There was a stretch Saturday when it looked as ifninth-ranked Thomas Stone might win its first state title in 40 years. The Cougars had closed the first half with a flourish, then center Brelin Elliott continued his strong play to start the third quarter by making a jumper in the lane that gave Stone an 11-point lead.
Even more important, Aquille Carr, Patterson’s near-legendary junior point guard, was in foul trouble. After losing in the state final twice in the past four seasons, the Cougars and their fans could entertain the notion of a championship.
Slowly, though, the lead slipped away. Carr finished with 28 points and senior guard Devin Hebron scored all of his 23 points in the second half to send Thomas Stone to an 86-75 loss in the Maryland 3A title game before 5,000 at Comcast Center.
“Every year is different, each team is different — I can honestly say [most people] . . . probably didn’t think this band of guys would ever get this far,” Thomas Stone Coach Dale Lamberth said. “No one likes to lose. . . . All in all, you’re always close, but you can’t win it if you aren’t here.”