Boys Basketball: Lowell, Mission, Wallenberg and Washington advance in AAA playoffs

Wallenberg junior forward Aaron Brown towers over Lincoln's Chris Young to block his shot in the third quarter of the Bulldog's 65-47 win at Kezar Pavilion on Friday. (Photo by Mike Bebernes)

Wallenberg 65, Lincoln 47

A huge fourth-quarter surge helped Wallenberg High School squash a frantic comeback and defeat Lincoln Highschool 65-47 in the quarterfinal round of the AAA playoffs on Friday.

The Bulldogs (20-7) outscored the Mustangs 21-4 in the final seven minutes to close out what was a one-point game early in the fourth.

Wallenberg senior guard Garrett Moon scored 21 points and junior Aaron Brown had 19, including nine in the fourth quarter.

“We just played hard, that’s all you can do,” said Brown.

After trailing 35-24 at halftime, the Mustangs (12-19) used a chaotic ball pressure trap to stall the Bulldogs offense and take a 40-39 lead late in the third.

“We knew it had to be frantic,” said Lincoln Head Coach Mike Gragnani. “We played about as hard as we possibly could have.”

Lincoln played a balanced offense, getting 13 points from Dennis Mitchell, 10 from Miles Prescot, and nine from Anthony Henderson.

The Mustangs scored just seven points in the final period while Wallenberg capitalized on a significant size advantage to put the game away.

“It’s a matter of remembering who we are,” said Bulldog Head Coach Patrick Mullican. “We’re big and we need to play that way.”

– Mike Bebernes

Washington 72, O’Connell 66

Washington High School withstood a transcendent performance from O’Connell High School’s Anthony Moody in its 72-66 win in the quarterfinal round of the AAA playoffs on Friday.

Moody had a game-high 38 points, scoring seemingly every way possible, from acrobatic layups to contested fadeaway three-pointers.

“When you have a guy who can shoot like that, especially as deep as he was hitting shots, it makes everyone else on the floor better,” said Washington Head Coach Jolinko Lassiter.

Washington senior Byron Jones rised up for a pass between two O'Connell defenders in the Eagles' 72-66 win in the AAA quarterfinals on Friday at Washington High School. (Photo by Devin Chen)

Although Moody, in his final game as a senior, did everything he could to will the Boilermakers (12-16) to victory, Washington prevailed in a game that featured six lead changes and 11 ties.

Washington (23-8) was led by junior point guard Brenden Glapion who scored a team-high 20 points, most on driving layups and on fast-break opportunities.

“He was able to go out and take control of the game when it was on the line,” Lassiter said.

O’Connell led through most of the first three quarters but gave up the lead late in the third and Washington didn’t give it up.

Even with the loss, O’Connell Head Coach Armando Pazos, after his final game for the Boilermakers after eight years of coaching, was happy with his team’s performance.

“They played their asses off,” Pazos said. “Every one of them left all they had on the floor. We just came up a little short.”

– Jeremy Balan

Mission 86, Burton 44

Led by senior Angelo Gulley, Mission High School presented a dominant offensive force in an 86-44 victory over the Burton High School in the quarterfinal round of the AAA playoffs on Friday.

Taking advantage of shooting fouls, Mission (19-10) led the entire game and posted a 23-10 lead in the first quarter. Gulley had a game-high 25 points and shot 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

“We [were able] to knock the ball down from the free throw line and attack the rim,” said Mission Head Coach Arnold Zelaya. “Burton’s real scrappy and they attack the ball, so we’re emphasizing not dribbling so much [and] sharing the ball a lot more”

The Bears were able to effectively move the ball and put pressure on Burton (8-22) in every quarter. Mission scored 23 points in the first, second and fourth quarters with 17 in the third, stretching the lead wider in each frame.

Defensively, the Bears forced 27 turnovers while only giving up 14. Their aggressive defense put full-court pressure on the Pumas all game, coercing longer shots from Burton. As a result, Burton shot 29 percent from the field.

“[The game plan was] play up, play hard, play defense, and don’t let them do what they want to do,” said Burton Coach Duane Breaux, glancing at the scoreboard. “We didn’t do that, because obviously they did what they wanted to do.”

– John Blomster

Lowell 56, Marshall 42

Kevin Kung led Lowell High School with 18 points in its 56-42 AAA quarterfinal victory over Marshall High School.

The Cardinals never trailed in the game and eight of their players scored, although Kung was the only one who scored in double-digits. Anthony Clay had nine points and Ricco Price had eight.

Marshall was led by Travelle Johnson, Willie Shaw and Theo Hill, all of whom had 10 points. Marshall was held to 16-of-56 shooting from the field.

“It was great, I learned a lot from the seniors last year when I was a junior. They told me to keep composed and be a leader out there,” said Clay. “We had five days of preparation before this game and we knew what we had to do out there to win.”

Cardinals Head Coach Robert Ray said the team played well and he was proud that the seniors stepped up and made key shots throughout.

Marshall Head Coach Dezebee Miles declined to comment after the game.

– Josh Levine

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