By Bonta Hill
Wallenberg High School outscored Stuart Hall 14-5 in the final quarter and overcame 21 turnovers to win 35-33 in a non-league contest Friday.
Andrew Chuong a team-high 14 points, and Simon Quan had 13 points and six rebounds as Wallenberg (3-7) went into the new year by dropping the Knights to (5-8).
“We just kept at it and we finally got some opportunities in transition, which made it a little easier,” said Wallenberg head coach Pat Mulligan. “I thought we showed some intelligence in the last minute [of the game], and some resolve and that might help us going into league [play].”
Despite forcing Wallenberg into 13 first half turnovers, Stuart Hall couldn’t shake the Bulldogs as they committed nine turnovers in the half themselves.
“I thought we gagged, thought we choked. I’m not going to sugar coat it,” said Stuart Hall head coach Charles Johnson. “We didn’t play very well.”
But the Knights were in control early, and used a 8-0 run in the second quarter to go up 22-13 at the break. Stuart Hall’s defense would force the Bulldogs into 5-of-15 shooting in the first half and seemed to be in complete control.
The game got really sloppy in the third quarter as both teams struggled with ball-handling as well as struggle shooting. Both teams would commit six turnovers each, but the Knights were still able to cling to a 28-21 lead going into the final frame.
Wallenberg would start the quarter on a 7-2 run to quickly cut into the Knights lead as Quan and his teammates would take advantage of Stuart Hall forward Carter Chickering’s foul trouble.
Chickering would sit most of the second half before eventually fouling out late in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs would take the lead on two Quan free throws in the final minute to clinch Wallenberg’s third victory.
Quan and his teammate Nicolas Smith, whom had a team-high 12 rebounds, stood out in the fourth quarter with their work on the boards.
“The strength of our team is inside and even though those guys don’t score a ton, they wear down guys a bit,” Mulligan said. “[Nicholas] Smith played especially well. He handled the ball well against pressure, passed well inside, and played really good defense.”
Johnson was out of answers, as he watched his team shoot 2-of-16 in the final quarter in their last non-league game before Bay Counties League West play begins on Jan. 11.
“We played super tight toward the end of the game. It’s very frustrating,” Johnson said. ”The rest of the season is going to go one of two ways. We’re either going to fold the tent, or we’re going to strap it up. We’ll see.”
Andrew Chuong – 14
Simon Quan – 13
Nicholas Smith – 3
Ronnie Campbell – 3
Calvin Ng – 2
Rashaan Johnson – 10
Tim Connolly – 8
LaBoyd Ricard – 4
Carter Chickering – 4
Ryan Fisher – 3