ATWATER -- Steve Abrams kept waiting for one of his players to get the hot hand.
The Buhach Colony coach might still be waiting.
Abrams' boys couldn't make up for a cold-shooting night as they ran into a swarming defense that smothered their shooters and Patterson went on to win the Save Mart Classic championship game 54-50 over Buhach Colony on Saturday night at the Thunder Dome.
"Our guys gave it a great shot," Abrams said. "We knew our offense was off. We picked up our defense and that kept us in it. We just had a cold night shooting. We couldn't hit anything. You have to credit Patterson."
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BC reached the championship game by turning turnovers into easy baskets with its full-court press. Its defense had fueled its offense during its mini three-game winning streak.
Buahch's press was mostly a non-factor because it didn't make shots to set up its press. Forced to play a half-court game, BC continued to launch shots from outside.
"They took us out of our rhythm," Abrams said. "We had to play half-court defense and that's not our style."
Buhach Colony (5-5) didn't make a 3-pointer until Justin Lewison sank a trey midway through the fourth quarter.
"Having watched Buhach on film, we knew they have really good shooters," said Patterson's Justin Nuckolls, who scored a game-high 18 points. "All their players can shoots threes. The key for us was to get a hand in the face of everybody all night."
Patterson opened the game with a 7-0 run and never trailed in the game.
Every time Buhach cut the lead to three or four points, Patterson responded with a run to extend the lead back to eight or 10 points.
Buhach Colony's challenge was even greater when it lost senior Demario Porter to a leg injury in the second quarter.
"He averages nine to 10 points per game," Abrams said. "The difference was four."
Still, BC cut the lead to 28-25 when Braden Williamson -- who led Buhach with 13 points -- sank a shot in the lane with 6:25 left in the third quarter only to see Patterson answer with a 13-2 run to push the lead to 41-27 with 2:15 remaining in the third.
"I think that run came after a timeout," Abrams said. "After the timeout, their press got a little tougher."
Robby Samano and Felix Mapanda both chipped in with eight points for Patterson.
Buhach Colony made one final push in the fourth quarter when it cut the 14-point lead down to 49-45 with 1:04 left on the clock. Jordan Hoffman scored five of his 11 points during the run.
However, when it came time to make the clutch treys down the stretch, BC was still off the mark.
Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BUHACH COLONY 50
At Buhach Colony
PATTERSON 18 10 15 11 -- 54
BUHACH COLONY 14 9 8 19 -- 50
PATTERSON -- Mitch Becerra 7, Daniel Reza 2, Kent Foster 2, Ronyea Ellington 2, EJ Rodriquez 5, Robby Samano 8, Justin Nockolls 18, Felix Mapanda 8, Robert Krager 2. Totals: 21 10-18 54.
BUHACH COLONY -- Hodari Peterson 10, Jordan Hoffman 11, Demario Porter 4, Levi Pollock 2, Braden Williamson 13, Justin Lewison 3, Shane Mundin 6. Totals: 17 14-19 50.
3-pointers: Patterson 2 (Rodriquez 1, Becerra 1), Buhach Colony 1 (Lewison 1); Team Fouls: Patterson 16, Buhach Colony 17; Fouled Out - None.
Record: Buhach Colony 5-5.