Many were calling it the game of the year. UNC bound Nate Britt and his Gonzaga Eagles vs the legendary Aquille Carr and his Patterson Clippers. When word spread that Britt wouldn't play because of a calf injury many were outraged.
This was one of the most anticipated games in recent memory. Some considered it the most anticipated game in the DMV since a game in 2006 that was played in the very same gymnasium, Coolidge High School between Montrose Christian and Oak Hill. It was a game that featured Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley and a Montrose Christian buzzer beater ended it. On this night a quartet of games was planned in the first annual MLK showcase. The featured event was Patterson and Gonzaga. Gonzaga, who is currently ranked #13 in the nation was facing Patterson who is led by 30 ppg scorer Aquille Carr who recently announced his intentions to play for Seton Hall. The game was being televised on Comcast2 and was being played in perhaps the largest high school arena in the DMV. The stage was set for a classic. A classic is what we got.
Patterson got out to a 15 point first quarter lead behind 11 points from Carr in the first frame. Gonzaga couldn't put much together. It was clear that they were missing their leader and floor general, Nate Britt. Kris Jenkins put the Eagles on his back and scored 12 of his teams 14 first quarter points. Patterson made a quick adjustment and went to a box and one on Jenkins after the first quarter and held the junior to only two free throws in the second quarter.
At the half Patterson held a 42-32 lead. Aquille Carr's hot night continued in to the second half as he scored 8 in the third quarter. Gonzaga cut the 10 point defect in half in the third quarter and as the fourth quarter approached the 3,000+ in attendance could feel something special brewing. With 1:39 remaining in the game Gonzaga came back to take their first lead of the game. The lead went back and forth between the two teams until Aquille Carr hit a pair of free throws with 24 seconds left to give Patterson a one point lead. As Gonzaga brought the ball down the court they couldn't find Jenkins and guard Charles Glover was forced to take a desperation 3 pointer with 5 seconds left that hit the front iron. Gonzaga center Will Rassman batted the loose ball towards the top of the key where Kris Jenkins was waiting; Jenkins calmly grabbed it, spotted up, and as the clock ticket down to one released ... swish. In a game that had been hyped up so much, had been televised, had people talking about it in every basketball circle in the DMV, it DEFINATELY lived up to the billing. The only questions we have now is, "When is the rematch?" One can only hope MLK Day 2013.