors having to take a backseat to some talented young players, ours didn’t,” said Clark. “They allowed their leadership to feed within those younger kids.”
Edmondson, which has no seniors on the roster, has shown flashes, reaching the Baltimore City final. The Red Storm admit they haven’t put together a complete game.
“Two wins from winning states,” said Sherrod. “We’re going to make sure we’re on our A-game.”
Lake Clifton (20-4) advanced to its fourth consecutive state semifinal as Jazae Jones scored 20 points and senior Quinton Monroe added 15. The Lakers, who led 40-39, entering the fourth, converted 16-of-18 free throws in the final frame.
Jayden Baker led Loch Raven with 19 points. The Raiders trailed 31-24 at halftime, but behind Baker and Earl Jordan (combined for 13), closed to within a possession.
City needed a closing kick to put away a tough Centennial team to return to the Class 3A state semifinals. Senior forward Cam Horton scored 19 points and Kyree Smith and Kwon Johnson each finished with 16.
Leading by as many as 14 points in the second half, City (26-0) had just a 50-46 advantage with 3 minutes, 49 seconds left in regulation on Adrien Nyon’s 3-pointer. The Knights, playing in front of a huge audience, turned up their defensive level to finally close out the Eagles from Howard County (12-12).
The last three minutes I thought we were good defensively. We just got our hands in passing lanes and got a few steals. A little more effort and energy.”
Centennial caught City early with a 16-7 start, but the Knights answered with a 16-2 surge to grab a 23-18 lead. The Baltimore City school nurtured the advantage to 50-38 with about 6 minutes left in regulation.
Centennial, behind Nyon, worked its way back. He scored eight straight points, starting with a 3-point play, to bring the Eagles within two possessions.
Centennial got no closer as City made another step in its quest for a perfect season and first state title since 2014. The Knights will play No. 14 Aberdeen in the 3A state semifinals, Tuesday at Montgomery County’s Blair.
“From the second we lost (in state semifinals), they’ve called this season, “The Revenge Tour.” Hopefully they’ll remember and redeem ourselves,” said Smith. “We got to make sure our eyes are on the next opponent.”