By Mike Bebernes
Wallenberg dominated from the opening tip in a 58-33 victory over Galileo on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs (19-6, 13-1) closed out their regular season league schedule with an impressive 7-1 record on their home court at Kezar Pavillion.
“When we play hard, we can be pretty tough,” said Wallenberg Head Coach Patrick Mulligan.
The loss knocked Galileo out of playoff contention. If Galileo had pulled the upset, they would have captured the fourth and final playoff spot in the AAA Neff Division.
Wallenberg enters the playoffs as the Neff Division’s top seed and the Bulldogs will face Lincoln, the Lang Division’s fourth seed, in the first round on Friday.
Tuesday was senior night for the Bulldogs and Wallenberg was led by upperclassman throughout. Mulligan had each of the team’s five seniors in the starting lineup.
Senior Garrett Moon controlled the game with 12 points, though he at times appeared capable of scoring at will. Moon set the tone early with an emphatic baseline drive and dunk at the 4:30 mark in the first quarter.
“[Moon] is a great player, a great leader and, frankly a better guy,” said Mulligan.
Wallenberg opened the game with a 10-2 run in the first four minutes and the lead swelled to 30-13 at the half. Senior guard Yared Berhaneselase had a game-high 14 points and junior forward Aaron Brown contributed 10 points in maintaining a large margin throughout the second half.
Galileo (4-23, 3-11) was outmatched on the interior by a wave of Bulldog post players.
“We just have so many bigs we can throw at you,” said Mulligan. “We have five bigs who can really go.”
To their credit, the Lions played hard until the final buzzer, forcing late turnovers with a frantic half court trap in the final minutes.