Emeka leads Wallenberg to semis

By the time the midpoint of the third quarter rolled by, the lead had changed hands nine times, setting up this San Francisco Section quarterfinal boys’ basketball game as a potential classic.

But then senior Chibuzo Emeka stepped up to convert a three-point play and third-seeded Wallenberg never looked back.

Emeka had 16 points and nine rebounds to lead four Bulldogs in double-digit scoring as they bounced the Washington Eagles 58-43 at Kezar Pavilion, clinching a semifinal date with Lincoln on Wednesday.

“[Emeka] is huge,” Bulldogs coach Patrick Mulligan said. “He defends, he rebounds and he brings a great deal of toughness to our team as he’s such a vocal leader.”

The teams furiously traded buckets in a back-and-forth first half, with neither managing more than a three-point cushion. But Emeka’s go-ahead free-throw unleashed a 17-7 run to finish the third period, which Travis Barabin (13 points) punctuated with a buzzer-beating jumper.

Michael Chiu (12) and Kurtis Wong (10) also chipped in for the Bulldogs.

“We really had to remain tough this afternoon, and it really helped that our crowd was here for us today,” Mulligan said. “We’re such a small school — every kid in that crowd knows everyone on the team, so this was important to them.”

Isiah Pfitzer lead the seventh-seeded Eagles with a game-high 21 points, while Aaron Garrett added 14.

David Agrell

Lowell 63, Marshall 49

Senior Travis Hom poured in 22 points and the Cardinals (22-8) held off a late charge to beat the Phoenix (10-15).

In his last home game for the

Cardinals, Hom shot 7-of-14 from the field and 7-of-8 at the free-throw line, adding three assists and five steals.

He was nearly matched on the other side by 6-foot-5 Phoenix forward Charles Gardner, who scored 13 of his 17 points in the first half, going 4-of-4 shooting and 5-of-7at the stripe before halftime. But then Gardner fell quiet, making just two of his next seven field goals as Lowell opened a 50-29 lead early in the fourth quarter.

The Phoenix answer came at last in an improved press, yielding a handful of lightning-quick steals and layups, several by senior Lawrence Melton, who closed a 15-2 run with a basket and continuation foul at 2:13 after yet another Cardinals turnover.

“They started pressing up on us and for a while we didn’t handle it well,” Hom said.

Lowell’s lead was then just 52-44 but the Cardinals made 9-of-11 free throws in the final two minutes to finish the win.

“We haven’t shot [foul shots] well in the past,” Hom said. “But this year we improved a lot by taking our time and knocking them down.”

Lowell’s own aggressive defense paid off for 17 steals in the contest. Marshall’s Gardner finished with 17 points.

Lars Russell

Lincoln 75, Burton 57

Devis Koch scored 24 points as the speedy Mustangs (22-8) easily handled the Pumas (15-17).

Point guard Andrew Bologna (10 points) set the pace from the opening tip, slicing his way through the Burton defense as Lincoln surged to a 22-12 lead in the first quarter.

“It was important for us to come out and set a tone early,” Bologna said. “We lost the coin flip to Mission for the first seed so we wanted to come out and prove ourselves right away tonight.”

Joshua Zeidler

SUMMARIES

Lowell 63, Marshall 49

MARSHALL (10-15)

Charles Gardner 17, Raydell Walker 12, Lawrence Melton 11, William Collier 9. Total 49.

LOWELL (22-8)

Travis Hom 22, Alex McNabb 15, Yuhki Sakai 12, Andy Liu 6, Darrin Mock 3, Kevin Kung 2, Anthony Clay 2, Matt Wong 1. Total 63.

Marshall 8 9 10 22 — 49

Lowell 13 16 13 21 — 63

3-pointers: M—Walker 2. L—McNabb 3, Hom 1, Mock 1, Sakai 1. Rebounding leaders: M—Collier 10. L—Sakai 6. Assist leaders: M—Melton 2. L—Hom 3.

Lincoln 75, Burton 57

BURTON (15-17)

Tyre Ellison 12, Chris Ling 10, Carlos Montoya 8, Lonnell Britton 7, Andy Ye 5, Martin David-Jacobs 4, Victor Chew 3, Cris Arzadon 2, Javon Coleman 2, Kenny Mai 2, AntoineWatts 2. Total 57.

LINCOLN (23-9)

Devis Koch 24, David Henderson 12, Andrew Bologna 10, Deend Parker 10, Elliota Mar 6, Steven Tom 6, Dennis Wu 3, Dennis Mitchell 2, Ricky Ohissen 2. Total 75

BURTON 12 13 10 19 — 57

Lincoln 22 29 13 11 — 57

3—pointers: B—Montoya 1. L—Koch 4, Mar 2, Parker 1, Wu 1. Rebounding leader: B—Britton 5. L—Parker 6.

Wallenberg 58, Washington 43

WASHINGTON (15-12)

Aaron Garrette 14, Isiah Pfitzer 21, Solomon Walker 2, Kevin Wong 2, Darnell Batte 4. Total 43.

WALLENBERG (25-4)

Chibuzo Emeka 16, Michael Chiu 12, Victor Chew 7, Kurtis Wong 10, Travis Barabin 13. Total 58.

Washington 14 10 15 4 — 43

Wallenberg 12 14 17 15 — 58

3-pointers: Was—Garrette 1, Pfitzer 4. Wal—Chiu 3, Wong 2. Rebounding leader: Was—Batte 10. Wal—Emeka 9. Assists leader: Was—Batte 3. Wal—Wong 4.

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