San Diego Prep Basketball : Patrick Henry Becomes Poway's No. 1 Argument : Darryl Gaines Leads Patriot Rally as Morse Falls in Double Overtime, 63-60

The top two positions in the San Diego County boys basketball rankings have remained unchanged this season.

And there hasn't been much argument that unbeaten and defending CIF 3-A champion Poway deserves its No. 1 ranking, and undefeated Patrick Henry deserves to be No. 2.

Today, however, there may be room for argument.

Patrick Henry (21-0) staked its claim to the No. 1 ranking Tuesday, rallying from a nine-point, second half deficit to gain a regulation tie, and then defeat fifth-ranked Morse in double overtime, 63-60.

The victory gave the Patriots an 8-0 record in the City Eastern League and a two-game lead over Morse (6-2, 12-5 overall) with two league games left to play.

"We've definitely been looking for that No. 1 ranking all season," said Henry forward Darryl Gaines, who scored 18 points including two key baskets in the second overtime. "This was by far our biggest win of the season, and those were the two biggest baskets I have ever hit."

Early in the contest, it seemed Gaines wouldn't have a chance to play a role in Henry's winning efforts. It didn't look as if Henry would have a chance to win.

Led by forward Paul Bryant, Morse took control of the first half and threatened to make it a runaway.

Bryant, who scored 14 of his team-leading 18 points before halftime, continually burned the Patriots. His two free throws with 1:34 left in the second quarter gave the Tigers their biggest lead of the game, 32-22.

In the second half, however, Morse went away from its fast-paced offensive style and Patrick Henry slowly worked its way back into the game.

Patriot center Howard Wright, who was held to 4 points in the first half before finishing with 18, came alive and finally tied the contest, 50-50, on a pair of free throws with 1:40 left in regulation.

After Deshang Weaver scored for Morse and Junior Young hit two free throws for Henry, Morse still had a chance to win, but Bryant missed a 15-footer at the buzzer.

The first overtime was similar to the end of regulation as each team scored a field goal before Bryant misfired just before the buzzer again.

Then, Gaines went to work in the second overtime. He scored on a tap in, and then hit a long jumper from the corner to give Henry a 58-54 lead with 1:45 left.

Young and Darin Redwine then clinched the win by each hitting two free throws.

"Morse really played us tough," Patrick Henry Coach Fritz Ziegunfuss said. "I'm just very proud of my team playing hard and coming through at the end.

"As far as the rankings are concerned, I don't really worry about those because they're just a matter of opinion anyway."

And Gaines' opinion is that Poway may be in for some competition at the top.

"Just tell them to watch out," he said. "Because we'll be there."

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