Lusby, MD – In the second round, or the section semifinals, of the Maryland state basketball playoffs, Lackey traveled to Lusby to take on the Panthers. Patuxent won the regular season meeting between the two teams Dec. 16 by a score of 65-57. 

In this matchup, Patuxent had the benefit/disadvantage of 10 days rest between their last game and this one. The Chargers, on the other hand, beat La Plata Friday night to earn the opportunity to play Patuxent Monday night.  On Monday night, the momentum swung in the balance for the majority of the game as neither team could pull away from the other one.

Patuxent won the opening tip, and quickly jumped out to a 5-0 lead off of a layup by Jason ‘Utah’ Maughan, and a three ball by big man Jaquan Kelley. Lackey responded through the rest of the quarter, and entered the second quarter only trailing by 1 point, at a score of 11-10. 

The second quarter was more of the same with Patuxent building their lead back to 8, and Lackey responding to cut the lead back down to 3. Patuxent got a layup from guard Darus Maddox, and forced a stop with 3 minutes left in the half. On their possession following the Lackey miss, Terrell Gross took a 3 point shot from the wing that bounced off the back of the rim. Junior forward Juan Watkins grabbed the defensive rebound on the play, and made his way upcourt behind the play. When Gross shot the ball, Watkins was just inside the three point line. As the ball flew through the air, he told TheBayNet postgame that he could tell the shot was going to be long, and prepared to jump for the offensive rebounds. “I just acted on instinct, caught the ball, and could reach the rim.” Watkins threw down an emphatic two handed put back slam that extended the Panthers lead back to 7. On the ensuing possession, while the Patuxent student section was going crazy, a Panther was called for a foul right in front of the Patuxent bench. Some shouting came from the bench, and the bench was served with a technical foul. Lackey guard Karlos Roberts swished both free throws to take what momentum Patuxent had gathered from the jam the possession before. Patuxent still led headed into the halftime, but Lackey was taking every punch the Panthers threw, and countered with their own. The score was 27-24 Patuxent at the intermission.

At half, Lackey made adjustments defensively, and came out hungry. They began jumping the Panthers passes, and after some steals and layups, and successful half court offense plays, they took the lead from the Panthers at the end of the third 39-38. This was the first lead Lackey held all game. 

The fourth quarter began the same way the third ended, with both teams jockeying for the lead. Lackey got their lead up to 4 with 5 minutes left in the game. They stopped the Panthers, and called a timeout to draw up a play in the half court setting. They never got to that point, as Patuxent guard Greg Leonard intercepted the pass, and saved it from going out of bounds by hitting fellow senior Chris Pendleton with a perfect pass in transition. Pendleton had the entire side of the court to himself as he knocked down the three pointer to cut the lead back to 1. On the ensuing Lackey possession, the Chargers turned it over, and Pendleton was running down court free. He received the pass down court, and went up for a layup. He was fouled hard in the air, and both he and Rasheed Cooley of Lackey fell to the ground hard. The officials gathered to discuss the foul, while Pendleton ran out of the gym into the hallway that runs adjacent to the gym. He was subbed out, and didn’t return to the game. Cooley was given a flagrant foul and the Panthers got two free throws and possession following those free throws. Terrell Gross came into the game for the injured Pendleton, and sank both of the free throws to put Patuxent in the lead 47-46. They never relinquished the lead again, as they ended the game on a 13-1 run and were up 60-47 at the final buzzer.

Lackey was led in scoring by Hakeem Everett, who scored 16. James Wilkerson put up 13 points for the Chargers. Their season ends in Lusby with a record of 14-10. Patuxent was led in scoring by Darus Maddox, who scored his season average of 25 points. Utah Maughan scored 11 for the Panthers. They advance to play at Westlake in the sectional final this Wednesday, March 2nd at 7 p.m.