PATERSON — Tommie Patterson has been pleasantly surprised.
In just its second season at the varsity level, the Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology boys basketball team Patterson coaches was 8-6 entering Thursday’s action. The Lions earned the No. 12 seed in the 17-team Passaic County tournament, in which Paterson Charter will host 13th-seeded Passaic at 3 p.m. on Saturday in a preliminary-round game.
“I didn’t know what to expect going into the [seeding] meeting,” Patterson said. “I thought they might seed us last.”
Paterson Charter has surprised other coaches in Passaic and Bergen counties as well.
The Lions went 11-14 while playing an independent schedule during their first season last winter. This season Paterson Charter starts two freshmen, two sophomores and a junior, and is a member of the NJIC.
Patterson attributes much of his team’s success to the additions of 6-foot-7 freshman forward Armoni Sexton, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, freshman point guard Jaylen Colon and the improvements of junior forward Albert Rivera and sophomore guard Jahki Clarke.
“I think our 5-0 start was a bit of fool’s gold,” Patterson said, “but I think we’ve grown leaps and bounds because those games that we won early in the season were close games. We wouldn’t have won those games last year.