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Gators signee Patric Young dominates paint against Tampa Prep in Class 2A boys basketball state final

Jacksonville Providence’s Patric Young, who scored 13 with seven blocks, puts up a wall vs. Tampa Prep’s Jamal Cherry.

EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN | Times

Jacksonville Providence’s Patric Young, who scored 13 with seven blocks, puts up a wall vs. Tampa Prep’s Jamal Cherry.

LAKELAND — A screen was set, a move was made and a pass found its way into Patric Young's hands.

While catching the ball, Young turned his body, then threw down a thunderous reverse jam that easily was the most memorable play in Jacksonville Providence's 63-46 win over Tampa Prep in the Class 2A state boys basketball final Saturday at the Lakeland Center.

The irony is that Young's best work was done on the other end.

The heralded 6-foot-9 center and Florida Gators signee scored 13 points, but his seven blocked shots and overall presence on defense were a much greater factor in the victory.

"Patric Young really took it to us," Tampa Prep coach Joe Fenlon said.

Few were surprised by Young's performance.

He arguably was the state's most dominant big man during the course of the season, helping the Stallions go 31-1. Additionally, Young carries a No. 28 national ranking among senior prospects on Rivals.com.

After Saturday's game, Fenlon said the chiseled Young, who weighs 230 pounds, reminded him of former NBA power forward Tom Hammonds, once a star at Georgia Tech and, before that, Crestview High in Florida's panhandle.

Tampa Prep small forward Jay Bowie had a more modern comparison, calling Young a "mini" version of Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard.

"He's strong," Bowie said. "He's physical."

Young was 6-for-8 from the field, with many of his baskets coming on plays when he outmuscled the smaller Terrapins to the rim. Six of Young's blocks came inside, but one was made at the 3-point line, which speaks to his quickness and agility.

"I knew I had to extend myself in the paint," Young said.

Even when Young wasn't swatting away shots, he was altering them.

"He is a great shot-blocker," Providence coach Jim Martin said. "He's a strong, tough kid, and we've taken advantage of that all the time."

Asked if he had ever faced a better post player, Bowie thought for a moment, then replied, "Probably not."

Gators signee Patric Young dominates paint against Tampa Prep in Class 2A boys basketball state final 03/06/10 [Last modified: Saturday, March 6, 2010 9:10pm]

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