The Tigers put up a fight in a physical nonconference game against the Merced Bears at the Patterson High gymnasium. In the end, however, the visitors made enough plays for a 58-49 win.
It was the third straight loss for the Tigers (4-6), and came on the heels of a 71-66 setback against Pitman High of Turlock on Monday, Dec. 16.
Patterson was led by Michael Smith with 12 points, seven assists and three rebounds. Jordan Dinu and Gurkirt Heerey each joined their teammate in double-figure scoring with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Patterson took a 6-5 edge after a basket from Justin Rodriguez, but that would be the Tigers' only advantage of the contest, as Merced put in six of the next eight buckets to open a 17-10 lead after the first quarter.
Dinu connected on three 3-pointers in a span of about four minutes, and Kevin Phelps (seven points, seven rebounds) hit another shot to cut the Bear lead to five. But Merced deposited two baskets during the final minute of the second quarter to take a 32-23 lead at the break.
The Bears led by as much as 16 points late in the third, but Patterson closed the quarter with a 7-0 run to clip the deficit to nine heading into the final period.
The Tigers closed to within eight points twice in the remaining minutes of the contest, each time following acrobatic layups from Smith, who scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter.
But with the game clock winding down, Merced's Trevonte Richard nailed a 3-pointer from the corner to help seal the win over the Tigers.
On Monday, Smith led Patterson with 26 points while two other Tigers recorded double-figures. Damarrio Hammonds dropped in 13 points, and Phelps added 10 for Patterson.
The Tigers will travel for the Bear Creek High Tournament, opening their portion of the event with a 6:30 p.m. game against Soledad High on Thursday, Dec. 26.
The JV Tigers, playing without three of their top contributors, were defeated by the Merced Bears, 40-32, in a nonconference game Tuesday, Dec. 17.
Patterson did all it could, leading throughout most of contest, but ran out of steam as Merced drew relief from its deep bench, a luxury the home team could not afford.
Nana Appiah finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Jeremiah Grigsby had six points and three rebounds for the Tigers.
Ernesto Huizar tallied five points and eight rebounds for Patterson, and teammate Michael Moore added a team-high nine boards.
Three key players for Patterson left the game with injuries just five minutes into the Tigers' 40-35 defeat against Pitman on Monday, Dec. 16.
Appiah and Hugo Gonzalez each netted nine points for the Tigers.
Patterson's freshman team improved to 4-0 to start the season, taking down the Merced Bears, 67-51.
The Tigers trailed by five points at the break, but outscored Merced 40-19 in the second half to pull away for a victory.
Ivan Ornelas paced Patterson with 18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Teammate Tre McGill had 14 points and seven rebounds, and Tevita Kelepi (seven rebounds) and Angel Rojas each scored 12.
Pierre Williams dropped in seven points for the Tigers.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or email@example.com.