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Boys’ basketball: Gary Grant sets school record but Thomas Stone falls in state semifinals

Gray Grant’s 19th and 20th points were inconsequential free throws with just over five minutes left in the Maryland 2A semifinals against Patterson.

But those two points put Grant in his school’s history book as he became Thomas Stone’s all-time scoring leader.

It was a rare bright spot in Stone’s 74-54 loss to the Baltimore school Friday at Xfinity Center.

“Yes, I’m aware. I’m humbled to set the record,” Grant said. “But it didn’t come in a win.”

Grant finished with 22 points for the game and 1,467 for his career.

The last time Stone advanced this far in the playoffs was 2012, when the Cougars also lost to Patterson in the state final.

“They left a mark. They did something that hadn’t been done in seven years,” Stone Coach Dale Lamberth said of this year’s Cougars. “What my words to them was and will be is that this loss won’t tarnish [what] they accomplished. They’ll be able to talk about this at reunions.”

The Cougars (22-5) of Charles County had a miserable start to the game. They couldn’t get past Patterson’s full-court press and committed several early turnovers, which led to easy, breakaway layups for the Clippers. Stone mustered just four points in the opening quarter. The Clippers scored 25 points off Stone’s 17 turnovers in the game.

A 13-3 second-quarter run, powered by senior Shawn Barclay off the bench, closed the gap to three points, but that was the closest the Cougars got. Barclay, who had a season-high 19 points, scored seven in that run.

“I wasn’t really thinking about points or anything,” Barclay said. “I was just trying to help the team, do whatever [I] can to get back in the game.”

Stone tried to ride Barclay’s hot hand, inserting him into the lineup to start the second half, but the strategy didn’t work. The Clippers scored eight consecutive points in the third quarter and led by as many as 14 before stretching that advantage further in the fourth.

Marvin Price led Patterson with 21 points. Jalen Willis and Zaccheus Blackwell contributed 14 apiece. The Clippers will play the winner of Oakdale and Wicomico for the state title Saturday.

“They covered a lot of ground even on that size court,” Lamberth said. “What appeared open on the first half wasn’t open all the time.”

Though the Cougars were dejected with their season ending, Lamberth remained positive and expressed his gratitude for them after the game.

“I’ll miss them. It’s been a great season for them,” he said. “They accomplished some individual goals. We set some team goals. I thought when the dust settled, we’re one of the top teams in the county.”

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