But it wasn't easy for Perkins and Ozen. Rutgers bound guard Marquis Webb (right) kept everyone around for four more minutes last night when he knocked down an off balance three-pointer to forge a tie with Ozen after regulation play.
But some key free throws and baskets by Andre Boutte, Jr. helped Ozen to a hard-fought victory.
Ozen surged ahead 19-7 in the first quarter. Paterson Catholic's Darryl Watkins, the 7-0 senior who is open in his recruiting process, was whistled for two fouls, one questionable midway through the first quarter. Watkins sat on the bench with Paterson trailing by two points. By the time the quarter ended, Ozen had changed the feel of the game and looked ready and poised to blow out Paterson.
However, Paterson head coach Tommie Patterson, decided to put Watkins back in the game to give his team a chance against the big man skills of Perkins. It worked. The half ended with Ozen holding just a three-point lead, 24-21. Webb had 13 points in the first half while Perkins had nine.
In the third, Paterson Catholic actually held the lead at one point, up by five. But Ozen continued to pound the ball inside to Perkins, who finished nicely several times with reverse layups.
Boutte's three-pointer with less than two minutes in the third pushed Ozen back ahead, 36-35. Ozen moved out to a more comfortable advanage in the fourth, by seven points. But Webb and Watkins would not quit. Webb, who finished with a game-high 28 points, dove on the floor several times in the fourth to initiate steals and fastbreak baskets for Paterson Catholic.
After a missed free throw, Webb brought the ball up with five seconds to go. He weaved past a couple of defenders and with another Ozen player draped on his back, Marquis hit an off-balance jumper at the top of the circle as time was expiring to send the game into overtime.
Keena Young also had a solid game for Ozen. Young had 16 points while Rayburn Morris and Boutte, Jr. had 12 points a piece.