By Ryan Kuhn
Stuart Hall point guard Tim Connolly was happy to finally play on his home court.
After playing the first nine games on the road, Connolly made a game-winning layup with 7 seconds remaining to defeat Mission High School 67-66 in the Knights’ home opener on Thursday.
The layup completed an 11-point comeback that saw the Knights (7-3) trailing 54-43 to start the fourth quarter.
“I had to make [that shot] and we needed to win this game,” said Connoly, who finished with a career-high 32 points, to go along with eight rebounds and five assists.
Stuart Hall slowly started to cut into the deficit and started the fourth quarter on a 13-2 run that tied the score at 56-56 with 3:45 remaining in the game.
Moments later, a pair of free throws by Connolly finally gave Stuart Hall the lead.
“I was super excited that we fought back,” said Stuart Hall head coach Charles Johnson. “When we went ahead, I thought we had a real chance to win.”
Mission would tie the game on a basket by junior guard Kevin Murray with 22 seconds left, but Stuart Hall would put the game in Connolly’s hands on the next possession.
“Tim Connolly is a stud.” Johnson said. “He is a senior, he is our captain, he’s our guy. I expect that from him, so I’m not shocked by his performance at all.”
The Bears (4-5) would have one final chance after being fouled with just over a second remaining. Laron Davis made the first free throw, but his second missed off of the side of the rim.
“Free throws and layups are the key to any game and we blew a bunch of layups and a bunch of free throws,” said Mission head coach Arnold Zelaya. “I’m not upset with the effort, but we aren’t playing very well.”
Tim Connolly — 32
Matt McCrum — 9
Brian Williams — 6
Armani Collins — 6
Two players tied with 5 points
Kevin Murray — 15
Miles Prescott — 14
Shaquille Fisher — 11
Gione Edwards — 9
Antonie Porter — 7