’Jacks stifle Eagles

Patterson’s Larry Turner dribbles down court against Evangel Christian during Friday’s Class 3A Bi-District contest. Patterson advanced to the regional round after picking up a 68-43 victory. The Lumberjacks, the No. 7 seed, will return to action Tuesday when they host No. 10 seed St. Louis in a 6 p.m. contest. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)

I can’t make any excuses, but anytime you lose your top scorer and ball handler against a team like Patterson, it’s going to be a tough one.

The Patterson Lumberjacks used suffocating defense to handcuff Evangel en route to a 68-43 win in the Bi-District round of the Class 3A playoffs Friday at Patterson.
Both teams started the game slow with No. 7 Patterson hitting the first basket with 5:19 remaining in the first quarter.
While the Lumberjacks’ offensive got on track, No. 26 Evangel struggled with Patterson’s full-court pressure. After a layup by Nehemiah Augustus and a three-pointer at the buzzer by DJ Jones, Patterson led 15-7. Evangel made just one basket in the first quarter.
The ’Jacks extended the lead in the second quarter despite some sloppy play, jumping out to a 24-13 on a layup by Dontrell Benjamin with less than a minute to play. Patterson took a 26-15 lead in the half and held the Eagles to just three first-half field goals.
“The film didn’t do them (Patterson) any justice,” Evangel coach Reni Mason said. “They are so quick and athletic. I didn’t come in here thinking they could make the plays they made. Our guards had trouble all night.”
Evangel already was shorthanded without leading scorer Calvin Daniels (23 points per game) sidelined with an injury before point guard Bobby Armstong was injured on a fall, Mason said. He played sparingly the remainder of the game.
“I can’t make any excuses, but anytime you lose your top scorer and ball handler against a team like Patterson, it’s going to be a tough one,” Mason said. “What can I say? They beat us.”
Daylon Charlot led Patterson’s first-half scorers with six while Jedrick Gunner had four.
The Eagles made 9-of-14 free-throws to keep the game within reach.
“We were able to dictate to them what we wanted them to do,” Patterson coach Ryan Taylor said.
Still, Taylor said things were “up and down” in the first half and the Lumberjacks had some “careless” fouls allowing Evangel to get to the free-throw line too often.
Evangel made a run to open the third quarter, and after a layup and couple free-throws by Trey Woods, the Eagles trailed the ’Jacks 28-23 with 3:53 remaining. But Charlot answered for Patterson with a steal and basket followed by a tip in to give Patterson a 32-25 margin with just more than two minutes to play. Patterson’s defensive pressure took over in the final minutes capped by a Charlot dunk and layup for a 38-26 lead.
“We played aggressive and that’s our style, and we were able to get some breaks in the second half and some easy buckets,” Taylor said. “We knew they were a good rebounding team and if we couldn’t keep them off the boards it was going to be a long night for us but our kids were able to match them.”
Patterson broke the game open with an 11-0 run in the fourth quarter and cruised to the victory.
Top contributors for Patterson were Charlot with 18, Taylon Grogan, eight; Gunner, Augustus and Malik Garrett with six; Benjamin five; and Jones, three.
Edgar Henix led Evangel (17-14) with 12.
Patterson (20-4) will host No. 10 St. Louis Tuesday at 6 p.m. in regional round action. St. Louis advanced after beating No. 23 seed Iowa 61-44 Friday.

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