Boys Basketball: Stuart Hall locks down Lowell in season opener

Stuart Hall senior Matt McCrum goes up for a layup against Lowell on Wednesday at Lowell High School. (Photo by Christian Chew)

By Jeremy Balan

The Stuart Hall High School boys basketball team was in command with a 13-2 lead after the first quarter in its season opener on the road against Lowell, but the Knights probably didn’t realize at the time that they only needed one more basket to outscore the Cardinals on Wednesday night.

The Knights went through their own extended cold shooting spell, but the Cardinals never snapped out of theirs in a 40-13 Stuart Hall win.

Lowell (0-1) shot just over 10 percent from the floor, including 1-for-23 from three-point range, and didn’t score more than five points in any quarter.

Most of Lowell’s offensive struggles were simply due to missed perimeter shots, but the Cardinals also struggled to penetrate against an athletic Stuart Hall defense. When they did, they had shots altered or blocked by the Knights’ lanky forwards.

Stuart Hall sophomore Armani Collins releases a jump shot against Lowell on Wednesday at Lowell High School. (Photo by Christian Chew)

“The outside shots were definitely not falling,” said first-year Lowell head coach Wyman Lee. “We expect to make at least 20 or 30 percent of those, but we also knew that every time we drove it in, we had some trees we had to deal with.”

After the first quarter, the Knights (1-0) went through their cold streak, connecting on just 3-of-21 shots from the field in the second and third quarters. Stuart Hall led 23-8 after the third, but standout sophomore Armani Collins came alive in the fourth to put the game away.

Collins had 11 of his game-high 15 points in the fourth quarter to spur a 17-5 Stuart Hall run in the final frame.

“It wasn’t pretty, but [the fourth quarter] was pretty good,” said Stuart Hall head coach Charles Johnson. “We’ve been emphasizing defense, so we’ll take that as a positive, but we still have a long way to go.”

With 10 rebounds, Collins had a double-double, as did 6-foot-4 senior forward Matt McCrum, who was the most consistent scoring and rebounding threat for the Knights. McCrum finished with 11 points and a team-high 14 rebounds.

“Matty is a heck of an athlete,” Johnson said. “He’s probably our best defensive player and he has a little trouble finishing and with free throws, but he’s a heck of a player. He’s a team leader for sure.”

The undersized Cardinals don’t have a player over 6-foot-2 and settled for outside shots often, in part, by design. If Lowell is to be successful in the Academic Athletic Association, those shots will have to hit with regularity.

“This year, we’re looking to make quite a few from the outside to stay competitive,” Lee said. “This might be a constant struggle throughout the season. We have guys who are streaky shooters. There’s no one with a pure stroke, but we’re working on shooting every day.”

The Knights, which sat 6-foot-5 senior center Andreas Peritos (injury) and 6-foot-7 junior center Jose Vargas (transfer eligibility), were at their best with Collins in rhythm, but looked their worst when he went through a 22-minute scoring drought.

“Armani was a first-team all-league player and I have a sneaky feeling he’ll repeat that feat,” Johnson said. “There are a few other guys that can really play. We’re not going to put it all on his shoulders, for sure.”

Scoring Leaders

Stuart Hall
Armani Collins – 15
Matt McCrum – 11
Rodney McKinney – 5
Tyler Ryan – 3
Three players tied with 2 points

Lowell
Alex Hsiao – 5
Sammy Pollard – 3
Kendall Smith – 3
Jason Ho – 2

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15 Comments

  1. Paul B. says:

    Tonight’s game @ Lowell must be one of the ugliest games they have ever seen. Lucky for me though, I wasn’t there because I was @ SI to see the annual varsity-alumni varsity basketball games. The SI varsity girls won easily tonight 66-29 while the SI varsity boys were in a struggle for most of the night but were able to beat the SI men’s alumni in double OT 78-74.

  2. Matthew Snyder says:

    Lowell had a rangy guard with a smooth stroke extending out to 3; lively on the perimeter during the scrimmage with Lick-Wilmerding on Saturday. Forget his number, but it was a high one for a guard.

    • Baller says:

      I believe Lowell was wearing their practice jerseys at the time and two of Lowell’s players were not suited up for the game against Stuart Hall. Both of those boys started against Lick-Wilmerding.

  3. city says:

    40-13?? imagine if either peritos or vargas played..oh my for lowell..

    bcl west seems like the best league in SF right now with university, hall, lick, urban

    • BobBarker says:

      WCAL would destroy BCL West……. your tripping dude !!!!!

      • city says:

        nah dude i aint tripping haha.

        but seriously….bcl west lost no one from last year…wcal lost the fox and johns, domingo, and plentiful good seniors.

        bcl got size, speed, shooting.

        jose vargas 6’7”
        matt bergland 6’6”
        andreas peritos 6’5″
        armani collins 6’5″
        ben schneider 6’4″
        MA kid, forgot name 6’4″
        matt mccrum 6’4″
        harold getz 6’4″
        will carroll 6’3″

        and still got nate cohen, chris mah, etc

    • Feel The Pain says:

      Lowell is going to take a BIG step back this year, so I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on this win. Marshall, as long as their bigs stay eligible, is my favorite to take AAA this year. Sacred Heart and Riordan may have the best trio of guards on any one team, but SI has the best guard in Dunbar. The Wildcats will surprise a lot of people who think they are gonna take a step back without Domingo. Let the games begin!

      • levon says:

        When talking about best guards in the city, you must include Marshall’s guards, Jason Smith, Aumen Holliday and Mizell Parker, a very dangerious three headed attack; their very athletic, and all three can handle the ball, attack the basket and finish, shoot mid range jump shots as well as the three.

        • Feel The Pain says:

          Definitely, that’s why I have them as my pick to win AAA. Mission with Porter and Murray will be solid, but Marshall with the above mentioned threesome of Holiday, Parker, and Smith will lead them to the SHIP.

  4. manifest Destiny says:

    Go Coach Johnson.

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